Commander’s welcome, reflection

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Mark Dillon
  • KMC and 86th Airlift Wing commander
As I conclude my first month of command, I'd like to take a moment to thank all the men and women of the Team Ramstein, the Kaiserslautern Military Community and our gracious hosts in the local community for the warm welcome. My family and I have been overwhelmed by the incredible reception we have received since our arrival.

I am in awe of the professionalism you display every day. I couldn't have asked to come into a wing better prepared for success than the mighty 86th.

We remain extremely busy, both deploying Airmen and accomplishing our tremendously important home-station mission of providing world-class combat airlift, DV transport, expeditionary combat support and quality of life services for the entire KMC, and I am humbled by you and your family's selfless sacrifice.

Even though we are busy, it is important that we take time to reflect on where we've been, on our proud airpower heritage that began 61 years ago, and those events in our past that have altered the way we operate today.

We are approaching the anniversary of one such event, which took place eight years ago.
The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, undoubtedly had, and continues to have, a world-wide impact. Each of us can recall exactly where we were and what we were doing as the hours passed that terrible morning and it became evident that it was not just a horrible accident, but a deliberate attack on our country.

It was a day that all of us will never forget. It set our nation on a course to war against radical extremists and we have been engaged in that war for nearly eight years. During that time our Airmen have accomplished incredible feats against an unforgiving enemy - they have lived by their creed and have answered their nation's call.

From serving as a major deployment hub for our military members, to caring for more than 50,000 wounded warriors, Team Ramstein has played a huge role in this fight.

These past eight years have shown that we are our nation's sword and shield, its sentry and avenger, and will defend her with their lives. More than 5,100 military personnel have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation, including several members of the KMC and Team Ramstein.

I know you are busy, but please take the time to honor those who have given and continue to give while renewing your commitment to the freedom of our great nation. That commitment will ensure we will never falter and we will not fail.

Team Ramstein, thank you and your families for your sacrifice, your unwavering spirit, and continued dedication to our important mission. My first month here has been absolutely superb and I am honored for the opportunity to serve with each and every one of you.