Commentary

May 24, 2012

Thank you, Thunderbolts

by Chief Master Sgt. Rory Wicks
56th Fighter Wing command chief

Greetings Team Luke!

Wow, what can I say, time flies when you’re having fun … this has been a superb ride. Unfortunately for me, I am at the end of a phenomenal tour having to leave a magnificent community. As we depart, I just want to say “thanks” to all for your acceptance, support, teamwork and camaraderie extended to my entire family and me. It seems like only yesterday that I arrived at Sky Harbor International Airport in August 2010. I came off the plane from RAF Mildenhall into the heat of the jet way, headed to Luke with a change of command and work to do, and since that time the action has not stopped just the way I like it!

“Team Luke” is simply amazing and the hot weather associated with Arizona is indicative of the “red hot” men and women that make this base successful in completing the mission of producing the world’s greatest F-16 pilots and crew chiefs while deploying mission ready war fighters. As I’ve said many times before, the “Team Luke” focus is worthy of emulation because it is all inclusive. From the Air Force, both active duty and reserve, the Marines, Navy, civilians, family members and our local community partners, every element’s role is respected as critical and necessary for our wing to not only meet our local objectives while fulfilling our service’s mission to Aim High … Fly, Fight, Win, but also to partner, cooperate and assure our nation’s defense is air tight.

As my family and I depart to Al Udeid Air Base and the Air Force Central Command, we leave optimistically excited … looking forward to the new challenges, yet saddened to leave each and every one of you. As we embark on new challenges, we are now indeed more prepared and “mission ready” for this next chapter of our lives because of the unique experiences and opportunities afforded us within this stellar wing. We will forever be reminded of the importance of a strong community and will take with us fond memories, many lessons learned and a host of new and lasting relationships.

“Team Luke,” it has been absolutely my honor and distinct privilege to serve as your Command Chief. Although I must depart, know that each of you have made a significant impact on my life. I am so proud and humbled to have been given the opportunity to serve with all of you. Know that you are appreciated for your service, sacrifices and commitment to our nation. On behalf of the entire Wicks family, I wish everyone good luck for a prosperous future … God bless you all!




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