Members of the 86th Airlift Wing welcomed their new commander Aug. 17 on Ramstein.
Brig. Gen. Jon T. Thomas relinquished his command of the 86 AW to Brig. Gen. Richard G. Moore Jr. in a ceremony at the dual bay hangar.
“Leaders come and go, but organizations endure,” Thomas said. “One of the reasons why successful organizations endure is because of their culture. If you get the culture of the organization right, success in all its forms will follow.
“In this wing there is a culture of innovation: to overcome challenges and become better,” Thomas added.
Lt. Gen. Timothy M. Ray, 3rd Air Force commander, presided over the ceremony and highlighted the achievements of the 86 AW under the command of Thomas.
One of the successes Ray highlighted was the role the wing played in supporting the evacuation of military dependents from Turkey.
“It was a stellar display of teamwork and support,” Ray said. “When you could see the satisfaction and comfort on all those families’ faces, and to get all those cards and letters saying, ‘thank you for taking care of us,’ that’s the stuff that makes us a great Air Force. Thank you so much for what you’ve done.”
Thomas thanked the Airmen of the 86 AW for their service during his time in command and expressed excitement for starting a new chapter in his career.
”You have gotten the mission done. You have led our Airmen,” Thomas said. “You have made a difference every day, well done.”
Moore expressed his deep appreciation for the wing’s partnership with the local German community.
“These are turbulent times, and our world is changing in ways that we may not care for. Our collective future is anything but certain,” Moore said. “We have all been entrusted with the responsibility for sustaining and preserving, for our children and grandchildren, the ideals upon which our nations were founded. This to be sure is a difficult task, and lesser people might shrink from it.
“We, however, will not,” Moore continued, speaking in German to an audience that contained dozens of community partners and host nation military officials. “We will stand side by side and face whatever challenges stand in our way, and I know that no matter what obstacle we will encounter, together we will be victorious.”
Ray expressed how pleased he was to have the Moore family, to include his wife, Kristin, and son, Mitchell, join the wing.
“The 86th AW is one of the most important wings in the U.S. Air Force, and because of that, we bring only the very best leaders,” Ray said. “Rest assured, we bring you another great leader. We certainly hope your time here at Ramstein is as good as it is for all of us.”
Although the commander of the 86 AW has changed, the work continues, Moore said.
“(Brig. Gen.) Thomas demanded a great deal from you, and I will ask no less,” Moore said. “In return, I pledge to you to give my all every day, to procure for you and to provide for you the resources needed to ensure success.
“There can be no group of Airmen in the entire world that we would rather serve than you,” Moore continued. “Our Air Force and our nation are counting on us, and together we’ll deliver. Now let’s get to work.”