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News > Commentary - Commander reflects on year's end, calls for renewed commitment
Commander reflects on year's end, calls for renewed commitment

Posted 12/21/2011   Updated 12/22/2011 Email story   Print story

    


Commentary by 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
380th Air Expeditionary Wing


12/21/2011 - SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Brigadier Gen. Jeff Lofgren, the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, issued the following message to the men and women at the deployed unit:

As 2011 draws to a close, it's important to take a moment to reflect about all of the things we have accomplished this year and to develop broader aspirations for 2012.

This wing certainly has a lot to be proud of in 2011. We directly impacted operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.

In these past 12 months you, the Airmen of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, flew more than 4,000 air refueling missions with the KC-10 Extender aircraft providing more than 351 million pounds of fuel to approximately 20,000 coalition aircraft. In other words, you provided more than 35 percent of the fuel to aircraft flying over the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

You enhanced battlefield command and control by flying more than 700 E-3 Sentry missions and conducting more than 900 U-2S and RQ-4 Global Hawk missions, as well as 975 MQ-1B Predator missions, providing life-saving intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Additionally, you maintained deterrence in the region and increased the capabilities of our host nation by conducting more than 4,500 fighter sorties supporting regional security. In all, you diligently worked to keep our approximately 50 aircraft in the fight, enabling more than 7,400 combat sorties this year.

It does not stop there. You ran U.S. Air Forces Central Command's second largest communications hub in Southwest Asia and took care of our ever-growing population with premier force support. In an effort to constantly make things better you improved our infrastructure, added new facilities, fixed old ones, improved our commercial Internet services and awarded and maintained contracts for more than $44 million to make things better and more enduring here.

You stood up the first-ever dental clinic here, developed the inaugural flight physical capability in the AOR and improved on our ability to respond to emergencies.

At the 405th Air Expeditionary Group, you established yourselves as the premier deployment and redeployment hub for flying critical and sensitive cargo into and out of Afghanistan. From tactical surveillance systems to mine-resistant ambush protective vehicles, you ensured warfighters have the gear they need. You also expanded your mission set by supporting KC-10 operations in support of counter-terrorism.

You were here supporting operations at an historic time as we covered the last service members transitioning out of Iraq. You never let your guard down because you knew lives were depending on you to execute. You were making history and you kept dreams alive--something to be proud of.

As we look forward to 2012, let us stay committed to our fellow Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen and to the ideals of freedom. Let us stay focused on our mission because it matters; it matters to those who dream of freedom.

Also, in this new year we must continue to build relationships with our partners in the region so they, too, may achieve their goals of peace, trust and freedom. You play a special role here as ambassadors to our host nation. Your efforts are making them a strong partner now and in the future. Let us continue to build on our successes from last year.

As we look forward , let us not forget that we are in this together. Take care of one another and work together as a team to achieve our mission. Stay focused on excellence in all you do. It is that kind of focus on excellence that keeps us razor sharp. Don't forget about attitude - that "can-do" attitude--that we all have here. Smile and know that your attitude is contagious.

Stay laser-focused on our mission. Someone somewhere is counting on our entire team to execute each day and keep them alive for progress and dreams to be secured.

I want to personally thank your families for their sacrifices, especially during this holiday season. They are true heroes and we owe them our best while we are deployed.

Warriors, it is an honor and privilege to serve alongside you. Thank you for what you do every day. Happy holidays to all of you and may the New Year bring you joy and happiness.



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