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Thank you to the MacDill Air Force Base community

  • Published
  • By U.S. Army Col. Kirby Watson
  • Joint Communications Support Element commander
On behalf of the soldiers, sailors, Airmen and Marines of the Joint Communications Support Element, I want to reach out to the MacDill Air Force Base community, acknowledge and thank you for the support you continue to provide the JCSE.

The JCSE has been a part of the MacDill community for 50 years helping to shape our country's history--from Desert One to Desert Storm, from support to humanitarian and disaster relief efforts in Haiti, Pakistan and Japan most recently, to providing mission-essential communications support in the most remote locations around the world in our struggle against terrorism.

As the commander, I am very proud of all this organization has done, is doing every day and the sacrifice our service members and their families endure. After 25 years of service I am still amazed at the quality of service members and the families which our all-volunteer force retains. I am humbled by the same level of support communities like the Tampa Bay area have been providing for years.

JCSE has celebrated many victories and has had its share of losses as well, yet through it all it there has always been the steadfast assurance of the MacDill community coming together to help us through those events.

From U.S. Central Command, US Special Operations Command and the 6th Air Mobility Wing to the community of Tampa Bay, JCSE has been blessed to have great teammates marching side by side with us every step of the way.

We are more than teammates; we are friends, neighbors and classmates. We sit side by side at sporting events, movies, chapel services, school and other local community gatherings. You cry with us at family events to say goodbye to our deploying service members. You help take care of our spouses and families while we are gone and you are there again to laugh, smile and welcome us home. You have even been there to help escort and say goodbye to those we have lost. We could never ask for this kind of support, it is given freely and with open hearts.

To call MacDill and the Tampa Bay community our friends doesn't seem to capture the wealth and depth of your support to our service members and their families. To all those that have been on this 50-year journey with JCSE, Command Sgt. Maj. Lemuel Brock and I want to express our deepest gratitude for allowing us to be part of this great community.

The more I think about it, the more I can only describe this enduring relationship