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War-Fit, War-Ready and Making a Difference

  • Published
  • By By Col. Timothy Zadalis
  • 43rd Airlift Wing Commander
 As 101 Critical Days of Summer comes to an end, I want to re-emphasize the importance of being responsible and being safe in whatever activity you choose to participate in this weekend. Remember, no DUIs and no underage drinking. If you are planning on driving, get plenty of rest. Many people will be on the roadways, so be alert and drive safe. 

We are in a joint fight in the War on Terror, and no one does joint like Team Pope. I want to thank the 43rd Operations Group, 43rd Operations Support Squadron, 3rd Aerial Port Squadron and 43rd Airlift Wing personnel who ensured yet another tremendously successful Joint Forcible Entry Exercise. 

During an electrical storm, Team Pope ensured the safety of 700 paratroopers who were preparing to load onto aircraft. Our team's flexibility allowed the training to be resumed as soon as it was safe to do so. The culmination of the training was a successfully executed visit by Gen. Norton Schwartz, commander of U.S. Transportation Command. It is clear that throughout the BRAC process and the high ops tempo, you haven't lost mission focus. 

This week I had the pleasure of meeting with Congressman Bob Etheridge. He is absolutely engaged and his staff closely monitors our successes. It is easy to see the depth of his concern for the men and women of Team Pope. 

One of the reasons we continue to make a difference in the War on Terror is because you are war fit. I was absolutely impressed with last week's Wing Run. I want to thank 1st Lt. Jonathan Harmon, 43rd Medical Group, and the entire Commander's Action Group for their efforts. I see exactly why Pope leads the way for Air Mobility Command in fitness test scores. 

I would like to congratulate Airman First Class Bradford Curry, 43rd Communications Squadron, for being selected as one of Federal Computer Week Magazine's Rising Stars and Tech Sgt. Shannon McBee, 43rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, who was selected as the Airlift Tanker Association's Specialized Mission Award Winner.
I also want to congratulate Master Sgt. Alcaeus Ford, 41st Airlift Squadron, who was selected as the loadmaster recipient of the Gen. Robert "Dutch" Huyser Award. This award recognizes an outstanding aircrew member for sustained excellence in airmanship. 

Congratulations to Lt. Col. David Gould, 43rd Operations Squadron, and his wife Jill, for being selected to attend the Air Force Chief of Staff commander and first sergeant conference. Master Sgt. Darrell and Tech Sgt. Jill Amoruso were selected as alternates. 

Lastly, I want to congratulate the 43rd Services Squadron's Family Member Programs Flight. Their youth fit factor video placed 2nd in the Air Force level competition.
As you can see, Pope Airmen continue to be recognized for their pride and excellence. Have a great weekend, and I need all of you to come back safe so you can continue to make a difference.