CHARLESTON AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. –
What a great time to be a member of Team Charleston. Not a day goes by that I don't receive an e-mail, phone call or hear a story about how Team Charleston is making an impact on the global war on terror. When an up-armored vehicle hits an IED in Iraq and people aren't killed, it's because of you. When an Army unit is supplied with the ammunition they need to fight off an insurgent attack at a base in the middle of nowhere in Afghanistan, it's because of you. I'm constantly reminding people on this base that what we save lives every day because we are. That may be hard to see sometimes when your fixing a jet or sitting behind a desk here at Charleston, but it's true. Each and every member of this team has made a direct impact on protecting our freedom. You should all be proud of your great accomplishments of 2006.
Speaking of having a direct impact, the best aerial port squadron, our 437th APS, is competing for the 2006 Air Force Large Terminal Unit of the Year award this week. Win or lose, our Port Dawgs are busier than any other APS in the Air Force and have been for a very long time. Without them, we wouldn't be able to bring the fight to the enemy. No only are they doing an amazing job sustaining their huge operations level, they are constantly looking for better ways to do business; that's what sets Team Charleston apart from the rest. We truly are the best.
Being the best means constantly looking at our processes and making them better. We had a chance to hone our skills and take a look at our processes during a major accident response exercise Tuesday. We have these exercises to make sure that when there is an emergency, we are well prepared to react and execute. We shouldn't be using a checklist for the first time during a real-world event. We did most things right, but we can do things better, faster and cheaper -- yes, it's possible to do all three. Make sure that your organizations continue to be ready for anything.
While things tend to slow down temporarily this time of year, let's not forget those who will be working over the holidays and those who may not have immediate family in the area. The Base Cookie Drive helps make the holidays a little brighter as we remember those troops living in the dorms and those in work areas operational on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Please drop-off your best home-made cookies at one of the drive thru drop-off points that will be located at both gates Monday from 6 - 10 a.m. Cookie donations will also be received at the Chapel Annex from 10 a.m. - noon that day. Bring your cookies in bulk as individual packets and large plates will be assembled for the Airmen.
On a much sadder note, we send our most heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Airman 1st Class David Webb. Airman Webb was a former member of the 437th Logistics Readiness Squadron and recently passed away in Korea-- Once a member of Team Charleston, always a member of Team Charleston.
Finally, I'd like to thank everyone involved in making this year's Combined Federal Campaign a success. Maj. Pat Mullen and his team of CFC reps ran a very effective campaign to raise money for needy causes. Your support helped non-profit organizations that provide health and human service benefits throughout the world.
Please continue to make me proud. The work we do saves lives every day. Continue to take care of yourselves and each other. Team Charleston -- One family, one mission, one fight!