38th CSW celebrates 2nd anniversary

Capt. Erin Dorrance
Kaiserslautern American

The 38th Combat Support Wing stood up in May of 2004 with only five people and no computers, building furniture or phones.  In two years, it has developed into a 2,900-person wing with a $350 million budget.

Gen. (ret.) Robert “Doc” Foglesong, former U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, created the 38th CSW to ensure support for personnel assigned to 31 geographically separated units in nine countries located throughout Europe.

One of the biggest honors to the wing was being awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award from May 25, 2004, through Oct. 31, 2005.

“The men and women of the 38th CSW should be very proud of their accomplishments,” said Col. Earl Matthews, 38th CSW commander. “The wing performs a diverse mission and the entire 38th CSW team has sustained a high level of readiness which deserves this recognition.  Col. Jack Briggs (38th CSW vice commander) and I are proud to have joined a team that is being recognized for taking PRIDE in their work.”

The 38th CSW has had several accomplishments over the past two years, including: training more than 1,200 mid-level combat warriors along with nearly 2,000 Airmen during seven Silver Flag exercises, giving Airmen crucial training needed for deployments, completing 92 projects in 11 countries totaling $22.4 million, receiving USAFE’s “Best ever” Nuclear Surety Inspection, supporting more than 93,000 missions and 54,000 passengers in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, providing MPF and financial support to more than 1,500 Air Force members assigned to NATO, garnering best large contracting squadron in the Air Force and best antiterrorism program in the Department of Defense, and going from last to first in USAFE for CSIP.

Coming together as a wing has been an important step in the 38th CSW’s success.

“I believe our greatest accomplishment has been the ability to take almost 30 individual squadrons, flights and small remote teams and put them under one wing,” said Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Westermeyer, 38th CSW command chief.  “This has provided them with a team identity and a mission statement that fits our uniqueness.  ‘Diverse mission, common goals’ says it all.” 

Beyond having a common identity, strong leadership has taken the wing down a successful path.

“The wing has outstanding leadership from our groups, flights and all the way down the chain to the small teams operating at remote locations across Europe,” he said.