AMC commander: Celebrate the holidays; reflect on accomplishments

  • Published
  • By Gen. Ray Johns
  • Commander, Air Mobility Command
As we celebrate the holidays, it's time to reflect on one of the most extraordinary years in our nation's history. Chief Kaiser and I look back with admiration on the amazing things you've done, and we thank each and every member of our active, Guard, Reserve and civilian team for your hard work and sacrifices.

From the Arab Spring to the end of operations in Iraq, 2011 was undoubtedly a historic year. And, every time our nation and allies called, you did not hesitate to respond to deliver hope, fuel the fight and most importantly save lives. For example, you provided humanitarian relief supplies and nuclear consequence management equipment to the citizens of Japan after a massive earthquake and tsunami struck the nation on March 11.

Shortly thereafter, Airmen from across the Total Force stood up an air refueling wing within hours to support the coalition no-fly zone over Libya. Meanwhile, you continued to airdrop record-breaking amounts of critical supplies to remote posts throughout Afghanistan and ultimately played a critical role in ending operations in Iraq this month. In short, you always said "yes" and answered the call so that others may prevail.

You and your families are the most important reason we're always effective in supporting the warfighter and those in need, and it's critical that we continue to look out for one another during this holiday season.

Please, remember to use sound risk management this time of year, especially when driving. Remain vigilant, have a plan, and stick to it. With quickly changing weather conditions be sure to allow plenty of extra time if needed. Alcohol and excessive speed continue to be the driving factors in off-duty accidents throughout the Air Force and across our command.

Use a designated driver and watch out for other drivers -- they can be as much a threat as the weather. We can't say it strongly enough -- Chief Kaiser and I need each member of our Mobility Family to return home safely after the holiday season.

As we celebrate the season and reflect on the past year, please take a moment to remember all those around the world we've helped who are still rebuilding their lives.

Please be mindful of those who are deployed and can't be with their loved ones this year... reach out to your teammates who are deployed and their families and keep them close in your thoughts during the holidays.

Diana and I wish a safe return for our deployed Airmen, and we wish all of you and your families a very joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year!