Thursday, November 8, 2012

TOP STORY>>Rock Airmen shine during 18th AF commander’s visit

By 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, the 18th Air Force commander, recently visited with Airmen and leaders here to express his thanks and admiration.

“The 19th Airlift Wing has a culture of getting things done. You do more than is expected of you every day and you do it well.” said McDew.

McDew, along with his wife, Evelyn, attended numerous briefs, facility tours and ceremonies during their visit. The two saw Team Little Rock’s mission firsthand and applauded the hard work of the team’s Airmen, civilians, and families who contribute to keep the mission of the world’s largest C-130 base soaring.

“Little Rock has exceptional leaders,” said McDew. “I was impressed with all of the commanders, the chiefs, and first sergeants that I had a chance to engage with, but that was just the beginning. I was blown away by the everyday Airman and when the commanders put me in front of them – they left me speechless.”

During an all call with 19th AW Airmen, McDew talked about the future of mobility forces. “The only thing I can tell you for certain is, the next five years will be different than the last five years,” he said, adding that the one constant in coming years would be the exceptionalism of America’s Airmen.

“Airmen are bold innovators,” he said. “They’re risk takers, our founding fathers were too. Airmen bring a different mindset to the fight, one that’s invaluable to the joint team.”

McDew also noted the importance of resiliency for today’s Airmen.

“Find some way in your life to stay connected to your personal morals and values. Believe thattomorrow is always going to be better than yesterday. Don’t be afraid to get to know your wingman, and don’t be afraid to be a bit interested in their lives. Sometimes, just asking the question, ‘hey, how are you doing?’ and waiting to hear the response is important,” he said.

McDew also explained that one of the great strengths of Team Little Rock was its relationship with the surrounding community. The base’s history is rooted in a strong bond with local citizens, who purchased the land for the base from the government in the 1950s.

“This community sets the standard for how well they treat service members.” he said. “They care about you; they respect you greatly. I think they do an exceptional job of thinking about ways they could help you before you even ask.”

McDew said his visit to Little Rock was important because it gave him the opportunity to say “thank you” to his 19th AW Airmen, and he summed up his and his wife’s visit with one word: “phenomenal.”

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