The best never rest

by Brig. Gen. Mark Dillon
86th Airlift Wing commander

“We are what we repeatedly do…excellence, then, is not an act, but a

habit…” ― Aristotle

Nearly 2,500 years ago, Greek philosopher Aristotle knew that excellence isn’t an act but an every day event. Today, the 4,000 men and women of the 86th Mission Support Group demonstrate excellence every day. Their customer focused habits provide outstanding mission support to nearly 50,000 Americans across the KMC and across Europe. 

And their new commander, Col. Mike Monson, is exactly the right Airman to lead these talented MSG professionals in the challenging and dynamic European theater. As we welcome Colonel Monson to the KMC, it’s appropriate that we remind ourselves how much we rely on his 86th MSG.  

The 86th MSG area of operations is significantly larger than the KMC. From the U.K. to Turkey, they manage 193 facilities in seven countries. The 86th MSG executes 40 percent of the annual U.S. Air Forces in Europe operations and maintenance budget. Their dining facilities serve 8,000 meals every week. Their squadrons register 50,000 vehicles, make 20,000 military ID cards, manage 1,500 lodging rooms, give 4,500 weighted Airmen promotion system tests, bring 2,500 computers online and move 60 million pounds of mail across 91 countries every year. Colonel Monson’s security forces drive more than 1 million miles every year across Rheinland-Pfalz.  

Last year alone, they opened the Air Force’s only deployment transition center, which has helped 1,800 Airmen transition from combat conditions back to “normal” life. Recently, the DTC hosted its first U.S. Marine Corps class. Colonel Monson’s professionals have managed a 37 percent increase in daily traffic on base since the opening of the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center, and they received “Excellent” ratings across the board in our operational readiness inspection last fall.

So, the next time you drive through the gates, go bowling, golfing, swimming or work out at our world-class fitness centers, attend an intramural or kid’s sporting event, turn on your computer at work, just remember there are hundreds of MSG warrior/Airmen behind the scenes doing amazing work every day. Welcome Col. Mike Monson to the 86th Airlift Wing team. My hat’s off to the men and women of the 86th MSG. You know what Aristotle knew 2,500 years ago ― excellence is indeed a habit. Thank you and the 86th MSG for support all of us across the KMC and across Europe.