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We are all ambassadors; some of this week's team standouts

  • Published
  • By Col. Lenny Richoux
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing commander
As I serve my country I'm finding that the Air Force affords all of us at some point the chance to live as effective local community members or international ambassadors.

I often discuss my tour at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, with fond appreciation for what that tour allowed me to see and how I developed from serving abroad. Many of you can relate to the experience of serving overseas and many of us capitalize on the social exposure to other cultures and broadened experience we and our families gained. This week I had the opportunity to grasp the importance of international relationships by meeting with and hosting on our base the Japanese navy contingent that visited Tampa.

I had the honor of meeting with Rear Adm. Umio Otsuka, the commander of Japan's Training Squadron, several commanding officers of Japanese ships visiting the port of Tampa, and 175 newly commissioned Japanese cadets during a tour of the base.

The fellowship among allies is a phenomenal experience and I treasure the fact that each of us, as U.S. servicemembers, have the power to forge local and international relationships simply because we serve our great nation at home and beyond our borders.

Individual bonds and relationships can have huge effects on our communities locally and in international settings. I know many of you have seen the effects of outreach and individual involvement first hand, and you know for yourselves the power of individual effort. Sometimes individual efforts are needed to raise awareness about topics that mutually affect us all.

I want to thank all of you for being a part of the processes and mechanisms that help us to change for the better. If you're communicating your concerns through normal feedback forums or with your peers, or if you're directly getting leadership involved-thank you for talking and thanks to those leaders who are listening.

Our quarterly award winners for the second quarter of 2011 were announced last week and again, thanks to those leaders who are recognizing you all. It is important to recognize that a big part of what we accomplish is supported by the group and squadron-level leadership.

The winners were 6th Mission Support Group's Airman 1st Class Eduardo Flores; 6th Security Forces Squadron's Tech. Sgt. Christopher Velez; from 6th Operations Group, Master Sgt. Jaimie Miller; 6th Mission Support Group's Senior Airman Remington Burnette; the Legal Office's Staff Sgt. Frank Castro; 6th Comptroller Squadron's 1st Lt. Ryan Abel; 6th Mission Support Group's Kevin Chambers; and Staci Vileta from the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.

Great job to the Airmen, senior noncommissioned officers, company grade officers and civilians who are sustaining an unbelievable ops tempo and maintaining high standards while excelling in off-duty pursuits.

Recognition was also deservedly earned by Staff Sgt. Thomas Armstead who is a recent re-trainee into the contracting career field and has quickly become a star in the 6th Contracting Squadron. Staff Sgt. Armstead procured audio-visual and video teleconference equipment for the Joint Special Operations University which enabled the schoolhouse to provide critical mandated training while saving $30,000 per seminar.

Staff Sgt. Stephanie Vega from the 6th Operations Support Squadron has consistently risen to the occasion as a wing scheduler in the 6th OSS.

Recently, she fielded a tasking from 6th AMW's higher headquarters and coordinated with five AMC and base-wide agencies, as well as overcame technical problems to execute the tasking. Her professional and technical conduct allowed the seamless allocation of aircraft and aircrew on very short-notice resulting in the successful accomplishment of an extremely high priority mission.

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