Looking back while leaning forward to change

  • Published
  • By Col. Randal L. Bright
  • 911th Airlift Wing
With only a few more days left in 2006 I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the 911th Airlift Wing for your service throughout the past year.
In 2006 you saw many challenges and performed admirably through the Unit Compliance Inspection, Maintenance Standardization and Evaluation Program, and Health Services Inspection and that was just in the month of June. Then in July you followed up with another phenomenal air show.
Throughout the year you stepped up and volunteered for numerous Aerospace Expeditionary Force rotations representing the 911th and serving our nation. To date we have had 560 mobilized since 2001.
Today our Reservists can be found working in numerous areas of responsibility throughout the world. All of you should be proud of the work you have done, whether it be at home or deployed. Your efforts have been noticed and I am proud of you.
As the New Year approaches it will continue on a course lead by change. Last month alone we said goodbye to two commanders and our command chief. Our first to move on was Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Jim Fields who was selected to serve as the 22nd Air Force Command Chief.
His departure afforded me the opportunity to convene a selection process to select our new Command Chief. I am proud to say that Chief Master Sgt. John Payne from our Security Forces Squadron was selected as our new Command Chief.
Operations Group Commander, Col. Steve Clayton will return to Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. to assume the duties as the 94th Operations Group commander. His previous experience with the C-130 school house there provided the experience and skills that the command was looking for at Dobbins.
In his place I recently selected Lt. Col. Frank Amodeo, who served as the 439th Operations Group deputy commander at Westover ARB, Mass. Lt. Col. Amodeo will begin settling in this December.
Lastly, we bid farewell to Col. Patricia Blassie at the change of command ceremony held during the November UTA. Col. Blassie leaves Pittsburgh for the Pentagon where she will serve as the Executive Officer to Lt. Gen. John A.Bradley, Commander Air Force Reserve Command.
As a result of Col. Blassie's departure we welcome Lt. Col. Mike McCully who comes to us from Peterson Air Force Base, Co. as our new Mission Support Group commander.
When you see these new faces out and about please take the time to welcome them as the newest members of the 911th family.
As you read this Flyover, you will have already had the opportunity to celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday. I hope that your holiday was safe and uneventful and that you were able to spend time with friends and family and to give thanks for this great nation that we serve and live in.
It is for folks, such as yourselves, that we can exercise our constitutional rights, such as our right to elect our leaders as witnessed on November 7. Many nations around the world do not have these types of liberties and we owe our thanks to you all for preserving that right by defending this nation. I thank you and I am proud of you!
Amy and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you Happy Holiday Seasons and we hope that you get to spend this time with family and friends and to give thanks for living in a free country that allows you to spend your holidays whichever way your religion celebrates or that you feel inclined to celebrate.
Again, thank you for the service that you provide for our nation and I am honored to be your commander.