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  Gen. William Fraser III, U.S. Transportation Command commander visited an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia Dec. 16-17
 This is Gen. William Fraser III's first visit to the 379th AEW since assuming command of USTRANSCOM in October
 USTRANSCOM is made up of 45,945 active duty; 73,058 Reserve and Guard, and 19,104 civilian personnel from all branches of service
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USTRANSCOM commander visits Southwest Asia
U.S. Air Force Gen. William M. Fraser III, U.S. Transportation Command commander, speaks to Airmen from the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron during his visit to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia Dec. 16, 2011. Fraser visited with Airmen and expressed his thanks for their service during the holiday season during his first visit to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing since he became USTRANSCOM commander in October. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon)
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USTRANSCOM leader visits hub of Southwest Asia

Posted 12/20/2011   Updated 12/20/2011 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Michael Charles
379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

12/20/2011 - SOUTHWEST ASIA -- When the Airman's voice began to falter as he briefed the visiting four-star general, a sharp, loud voice rang out in the small maintenance bay.

"You need it!" yelled Lt. Col. Scott Belanger, 8th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron commander. "We move it!" replied a formation of 8th EAMS personnel.

"This is the type of commitment to duty that I constantly see from our Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines," said Gen. William Fraser III, U.S. Transportation Command commander, as a smile spread from ear-to-ear.

The general joined in with a "You need it!" The formation again rang out with "We move it!"

The Airman regained his composure and went on to brief the general about how the 8th EAMS works hand-in-hand with the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing to complete the mission here.

The Dec. 16-17, 2011 visit marked the first time Fraser has visited the 379th AEW since he took command of USTRANSCOM on Oct. 14, 2011. The command is the single manager for global air, land and sea transportation for the Department of Defense. Its total wartime capability consists of a diverse force: 45,945 active duty; 73,058 Reserve and Guard and 19,104 civilian personnel.

During brief stops at several units, Fraser discussed an array of topics with Airmen -- including family, the holiday season and issues affecting them in the Air Force. He also took time to recognize extraordinary performers.

"When I visit different units around the world, it always amazes me to hear stories these young Airmen have to tell," said Fraser, a command pilot with more than 4,200 hours in eight airframes. "The dedication to duty that our service members display on a routine basis is unparalleled."

The general's comments weren't lost on 1st Lt. Paul Charles, 379th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron flight crew member.

"I can easily tell that the general values what we do," he said. "Whether it's transporting troops to the fight or getting them out of it. He knows and entrusts us with the U.S. military's greatest asset -- its people."

Various 379th AEW partners highlighted their contributions to accomplishing the USTRANSCOM vision of synchronizing and delivering unrivaled, full-spectrum deployment and distribution solutions. One of these units was the U.S. Army's 421st Quartermaster Company "Riggers". The "Riggers" build pallets of supplies to be airdropped to forward operating locations throughout Afghanistan.

"To be one of the units the general stopped by on the installation was truly an honor," said Sgt. 1st Class Richard Davis, 421st QC noncommissioned officer in charge. "It speaks [volumes] to the type [of job] our Soldiers are doing to provide supplies for our service members and coalition partners on the frontlines."

"Our most important job is ensuring that our troops get what they need in order to successfully carry out their objectives," Davis added.

Fraser noted that his visit came at the end of a busy time for mobility, as units finished operations allowing the successful transition out of Iraq.

"The Airmen of the 379th have had their hands full," said Fraser. "I for one, appreciate their commitment to the task at hand."

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