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MAFB sets the standard, raises the bar for excellence

Col. Joel Jackson, 22nd Air Refueling Wing commander

Col. Joel Jackson, 22nd Air Refueling Wing commander

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Our wing has been especially busy for the last several months.  We have prepared for several wing inspections, hosted Air Force-level distinguished visitors, broke ground for KC-46 construction and responded to an aircraft incident.  I have always believed in your ability to accomplish the mission and in my tenure as your commander I have witnessed excellence across this installation. I could not be prouder.

In the spring, we hosted the Unit Effectiveness Inspection team for a full-week.  The inspection's grading focused primarily on our ability to execute the mission and manage resources.  As a wing, we proved to the inspection team that we are more than capable of carrying out the mission, because they recognized our unit as a highly effective team.

In the following months, you welcomed the 18th Air Force Commander and the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force and their spouses to McConnell.  I was honored to introduce them to the wing because of the level of commitment and excellence that you embody.  The amount of time and effort put forward by Team McConnell ensured both visits were successful and they undoubtedly left knowing that McConnell Airmen put the "global" in "global reach, vigilance and power."

More recently, you proved your versatility and exhibited your impressive skills during an operational readiness inspection and the annual Global Thunder exercise.  You pressed through long hours and followed the appropriate tactics, techniques and procedures to once again validate our position as Air Mobility Command's premier tanker wing.  Your ability to do things right assured our nation and our allies of our warfighting capabilities.

Last week, our wing also responded to an F-16 aircraft accident in Moline, Kansas.  Within hours, more than 20 highly-trained and mission-ready McConnell Airmen responded to the scene and performed their duties on-scene just as they were trained to do.  Your impeccable attention to detail and flexibility only serve to validate the reputation we uphold as AMC's global reach wing.  You demonstrated our ability to respond to any task or situation with professionalism, expertise and precision.

Your tremendous efforts and dedication during our relentless operations tempo has not gone unnoticed.  Two weeks ago, Air Mobility Command recognized our wing for exceptionally meritorious conduct in support of combat operations from August 2013 to July 2014 with the Meritorious Unit Award.  Last week, Air Mobility Command announced McConnell as the command's nominee for the 2015 Commander-in-Chief's Installation Excellence Award.  Earlier this week, Air Mobility Command announced Team McConnell as the Fuel Efficiency Wing of the Year. While all are commendable accomplishments, they do not come as a surprise to me. 

None of us can predict exactly what tomorrow will hold, but I do know that each of you has directly contributed to our culture of excellence here at McConnell.  You have set the standard for excellence; now all that remains is that we continue to perform at that level.  I have no doubt that you will exceed my expectations again.  As always, thank you for your continued service and dedication to our wing, our command and to the world's greatest Air Force.