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News > Commentary - Carrying the MacDill message to Capitol Hill; this week’s standouts
Carrying the MacDill message to Capitol Hill; this week’s standouts

Posted 5/25/2011   Updated 5/25/2011 Email story   Print story


Commentary by Col. Lenny Richoux
6th Air Mobility Wing commander

5/25/2011 - MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Last week I had the opportunity to brief U.S. Congress members on what we're doing here at MacDill and what we need to keep the mission going.

Visiting Capitol Hill to connect with the top decision-makers in this country is an honor and something I take very seriously. I had a chance to engage in dialogue with some of our elected officials to discuss our mission and how we comprehensively take care of the people, aircraft, technology assets and the missions we execute.

This base supports approximately 11,000 active-duty military and civilian workers, their families, and more than 6,000 military reserve and guard members. Additionally, there are more than 39,000 retirees and 6,800 surviving spouses living within a 50-mile radius of MacDill AFB who rely on services provided by MacDill AFB.

Our elected officials are busy and understand the importance of a strong national defense. Carrying our message to Congress to support you is important to me.

Now I want to recognize a few of the servicemembers who are carrying out the mission -- 1st Lt. Karl Bolt, 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Vehicle Management Flight commander, ensured his flight earned an "Outstanding" during the 2011 Logistics Compliance Assessment Program. Also, as the squadron safety officer, he led the squadron to its sixth consecutive safety award. Furthermore, Lieutenant Bolt secured the Wing Company Grade Officer of the quarter, 1st quarter 2011 while waiting to attend the Air Force Institute of Technology.

The 310th Airlift Squadron recently recognized the outstanding performance of Tech. Sgt. Kevin Yanders, C-37A communications system operator and 310th AS NCOIC of Scheduling. During a recent 6th Air Mobility Wing Information Assurance Assessment and Assistance Program inspection, Sergeant Yanders received a satisfactory rating, with zero discrepancies. Due to his outstanding attention to detail, the 310th Airlift Squadron communication security account was lauded by inspectors as "the benchmark for others to follow for COMSEC organization."

Recently, two crews from the 91st Air Refueling Squadron returned from Moron Air Base, Spain flying multiple air refueling missions in support of NATO forces during Operation Odyssey Dawn. They refueled multiple NATO receivers enforcing the no-fly zone. These crews were essential elements in providing Humanitarian Aid to the oppressed people of Libya. During their mission they offloaded approximately 90,000 pounds of fuel to NATO aircraft. In Crew One were Capt. Jeff Lascurain, Capt. Shawn Poche, and Staff Sgt. Kris Echols. In Crew Two were Maj. Joe Leeper, 1st Lt. Dave Chambers and Airman 1st Class Bobby Cash.

For the 6th Operations Group's "Knucklebuster" Annual Awards ceremony, I'd like to thank 1st Lt. Joshua Levine and Capt. Brandon Greenawalt and the 6th Operations Group Annual Awards committee for organizing a great event.

Kudos to the 6th Operations Group Outstanding Crew Chief Award winners -- Birmingham Air National Guard Base, the 99th Air Refueling Squadron's Staff Sgt. William Larenzo; the winner from Seymour Johnson AFB, 911th Air Refueling Squadron was Staff Sgt. Salvadore Cruz; and from MacDill's 91st Air Refueling Squadron, Staff Sgt. Ruben Mariscal. These top performers, along with the 24 other award winners, were recognized for their outstanding contributions to operations, aircraft and munitions maintenance.

I am proud to serve with you in the finest Air Mobility Wing on the face of the planet!

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