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Condolences; great teamwork and this week's standouts

  • Published
  • By Col. Lenny Richoux
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing commander
First, I'd like to offer sincere condolences to the family and friends of fallen hero Army Private First Class Michael C. Mahr who received a dignified return at MacDill Air Force Base last week.

Last week's high winds and rain wreaked a torrent of tree branches and debris all over the streets and sidewalks. I saw quite a few of you out with trash bags picking up the common areas, lawns and walkways. There were also groups of you cleaning the beach along the bay. Many of you came together to clean up around the base and as a result the base looks great! Thanks for your time and effort. It was a nice impression to make as we hosted our Air Mobility Command Phoenix Rally distinguished guests -- kudos to the 6th AMW Protocol Office for their exceptional work supporting that, as well.

Barring one day of extreme weather, we had a pretty clear week. As the days get longer consider other opportunities to get together to volunteer and improve the community.

One of our core values is "Service Before Self." Service doesn't begin and end with our jobs. It begins with selfless contributions that aren't motivated by personal benefit. I encourage you to take this to heart and become that community of Airmen who don't mind serving your fellow wingman without getting credit or recognition.

You never know if that neighbor or deployed member's spouse is too busy to ask, and your helping hand saves them from unseen hardship. I believe we can become a community of charity so that no one feels alone or left out. It's about taking care of one another and our community. I've seen you do it. It's a matter of character, and I appreciate it. Now more than ever, personal relationships, analog leadership, and supervisor involvement are key as we navigate turbulent waters and maintain a high operations tempo.

Starting off this week's shout-outs, we're extremely proud of 6th Operations Group's Senior Airman Kristina Zacherl for winning the 2010 Air Mobility Command Outstanding Airmen of the Year Award.

Recently, an aircraft received a lightning strike while approaching MacDill AFB. In true "total force integration" Tech. Sgt. Kevin McGrath, a 927th AMXS crew chief, was hand-picked to perform a thorough inspection of the aircraft. Leading a team of specialists, they identified the entry point and more than 30 lightning exit points all over the KC-135 airframe. The lightning damage included virtually every aircraft antenna, numerous rivets on the wing and body, and involved specialists from the AMXS and MXS to make the extensive repairs. The level of professionalism exhibited by Sergeant McGrath and all of the other mechanics is key to maintaining the health and availability of our tanker fleet.

Congratulations to Senior Airman David Poppe, 6th Contracting Squadron and member of Airman Leadership School Class 11-C for earning the coveted John L. Levitow Award.

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