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Outstanding teamwork; some team standouts

  • Published
  • By Col. Scott DeThomas
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing commander
As we enter the long holiday weekend, I ask each of you to keep our neighbors to the north dealing with the effects of Hurricane Isaac in your thoughts.

Although the Tampa Bay area was spared, many are in need of assistance as a result of the storm's devastation. We must not forget the havoc that Mother Nature can wreak on entire cities and states. Also, please remember safety and good judgment as the Critical Days of Summer come to an end.

Reflecting on the past week's activities, I can truly say I am thoroughly impressed with every member of the entire team here at MacDill Air Force Base. From the moment the storm tracks were first published until the area was declared safe and out of harm's way, Team MacDill was ready.

It was great to watch the incredible teamwork and cooperation of every member on MacDill, to include our 38 mission teammates. You immediately went to work preparing our aircraft and base for the storm's arrival. Initially, you opened the base to our teammates from the Puerto Rico Air National Guard who sought refuge during the initial phases of the storm. You made room for nine C-130s and 100 personnel and ensured the highest level of support a deploying unit could ask for. Your hard work and tireless efforts ensured the safe launch and recovery of 12 KC-135s and three C-37s. You effectively maintained our mission commitments from airfields in Tennessee and New Hampshire.

All the while, you prepared the base for the impending storms and ensured our neighbors were safe and secure. You demonstrated the highest levels of professionalism across the entire enterprise and surpassed all expectations of standards and safety. You showed the world MacDill is always ready by taking care of our Airmen, mission and community.

The 6th Air Mobility Wing and the 927th Air Refueling Wing are now less than 73 days away from our Consolidated Unit Inspection. Are you ready? That is one question we need every person in the wing to answer. We already know you can do your job. You prove that every day, but a CUI ensures you are doing your job correctly and legally. The American taxpayers have entrusted us to not only protect this great nation, but do so in a manner that is professional, transparent where applicable, and complies with all local, state and federal laws. Preparation is the key to a successful CUI.

Preparation leads to maintaining a culture of compliance and meeting mission requirements. Compliance with applicable directives should not be based solely on an upcoming inspection, but integrated into our daily mission. So, are you ready? If you are not sure how to answer that question, speak with your supervisor today - don't wait. There is a checklist waiting for you.

With everything going on around base, we must take time to recognize our professional Airmen and the great things they accomplish daily. Airman 1st Class Jon Mickiewicz, 6th Maintenance Squadron, is an airman to watch. Mickiewicz has been with us for two years, and he's already performing like a seasoned professional. During an alarm activation he seized the initiative to tow a $39.9 million aircraft in less than five minutes. He also led a four-man team during a complex maintenance operation. In the meantime, he is working diligently on his Community College of the Air Force associate degree. Keep up the good work, Jon. He's not the only one.

Airman 1st Class Daniella Nyarko, 6th Dental Squadron, has been working hard to improve the base's dental readiness rate and has MacDill at a six-year high in dental readiness. Not only is her hard work being noticed on-base, but off-base she is a Big Sister for a 9-year-old, volunteers at the Museum of Science and Industry and is also an active member of the Junior Enlisted Council. Way to go Daniella!

Staff Sgt. Chanel Shaheed, 6th Medical Operations Squadron, has taken over training operations in the medical operations squadron. She consistently pushes the medical group on wartime skills and training. She is a volunteer with Tampa Feeds America, where she sorted more than 200 pounds of food. She also was a vital team member in setting up the Technical Sergeant Release Party.

Maj. Daniel Britton, Maj. Brett Hoover, Master Sgt. Nicholas Gomez, Tech. Sgt. Jason Kelly, and Tech. Sgt. Scott Polito, 310th Airlift Squadron, exhibited true teamwork while the U.S. Special Operations Command commander's aircraft was being repaired.

The crew members expeditiously returned from a cross-country chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff mission and delivered the SOCOM commander to his destination. This was a total team effort from planning to execution. The scheduling team made sure all waivers and orders were taken care of, the flight attendant team coordinated meals, and the crew overcame weather issues and flew a maximum duty day. Now that is taking care of the mission -- well done!

Thanks for all you do!