Honoring our History, Embracing Change, Exporting Excellence - Our Focus for 2022

  • Published
  • By Col. Craig Drescher
  • 908th Airlift Wing

A year ago this month I wrote in this publication, “As challenging as 2020 was, 2021 will be even more challenging.” I don’t always get things right, but you would be hard pressed to say 2021 wasn’t our most challenging year EVER! I’m incredibly proud of what you have accomplished this year and even more proud of how you did it working together. In May, I borrowed Maj. Gen. von Hoffman’s line of “exporting excellence” to describe the new higher standard you all set for Air Force Reserve Command. In working together, you lived out and personified our Core Value of Excellence In All We Do.

Your excellence was demonstrated by how you prepared your fellow Airmen for deployment. I believe the deployers were prepared to a higher level than we have ever trained before; and, it’s a good thing because many of our deployers had to perform at a higher level in life-threatening conditions. About two-thirds of our Airmen have returned home safely, we should all celebrate their safe return and reunion with their families. We have another large group returning early next month which will leave a few Airmen still scattered about the world. We will celebrate each and every one of you and your incredible accomplishments. The Outstanding Airmen of the Year Board is going to have a difficult task selecting winners from all of our great nominees this year, to be sure.

In September, I let you know that 2022 was going to be the year of the Airman. After we ensure the health and wellbeing of all of our Airmen and their families, we are going to make sure we focus on developing each Airman professionally and working to promote their careers. Much of that development must come from the individual Airman. Your job is to enter 2022 ready to boldly attack your personal requirements by advancing your skill level training, completing professional military education, and improving your Air Force knowledge and expertise. In short, when you enter the base for UTA, be ready to be fully engaged and improve yourself so you are ready to take on more responsibilities in our wing.

For many of us, the return of our four aircraft from deployment was bitter sweet. While overjoyed with pride for the accomplishments that they achieved while deployed, it’s sad to know it was the last tactical airlift deployment for our C-130s, maintainers and crews. Some of the Airmen have started training for our new flying mission and others have already or will soon transfer to new units. We plan to celebrate our 50 year tactical airlift mission in early April and soon after the last of our C-130s will leave the base for their new home. At that time, all of the Maintenance Group and Operations Group will shift their laser focus to our new mission as we become the formal training unit for the new MH-139 helicopter.

We just finished celebrating Thanksgiving, I’m thankful that you all choose every day to serve our country in the 908th Airlift Wing. I’m also very grateful that many are home safe and in a few short weeks almost all of you will be home again. Please take time to celebrate what you have accomplished this year. Because of you and your work, the 908th Airlift Wing went out and made a difference in our world. From Chief and I along with the entire front office and my family we wish all of you and your family a very happy holiday and a prosperous new year!