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Sacrifices for freedom; some Team MacDill standouts

  • Published
  • By Col. Lenny Richoux
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing commander
Albert Einstein stated everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.

This week we saw the price paid for freedom in an unfortunate event where many of us have deployed or are deploying. We mourn with our partners at Special Operations Command headquartered on MacDill AFB who suffered through and were affected by the tragedy that took place in Afghanistan.

This thought fits the many around us who are working hard and seeing the efforts we've undertaken flourish because there is freedom to work to achieve our goals.

I want to congratulate 119 of our Airmen here who were selected for promotion to the rank of Staff Sergeant. Now more than ever Air Force noncommissioned officer leadership is critical to sustaining the force and moving us ahead.

Look at yourselves through a different lens and realize that your level of authority is keystone to our organizational structure. You're now the frontline of leadership for our Airman, and you're the ones providing the link between the commander's vision and how the orders are carried out on the ground. I realize you didn't make it there without having high standards. Thank you for serving with distinction, and I look forward to good things coming from each of you as you're promoted.

With your new leadership role remains the responsibility of being attentive in caring for and looking out for one another.

You don't have to attend a unit function to volunteer to be the designated driver. Look for the opportunity even if there are just two of you going out for an evening activity.

We're rounding the corner on the "101 Critical Days of Summer" period. Things are happening fast. As we continue to pursue providing good wingman cover, realize that we can't afford to let it slip--not for a moment.

As the summer heads toward back-to-school plans we have time for a few more great weekends. I want us to continue to host the neighborhood block parties this summer while we have time with our families before the school year starts. A few neighborhoods on the base have hosted potluck cookouts, and I've been to my neighborhood block party. Let's continue the neighborhood get-togethers and other family oriented activities, while we can.

Thanks to the Airmen and Family Readiness Center for Saturday's "Back to School Family Resiliency Fair", specifically Ms. Sonia Meier (along with Noah and Cody Meier), Ms. Lisa LaConte, Ms. Angie Fields and Ms. Kris Keyser. You all really hit it out of the park, and a lot of our school aged children walked away with a good start on the supplies they'll need for academic success. Twenty-one active duty volunteers and base youth pitched in to distribute more than 600 backpacks stuffed with school supplies.

More hard workers who deserve recognition are the members of the 6th Security Forces Squadron. The 6th SFS Investigations flight has scored huge successes recently, testifying in federal court to win four convictions and preventing several unauthorized weapons from being brought onto the installation. Detective Eddie Garcia, Detective Kevin Chambers, Staff Sgt. Manny Gonzalez, Staff Sgt. Bobby Grange and Staff Sgt. Kourtney Long have been working long, irregular hours helping to keep MacDill secure.
The 6th Comptroller Squadron Commander, Lt. Col. Brian Kehl deserves recognition for the work he and his staff did to keep our Air Mobility Command quarterly requirement for government travel payments on time. As a result of the combined effort from base commanders and the "first shirts" we received over $13 thousand dollars from our rebate incentive program for quality of life improvement projects.

Thanks to the 91st Air Refueling Squadron's Capt. Leah Sullivan for her outstanding work as a mission planner for the 2011 RED FLAG Alaska exercise. Capt. Sullivan expertly planned air refueling missions for over ten missions a day over the two week period of her participation. Her dedication and hard work were essential to the success of the exercise as a whole.

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