Thank you, it's been a privilege

  • Published
  • By Col. Kevin Kilb
  • 62nd Airlift Wing commander
My fellow Airmen, it has been a sincere privilege for Stacey and me to have served with you on this, the last and proudest chapter, of our Air Force journey.

It's hard to believe that it's already time to move on. Though Stacey and I are looking forward to our next adventure, a part of Team McChord will stay with us always.

As I look back on the past two years, there are several of your accomplishments that I will remember with pride.

First and foremost, is your hard work and dedication in generating and safely executing so many critical global airlift missions. You have excelled in an unceasing tempo to support Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa and of course, Operation Deep Freeze.
Along with these war-fighting missions, you have enabled many humanitarian missions including Operation Tomodachi and Operation Pacific Passage, not to mention the relief efforts in Haiti, Chile and Pakistan.

The second accomplishment that stands out is your superb performances during numerous higher headquarter inspections, such as: three Nuclear Surety inspections, the Unit Compliance Inspection, Operational Readiness Inspection, two Logistics Compliance Assessment inspections, Health Services Inspection, and a Command Cyber Readiness Inspection. In fact, with your 'excellent' rating for the most recent UCI, you impressed the Inspector General team so greatly that it awarded more outstanding performance certificates than ever before.

The third is the establishment of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. When I took command, in June of 2009, joint basing was still in the planning stages. Since then, this installation has gone through monumental changes.

You have worked through some of the most difficult problems facing the Department of Defense and our Air Force. As you have overcome these obstacles, you've done so with professionalism, incredibly high morale and positive attitudes. There is no doubt that you have set the precedent for joint basing across all of DOD. Not only that, but you have done all this during the highest operations tempo our command has ever seen, while still maintaining focus on caring for each other and your families.

These were just a few of the challenges we faced and I am proud of the fact that we emerged from all of them not just intact, but stronger than we were before. With hard work, we turned weaknesses into strengths and threats into opportunities. That is a testament to YOU... the proud professionals that make up the family of the 62 Airlift Wing and Team McChord.

Speaking of families, I thank my wife Stacey for her tireless support of you. Over the past 2 years, Stacey, along with Mrs. Carrie Weldon, Mrs. Kristin Moore, Mrs. Sheri Warren, the Officer's Spouse Club and the Enlisted Spouse Club, has given so much of their time and energy for our Air Force community. Their efforts, and the efforts of all who volunteer with them, are truly inspirational to me.

I'd like to publicly thank my fellow Commanders of Team McChord: Col. Bill Flanigan, Col. Paul Gruver, Col. Pete Stavros and Col. Steve Gray. Your partnership is what makes this place so amazing. Thank you also to Col. Rick Moore and Chief Master Sgt. Greg Warren; they are loyal and passionate advocates for all Airmen. A special thanks to General Jacoby, General Johnson, General Scaparrotti, General Miles and General Mathis for their support of joint basing...that support cannot be overstated. Finally, a profound thank you to Col. Tommy Brittain, Col. Kenny Weldon, Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Barnes and Chief Master Sgt. (Ret.) Fred Wade, their leadership of the Joint Base Garrison has made all the difference for our community. I simply have not served with two finer leaders than Colonel Brittain and Colonel Weldon.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have served here among the finest members of our Air Force. It was a privilege and honor to serve as your commander. I know that you will continue to support each other and deliver Airlift Excellence... Right Here... Right Now!

THANK YOU...and please thank your families. What you do matters--and you are the best in the world at it!

With TOTAL Respect-Colonel Kevin, Stacey, Malindi, Piper, and Tana Kilb