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You put on a first-class show

Colonel Vautrain

Colonel Steven Vautrain, 439th Airlift Wing Commander

WESTOVER AIR RESERVE BASE, Mass. -- The 2012 Great New England Air Show and Open House is now a memory.

I'd like to thank all of you for making it such a huge success - your hard work ensured we put on a first-class show! The local community, air show participants, and most importantly, our veterans, had nothing but praise for the way the men and women of the Patriot Wing treated them. I've heard from many sources that this was the best air show they had ever attended. Your attention to detail and caring attitude provided our guests with memories that will last a lifetime.

The end of the GNEAS also marked the end of my first year as your commander.

It's hard to believe that I have been your commander for a year; the time has flown by. There have been good times and bad times (mostly good), we have accomplished many things, and we have much to look forward to in the future. Challenged by severe weather, budgetary constraints, long deployments, and the prospect of Air Force structure changes, the Patriot Wing has answered each call to duty. You have accepted all of these challenges and proved time and again that you are the best wing in the Air Force Reserve, Leaders in Excellence.

The future brings fiscal uncertainty, proposed force structure changes, and constant demand for our services. We will most likely be faced with "continuing resolutions" from Congress as we begin the next fiscal year. Be patient while I, the wing finance staff, and your resource advisors do what we can to keep your hardearned pay flowing. The future of the Air Force structure is wrapped up in the ongoing budget discussion. Our elected representatives know how important Westover is to the local economy and national defense. Hopefully, we'll know by the end of March if the proposed changes to our wing will take effect.

The world is a busy place; the services of the Patriot Wing are in high demand. We will continue to do what we can through volunteerism, but the point may come when mobilization is required to fulfill an urgent need. Our national leaders will call upon us when the need arises, and we will be ready to answer that call.

Thank you for all that you do every day to support this great nation