As another successful year draws to a close, I want to express my sincere appreciation to all the dedicated military members and civilians who make up Team March. I’m extremely fortunate to have you on the team. You are the most intelligent, talented and motivated group of individuals whom I’ve had the pleasure to work with in my career.
For members of the 452nd Air Mobility Command, it nearly seemed impossible to surpass the stats you racked up in 2011, but you did. Our most notable effort was airlifting power/utility trucks from March to support the states ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. We moved 117 power trucks, more than 270 passengers on 26 C-17 and C-5 aircraft. We were on 24/7 status with more than 200 Citizen Airmen and active duty troops (from Travis aerial port and C-5 maintenance squadrons) in place. That event, combined with ours and the Air National Guard’s total flying hours, gives us a grand total of more than 33,000 flying hours for the year. This is a number that few active duty, reserve or guard wings can match.
In addition, we captured three Air Force Reserve Command Outstanding Security Forces and two AFRC Outstanding Safety Awards, opened our first tax preparation office on base, activated the 730th Air Mobility Training Squadron at Altus Air Force Base, Okla., flew dolphins to Hawaii for the Navy and fire equipment to Colorado to support the fire-fighting efforts there, enjoyed a record crowd of 500,000 at our air show and loaded a NASA Supper Guppy. To close out the year, the maintenance group won the coveted Fourth Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Clouse Trophy. Of course, this is just a snapshot of our activity and doesn’t include everything.
Looking forward to 2013, we will be running out of the starting block in January with our Operational Readiness Inspection. All of the training we have done during the year will lead us to successfully completing and passing the January 2013 Nuclear ORI and ORI.
Also, we began or completed some major projects around the base. We had a ribbon-cutting for our new firing range and with just a few more finishing touches it will be ready. We had a ground-breaking ceremony for our new control tower this month. We began construction on our new running track, which will be a great improvement over our old one. Mark your calendar for March 2014; that’s when our “Thunder over the Empire” air show returns; this time our headline act is the Navy’s Blue Angels. Again, that’s only a sneak peek at all of our upcoming activities.
This season, I hope you will reflect on the impact that you are making in changing the destiny of the world. Your courage, skill and commitment are responsible for bringing the greatest gifts of all to those who have been repressed: peace and freedom. We are the protectors of peace and freedom — the hope for a better today and the promise of a brighter tomorrow.
Our success is built on three interrelated factors.
First, we are successful because of you. While we have some of the most advanced weapon systems ever developed, they would be little more than pieces of scrap metal without high-quality people such as you to operate, maintain and support them.
Second, we are successful because we have a very caring local community who is concerned about the welfare of March Field and the people who work here. Many bases don’t have staunch advocates who support the military; however, we are very fortunate our community wants to be a part of the Team March family. Without them, we probably would not be here.
Finally, we are successful because we are blessed with supportive families. Please take the time to pass along my thanks and holiday wishes to them. Without their encouragement, it would be difficult for us to give 100 percent to our jobs. I realize our families are extremely important for the morale and retention of our people.
I am especially proud of the accomplishments of our wing. Your dedication and the professionalism of all assigned to the 452 AMW, reservists and civilians, are proven by our achievements and shown by our contributions to the contingency operations overseas and the missions stateside. Have a safe and happy holiday.