The Hallmark of a Great Wing

  • Published
  • By Colonel Steven Vautrain
  • 439th Airlift Wing, Wing Commander
As we begin 2013, I'd like to thank the members of the Patriot Wing for another year of excellence. Your outstanding performance was recognized by Air Force Reserve Command multiple times during the past year.

Westover units earned four best-in-AFRC unit awards in 2012: Fire Department of the Year, Outstanding Aeromedical Staging Squadron; Outstanding Civil Engineer Unit, and Outstanding Communications Squadron. In addition, we had so many individual best-in-command awards there's not enough room for me to list them here.

As the crown jewel, Westover was selected by AFRC as the nominee for the 2013 Commander-in-Chief Annual Award for Installation Excellence. As Maj. Gen. Craig Gourley, AFRC Vice Commander, stated: "The outstanding performance of WARB as a premier installation has immeasurably contributed to the mission of Air Force Reserve Command and the nomination is well deserved. Congratulations to the fine airmen of Westover Air Reserve Base on a job well done!"

Clearly, you excel at accomplishing the mission, but there is more to the excellence of this wing than awards and mission success. You began 2012 by hosting the Kids of Courage in January and you finished 2012 by offering aid and comfort to our neighbors in New York and New Jersey following Hurricane Sandy. Through these and countless other acts of generosity, you have shown your true colors. Whether it was performing the first-ever deployment of a C-5 Expeditionary Airlift Squadron to Diego Garcia or hosting World War II veterans at the 2012 Great New England Airshow, you have done the job with dedication, professionalism and compassion.

Our units continue to support the community through volunteer efforts such as the 337th AS serving holiday meals to more than 500 senior citizens in Chicopee. It is important to be mission oriented, but to be mission-oriented and also have the compassion to use your valuable free time to help others in need is the hallmark of a truly remarkable group of people.

I'm confident that the Patriot Wing will begin 2013 prepared to conquer whatever challenges are thrown our way. We will strive to be prepared for expected challenges, but we will also be prepared for unexpected challenges. We will face the challenges of 2013 as a team and I'm certain that we will continue to prove that we are the best wing in AFRC. Thank you for your service to our country, and thank you for all that you do every day to assist others. You are truly Leaders in Excellence!