18th AF senior leaders show appreciation to MacDill Airmen

Lt. Gen. GI Tuck, 18th Air Force commander, speaks with air traffic controllers from MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Nov. 15, 2017. Just days after evacuating for Hurricane Irma MacDill Airmen were ready to provide relief for areas affected by Hurricane Maria. Tuck expressed his appreciation for their dedication to the mission and commitment to service before self. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caleb Nunez)

Tech. Sgt. Vinson Waldo, an instrument and flight controls system craftsman assigned to the 6th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, briefs Lt. Gen. GI Tuck, 18th Air Force commander, at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Nov. 14, 2017. Tuck was briefed on the Block 45 upgrades to the KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft and how they facilitate mission completion. The $910 million program began almost seven years ago as part of the Air Force’s continuing efforts to keep the aging aircraft sustainable for years to come. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caleb Nunez)

Air Force Airman 1st Class Ethan Sheptow, a weather forecaster assigned to the 6th Operations Support Squadron, briefs Lt. Gen. GI Tuck, the 18th Air Force commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Todd Petzel, the 18th Air Force command chief, at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Nov. 14, 2017. Sheptow discussed the changes coming to his career field and how it affects current and future Airmen with the senior leaders. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caleb Nunez)

Lt. Gen. GI Tuck (far left), the 18th Air Force commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Todd Petzel (far right), 18th Air Force command chief, pause for a photo with members of the En-Route Patient Staging System (ERPSS) team at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Nov. 14, 2017. During recent hurricane relief efforts, the MacDill ERPSS team deployed to Puerto Rico to transport patients to safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caleb Nunez)

Senior Airman Jan Nirza, a public health technician assigned to the 6th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, speaks with Lt. Gen. GI Tuck, 18th Air Force commander, at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Nov. 15, 2017. Nirza discussed his experiences as a National Anthem singer for the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caleb Nunez)

Lt. Gen. GI Tuck, 18th Air Force commander, highlighted the 91st Air Refueling Squadron (ARS) during his all call at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Nov. 16, 2017. The 91st ARS was awarded the coveted General Carl A. Spaatz trophy for being the most outstanding air refueling squadron in the service from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caleb Nunez)

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla --

The 18th Air Force commander, Lt. Gen. GI Tuck, along with Chief Master Sgt. Todd Petzel, 18th AF command chief, visited MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, Nov. 14-16, 2017, to meet with Airmen, Spouses and families, and show appreciation for their hard work… not only across the globe, but also for the recent hurricanes in Florida and the Caribbean.

 

The visit is the first of twelve Tuck has accomplished as 18th AF commander.

 

MacDill AFB was instrumental during the federal response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The base was used as a staging area for aeromedical evacuation flights to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands after Hurricanes Irma and Maria and refueled E-3 Sentry aircraft providing air traffic control over Houston following Hurricane Harvey.  The base also supported relief missions following an earthquake in Mexico in September and refueled aircraft over Syria and Iraq in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE.

“The mission here at MacDill is vital to Air Mobility Command’s success,” said Tuck. “Think about this…without MacDill and what the people do on this base, an entire measure of capacity would not be available to support the war fight nor humanitarian operations.”

MacDill reports to 18th AF and provides support to their worldwide operational mission of providing rapid global mobility and sustainment for America's armed forces through air refueling, aeromedical evacuation and airlift.

Tuck said the impact MacDill Airmen have on the mission is felt not only locally, but around the world.

“It’s important to understand that there is a lot more going on when you see a plane in the pattern, folks working behind a desk or medical records being reviewed,” Tuck said.  “It all enables combat power. Everyone has a role in how they make this mission happen, and they ought to be made aware and thanked for enabling our rapid global mobility mission.”

During their visit, Tuck and Petzel met with Airmen from many different career fields, holding open discussions on current operations and feedback on processes and procedures.  He also took the time to visit the Child Development Centers and thanked the staff for their role in enabling mission success.

“I saw it throughout the installation, MacDill Airmen are continuously looking for process improvements and development opportunities,” said Petzel. “It is vitally important we develop not only ourselves, but one another, so we are better as an Air Force tomorrow than we are today.

The visit concluded with an “all call” where Tuck discussed SecAF and CSAF priorities and how they relate to 18 AF.  He also discussed unit deployments, tanker aircraft availability to combatant commands and Service requirements, and Air National Guard mobilization.  Finally, he and Petzel answered Airmen’s questions, ultimately thanking them for their service.

“You quietly go about your business and you deliver perfection each and every time,” said Tuck. “You’re flat tired, and I am humbled how you continue to make a difference around the world.  My hat’s off to the base, the team, and its leadership. Thanks for all of your hard work.”