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History in the Making

  • Published
  • By Col. Timothy Zadalis
  • 43rd Airlift Wing commander
This was a landmark week for Pope and all of you have a lot to be proud of. The Air Mobility Command Installation Excellence Award Team visit went perfect, and whatever the outcome, remember that we are finalists and that is a great honor in and of itself. It's clear our tremendous achievements have once again set a standard of pride and excellence for every other base in AMC. Each inspector saw our remarkable PEOPLE, our unique MISSION and the incredible MOTIVATION of every Team Pope member. The inspection would never have gone so well without a lot of help. I want to thank all our warfighting partners who supported us through this process including Lt. Gen. Robert Wagner and Lt. Gen. John Vines and all the soldiers of Ft Bragg, Col Merle "Mad Dog" Hart the 440th Airlift Wing commander, 18th Air Support Operations Group, 23rd Fighter Group and 21st Special Tactics Squadron. "No one does joint like Pope/Fort Bragg." 

I want to thank our community partners in Fayetteville, Spring Lake and Hope Mills who continue to show tireless support for the men and women of Team Pope. We couldn't ask for better civic leaders than Mayors Tony Chavonne, Ethel Clark and Edwin Deavers. We also have a fantastic group of dedicated and involved Honorary Commanders, and Pope Special Activities and Military Affairs Committee members. A special thanks to Mr. Robert Grover of PSAC set the tone the evening of the ice breaker and we never looked back! 

I want to thank Lt. Col. Douglas Rausch, 43rd Mission Support Group, who served as the project officer and his entire team who ensured the visit was flawlessly executed. I want to thank all of the team leads including Mr. Jury Brown, 43rd Civil Engineer Squadron; Lt Col. Lionel Earl, 43rd Communications Squadron commander; Lt. Col. Jeff Shaw, 43rd Operations Group; Maj. Scott Maskery, 43rd Mission Support Squadron commander; and Capt. Jay Martin, 743rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron -- this team made it happen! 

I also want to thank all the true professionals of the Commander's Action Group, Protocol and Public Affairs -- I'm not sure if they went home as we prepared for the team. 

Now let me tell you about a few of the real stars like: Staff Sgt. "Rusty" Callaway, 18th ASOG, who briefed the entire IEA Team on Tactical Air Control Party tactics and narrated an impressive video showcasing 18th ASOG warriors as they neutralized two enemy mortar teams preparing to attack our troops; or Airman 1st Class Brandy Martin, 43rd Comptroller Squadron, who wowed IEA Team Lead Col. Jon Roop when she showed what real customer service is; or Senior Airman Rebecca Jaudon, 43rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, who recently returned from a 120-day deployment, she described for Col. Steve Brunhaver her role evacuating casualties from Iraq, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Germany and why Gen. McNabb coined her; or Tech. Sgt. Radley Green, 43rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, who enthusiastically briefed new aircraft wash procedures devised from an AFSO 21 event he led -- Col. John Meek immediately recognized how the procedures could be applied across AMC; or Mr. Greg Jones, 43rd MSS, who did a fantastic job briefing NSPS and BRAC preparations, and the extensive training provided to supervisors; or Senior Airman Tamara Kinzey, 43rd Aeromedical Dental Squadron, who briefed Col. Sam Douglas on jump coverage and the physical examination process. She drove home the importance of physical examinations and keeping the human weapon system fit to deploy and fight. These warriors and each of you are why Team Pope shined for the visit! 

The final thanks is for family members who supported our effort -- they understood and endured the long hours their spouses put in. They too share in the accolades!
Next week at Fall Rally the results will be announced. Regardless, we are repeat winners in my book! 

Once again, Keep safe and always be there for your Wingman.