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SW/CC offers holiday message

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Margie and I wish the happiest of holidays to you all!

Much has happened this last year in our mission operations, support and medical arenas, and all of you should be proud of jobs very well done. 

I can't mention all the accomplishments, but let me mention a few. You all deserve it.

We hosted the Secretary of the Air Force, who saw our newest operations. He even noticed and mentioned what a unique opportunity we have to build a new base. 

The Defense Support Program satellite systems program office, in conjunction with the 460th Operations Group, conducted a "picture perfect" Flight 23 launch and early orbit checkout, according to the 14th Air Force commander. This is the first time we've ever taken on this huge challenge! The 460th OG created a new squadron to operate the AF's newest satellite payload, the Space Based Infrared System Highly Elliptical Orbit sensor. Maybe in the future they can help us design shorter and easier-to-remember names.

The 460th Medical Group took on more than 1,000 new beneficiaries -- your family members -- and still have their sights on another 1,500 and more primary care management teams. They stood up two new squadrons, built the physical therapy expansion, and are working very hard to plan a future Total Force clinic or hospital on base, which is a significant challenge. Still, they continue to provide world-class health care.

As we can all see every day, the 460th Mission Support Group is supporting you and your families by protecting our base and transitioning to a new contractor at the gate. They also constructed or are in the process of constructing new services facilities, such as an outdoor recreation facility complete with new gear; a five-star fitness center; a broke ground for a new child care services facility; and new visitor quarters and temporary living facilities.  They also provide Airman and family readiness services, deployed family dinners, ski trips, Information Tickets and Travel, Coyote Grill, Newtch's Den and more. We can all see the pride in our growing base.

And the wing staff supported a new commander, was named Air Force Space Command's best comptroller squadron, and took on a huge challenge to help plan and execute new warrior skills training. They filled our vacant manning in the command post, history office, director of staff, safety, protocol, anti-terrorism, and plans and programs, and have significantly improved each of those programs and made me proud of their accomplishments in such a short time.

Be safe in all you do during the holidays and every day! 

Plan ahead for those icy roads and travels to relatives' houses. Use your operational risk management. Identify hazards in advance and avoid or mitigate them. You're all important to me, our mission, your family, your friends and our nation. I need you back safe and sound.

While we continue to function 24/7 every day, remember our deployed Airmen and take care of their families. Now's the time to spend with loved ones -- family, friends and other Airmen -- have great fun, rest or work out more, recharge, enjoy your successes, celebrate whatever faith you believe and be proud to be an Airman in the world's greatest Air Force.

Again, have a great holiday and remember, our nation and your commander are proud and thankful for your service and protection.

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