By Col. Brian Robinson
19th Airlift Wing commander
Black Knights and Team Little Rock!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
You and your families are amazing, and this year has been incredibly successful for Team Little Rock. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. Thank you for your continuous accomplishments in executing the mission and defending our great land; you are truly inspiring. I would like to offer a special thanks to those who will work through the holidays, both at home and deployed. Those in harm’s way and their loved ones at home are especially in our thoughts this time of year.
2012 has been a significant year in the lives of Team Little Rock Airmen, their families and our community. Maureen and I thank you and your loved ones for your service and recognize the sacrifices each of you have made to ensure the safety and effectiveness of Team Little Rock.
I would like to highlight a few events from the past year. These events were only successful due to the teamwork and dedication of our Airmen, their families and our community partners. The First Lady’s visit recognized our base’s leadership and development to the DoD Food Transformation Initiative. You executed multiple changes of command, including Col. Brewer’s and my own; we could not have received a warmer welcome. You planned and implemented a world class air show with zero mishaps, record attendance and featured our international, DoD, Air Force and TLR mission. Furthermore, the base was awarded the Dick Schram Memorial Community Relations Award, which is presented each year to the military base that in planning and implementing its air show, not only exhibits traditional community relations as it considers the needs of its civilian neighbors, but sets new standards of excellence in this area by including its community in the planning and execution of the event. We furthered our already strong relationship with the community through a joint effort to display one of our very own C-130s at the Jacksonville-Little Rock Air Force Base University Center. Currently the 314th AW and the 189th AW are undergoing a Consolidated Unit Inspection, during which they are showcasing their plans, programs, procedures and most of all their Airmen. Thank you for the team approach in making sure our partners were enabled for success.
Combat Airlifters will continue to make a global impact in the weeks, months and year ahead. At any given time this year TLR has approximately 500-600 Airmen deployed. The deployments show no sign of stopping; more than 200 Airmen are scheduled to deploy in the upcoming months. The 314th Airlift Wing’s Center of Excellence trained approximately 1,500 C-130 crew members this year to support DoD and international tactical airlift requirements.
Our successes and challenges this year have brought out and showcased the best wingmen, leaders and supportive friends and family the Air Force has to offer. I remind each and everyone one of you to adhere to our core values and the highest standards of professionalism. This is not optional. All Airmen are encouraged to courageously lead by example, by taking care of themselves and those around them. The term Wingman stems from a time-honored tradition that essentially says a “lead” pilot will never lose his/her Wingman, and the formation’s success depends a great deal on the Wingman. It’s a promise, a pledge, a commitment between Airmen.
May this holiday season be a time of happiness, health and amity for you and your families. It’s an honor to serve alongside the Airmen and families of Little Rock Air Force Base at home and abroad. In 2013, we look forward to every effort we know we’ll see to win the fight, strengthen the team and shape the future!