Look forward to 2013

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Team McChord, 2012 was a busy year and I thank you for your hard work and persistence that made it a success. I hope all of you were able to enjoy the holidays with your friends and family. For those of you who were gone during the holidays, your sacrifices did not go unnoticed.

To begin the year, we will undergo a nuclear surety staff assistance visit in January and a Defense Nuclear Surety Inspection in April. These evaluations will provide excellent opportunities to inspect and improve our already great Prime Nuclear Airlift Forces program.

Additionally, we will have multiple changes of command throughout the year for the wing, 62nd Operations Group, 62nd Maintenance Group and several squadrons. Please welcome your new leadership and be patient with the changeover process. Furthermore, we will welcome several distinguished guests during the year to include the Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, 18th Air Force commander, who will visit us in March. McDew is a past commander of the 62nd OG and knows McChord Field well.

Finally, I am happy to inform you that McChord Field will be hosting the Air Mobility Command Rodeo in July. Rodeo is an international mobility competition focusing on readiness, airlift, airdrop, aerial port, maintenance, and much more. Come on out and enjoy this event with your friends and family. Despite an eventful year, we must continue to prepare for the uncertainties of the future.

The "fiscal cliff" and potential effects of sequestration renders many uncertainties for our Air Force. Although our government recently passed legislation postponing the fiscal cliff until March, future implications are questionable. Additionally, the drawdown in Afghanistan has created some uncertainties for our future operations. Last September, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced the completion of the Afghanistan surge drawdown. The remaining American forces in Afghanistan will continue to leave throughout 2014. And although it is likely that we will continue various operations in Afghanistan beyond 2014, there still remain many uncertainties about what role we will play as Airmen. With all of these unknowns in mind, I ask that you conduct business as usual. I cannot tell you what exactly the future holds, except that it will be different than what we are doing now.

Regardless of the past, the present, and the future, we will always have a mission to accomplish, "Develop and Sustain Expeditionary Airmen to Deliver Precision Global Airlift for America." Welcome to the new year and thank you for all you do...because what you do matters!