I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I have the greatest job in the Air Force. I have a front row seat to witness amazing work accomplished daily by the men and women of Team Ramstein, and I’m looking forward to the accomplishments we will achieve together in 2015.
With six groups, 27 squadrons and several staff functions working in harmony with our tenant units, the 86th Airlift Wing continued to prove why it’s a power projection platform enabling mission success for the Air Force, Department of Defense, and our NATO allies and partners throughout 2014.
Looking back, 2014 was a busy and rewarding year for Team Ramstein. Regardless of the challenges we faced, our Airmen showed their dedication to the mission time after time. I want to take a moment and reflect on some key events in which we participated in 2014.
In June and September, Ramstein Airmen were honored to participate in events celebrating the 70th anniversary of D-Day and Operation Market Garden. We were humbled as we reminisced with World War II veterans who participated in the original battles.
Ramstein also reconnected with a piece of history when an original Douglas C-47 Skytrain, called Whiskey 7, returned to mainland Europe after taking part in D-Day operations more than 70 years ago. We also connected with two veteran pilots with legacy ties to our own 37th Airlift Squadron.
Throughout 2014, Team Ramstein continued to support Operation Atlantic Resolve demonstrating the United States’ commitment to our NATO allies and European partners throughout the region. As the Air Force’s projection platform in Europe, Ramstein hosted more than a dozen C-130J and C-17 aircraft from two continents and six states providing tactical airlift for Steadfast Javelin II.
Ramstein also worked with our Polish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian counterparts to support U.S. European Command as we continued to strengthen partnerships in Eastern Europe. To this day, we support this vital mission and look forward to future successes in 2015.
Currently, we continue to support Ebola outbreak efforts in Western Africa. In October, Team Ramstein launched its first mission in support of Operation United Assistance, working with U.S. Africa Command and the U.S. Agency for International Development to deliver much needed support.
While 2014 brought challenges and successes for the wing, I’m sure 2015 will bring transformation and new opportunities to set the standard for excellence.
Regardless of what we face, we will tackle it together as a team. I’m confident Team Ramstein working together cohesively can prevail in any situation.
I challenge every Airman — officer, enlisted, civilian — to remain faithful to our organization and our Air Force. Take pride in the uniform we wear and the duty we perform on behalf of our great Nation. Guided by our Core Values and inspired by those who paved the way for us all, we can make a lasting legacy for an enduring peace in Europe and around the world. Let us strengthen our resolve to put all of our efforts into having a great year.
Thank you for what you do every day to keep America and its allies and partners safe.