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Congratulations Team Pope

  • Published
  • By Col. Timothy Zadalis
  • 43rd Airlift Wing Commander
I want to start off with a big congratulations to all the annual award winners, including 43rd Airlift Wing Airman of the Year, Senior Airman Rebekah Diky, 43rd Mission Support Group; 43rd AW NCO of the Year, Tech. Sgt. Chris Oatman, 43rd MSG; 43rd AW Senior NCO of the Year, Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Poole, 43rd Operations Group; 43rd AW Company Grade Officer of the Year, Capt. Andrew Garcia, 43rd Maintenance Group; 43rd AW Squadron of the Year, 43rd Security Forces Squadron; Pope Airman of the Year, Staff Sgt. David Orvosh, 21st Special Tactics Squadron; Pope NCO of the Year, Staff Sgt. Jonathon McCoy, 24th Special Tactics Squadron; Pope Senior NCO of the Year, Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Poole, 43rd OG; Pope CGO of the Year, Capt. Stewart Parker, 21st STS; Pope Volunteer of the Year, Master Sgt. Stephen Pederson, 43rd MSG; Pope Category I Civilian of the Year Chad Chavers, 43rd MSG; Pope Category II Civilian of the Year, Tim Bosch, 43rd MSG; Pope Ceremonial Knight of the Year, Senior Airman John Vaccaro, 43rd MSG; and Pope First Sergeant of the Year, Master Sgt. Thomas Gillard, 43rd OG. 

We couldn't have had such a wonderful event without all of our sponsors, in particular Mayor Ethel Clark, Alderman James O'Garra and the entire town of Spring Lake for their tremendous support of Team Pope. Thanks also go out to our other sponsors: USAA, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, GEICO, Pope Company Grade Officers Council, Pope Chiefs Group, Pope Top 3 Association, First Citizens Bank, Air Force Sergeants Association, Pope Volunteer Resource Program, Army Air Force Exchange Service, First Command Financial Planning, Embarq, Powers-Swain Chevrolet, Noncommissioned Officers Association and Pope Enlisted Spouses Association. 

Congratulations to all of TEAM POPE for their hard work in garnering an EXCELLENT rating on the AMC UNIT COMPLIANCE INSPECTION. 

Our 43rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron scored an Excellent on the Health Services Inspection. Congratulations to Col. Judith Schaffer and her entire team who work hard to take care of all of wounded heroes. 

Our 43rd Maintenance Group and 43rd Mission Support Group scored a Satisfactory on the Logistics Standardization and Evaluation Program. We make a lot of decisions here based on our wartime needs over an inspection, and a wartime Pope Satisfactory is an Outstanding anywhere else. Many people don't realize just how much Pope does to support the Global War on Terrorism. That doesn't change, regardless of our day-to-day goings on, so congratulations to Col. Bryan Bearden, Col. Pat Savoy and their outstanding team of professionals who work day and night to support our troops. 

I also want to congratulate the 43rd Communications Squadron. They are Air Mobility Command's Communication Squadron of the Year. Good luck at the Air Force level. 

The success of our inspections, the individual and team recognition, and recent accolades become meaningless when the full Pope family is not here to share in the celebration and joy. Airman Michael Byles, 43rd Communications Squadron, and Senior Airman Larry Davis, 43rd Security Forces Squadron, are no longer with us due to accidents. Their families are now without fathers, sons, brothers and husbands. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them during this incredibly difficult time. We should all take comfort in the memories they have left us with and be thankful for the time we had with them. All of us know that even when you do everything right, tragedies occur; however, I can't stress enough how important it is that we always keep safety at the forefront of our minds. 

Lastly, be SAFE and ALWAYS be there for your WINGMAN.