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Lightning Struck Twice

  • Published
  • By Colonel Daniel H. Tulley
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Commander
When I first arrived in Tampa in the summer of 1996…I could scarcely believe my good fortune. MacDill Air Force base was a “dream” assignment, in the best of locations, and I was a young aircraft commander flying the KC-135R around the world assigned to the 91st Air Refueling Squadron – the Bolts.

Twenty years later I will say goodbye to MacDill and Tampa once again. July 8th, 2016 will be my final day as the 6th Air Mobility Wing Commander. Words cannot express how I feel, but two will have to suffice: Thank You.

I have been humbled and privileged to serve alongside the Airmen of the 6th Air Mobility Wing. You are unmatched, and what you are capable of exceeds description. From fueling the fight against ISIL to providing strategic nuclear deterrence, you make rapid global mobility and global strike happen. You provide options for our President and the nation, and you take the fight to our enemies.

To Team MacDill, the 33 mission partners who call this place home including CENTCOM, SOCOM, MARCENT, SOCCENT, the 927th Air Refueling Wing partners, the Joint Communications Support Element, the Florida Air National Guard, NOAA and more: Together we succeed, together we win. It has been an honor to serve with you all - many organizations sharing one common bond, to protect and defend this great nation.

Thank you to our entire Tampa Bay community and MacDill’s many friends and neighbors. MacDill AFB is the heart of Tampa Bay, and for 75 years our Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen have benefited from this great community and its ongoing love affair with the military.

The real strength of this community is her people. In the past two years I simply could not shake every outstretched hand and accept every gracious offer to assist our men and women in uniform…and that is a great problem to have. I will forever be grateful to the men and women of this community for their open embrace and steadfast support.

When Lt Tulley arrived at MacDill AFB in 1996, I could not predict the profoundly positive impact my time here would have. Twenty years later, as Holly and I prepare to drive away with our family, I cannot help but smile as I reflect on what I have seen from my humble vantage point as the commander. The same great community exerting the same positive impact, the beneficiaries now thousands of service members and their families.

Thank you Tampa and Thank you MacDill AFB - I am lucky and I am blessed to have been a part of this community twice now.