Thank you and carry on

by Brig. Gen. C.K. Hyde
86th Airlift Wing commander

As both an Airman and a commander, I have witnessed and taken part in countless change of command ceremonies. With each ceremony, I am struck with the symbolism and transitions that take place with the passing of the colors, the formation of the troops, and the first and final salutes.

Team Ramstein’s Airmen have hosted multiple changes of command this summer. Thousands of Airmen from the 86th Airlift Wing and our partners supported the ceremonies, displaying our core values of excellence and service before self. Thank you for your efforts in the flawless execution, and for making the Gateway to Eurasia, Africa and the Middle East shine.

There are too many individuals to thank by name in a short article, but I’d like to mention a few groups who represent the many who made these events happen.
Our logistics readiness Airmen accomplished miracles to execute the moves of senior leaders despite tight timelines and shifting dates, while continuing to provide outstanding support to the KMC during one of the busiest permanent change of station seasons in decades. This summer, an additional 900 Army families are moving due to the movement of two brigade combat teams from Germany, and you handled the additional load with outstanding customer service. Well done.

Our wing and partner protocol teams are simply the best. You support thousands of no-fail visits every year and made a unique “multi-flag” change of command look routine — something it definitely was not. More than 2,000 wing Airmen hit the sidewalks, roads, parking lots and their work areas to pull weeds, pick up trash and “polish” Ramstein. The base looked awesome. Thank you for your hard work, pride and professionalism. Your efforts inspired us to develop a comprehensive base pride plan that will sustain the teamwork and build on the standards you have set.

I could go on — set up teams, security, food service, transient alert. The list of professionals who make Ramstein “happen” is unending. Thank you for making us the biggest, baddest and, most importantly, the best. On behalf of all those you serve, thank you.

Carry On
There is a resurgent British World War II slogan that is popular on post cards in England, “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

In a typical British understated way, it conveys the determination to see the mission through to completion. We have made a great start in 2012 with our focus on the “Year of Readiness,” but we’re not done yet; we need to keep calm and carry on.

Maintaining readiness to fight at any moment and making sure our fellow Airmen have confidence in the wingmen standing next to them during mission execution, at home station or forward deployed, is our responsibility. Airmen are our most important weapon system, and we must hone our skills at the individual, unit and
installation levels to be ready when called to action.

As Airmen, our purpose is to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace. As a part of the 86th AW, our mission is to provide combat airlift and operate the Air Force’s premier installation to enable and assure strategic capabilities.

Ask yourself what is your purpose; how do you contribute to our wing, base and Air Force missions? The profession of arms is a team endeavor and every Airman’s contribution is essential to our readiness and success.

In September, we will test Team Ramstein’s strength in an ambitious operational readiness exercise at Ramstein and a deployed location outside Germany.
We will focus on individual and unit war-fighting skills and integrate our capabilities into a broader operational construct. We have many new faces on our team — keep calm, carry on with a readiness focus, and let’s train like we fight. Your leadership makes a difference in delivering combat power from USAFE’s premier power projection platform.

Thank you for all you do to keep the good ship Ramstein mission ready. Carry on!


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