JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
One of the defining characteristics of our Air Force's culture, and a key to our success, is the courage of our Airmen. Simply put, you persevere in the face of great challenges to do the right thing for our people, our service, and our Nation.
To the courageous Airmen of our 18th Air Force: Thank You!
You are the source of our strength and the pride of our Nation and I join countless numbers of your fellow citizens in thanking you for your service. That service is never easy, but in the midst of the challenges our military and Nation continue to face, it is even more admirable.
As your commander, I have always expected a lot ... and you have never failed to deliver.
In the coming months and years, your innovation and the culture of excellence we have forged together will be even more important. The future will require Airmen of great courage and I am confident you are the right ones to take on - and solve - our Nation's great tasks.
From humble beginnings, our Eighteenth Air Force has grown into what I consider the Air Force's premier operationally-focused global command. For many in our military, "Eighteenth Air Force" is synonymous with operational excellence. We are a respected mission partner and an indispensable member of the world's finest joint team ... thanks to you!
Evelyn and I have been privileged to be part of the journey, and to help our command grow in capability and prestige. We look forward to what the future holds for the command in the hands of an amazing officer who has earned our respect many times over: Major General Barbara Faulkenberry.
Major General Faulkenberry's operational credentials are second to none. But more importantly, she is a visionary and bold LEADER - the right person to take this great command into a challenging future.
None of us can predict exactly what tomorrow will hold, but I know this much: the success of our great, global air mobility enterprise depends on strong leaders who are unafraid to take smart risks, who selflessly care for Airmen and families, and inspire a culture of dignity, respect, and excellence.
By each of these measures, you can rest easy that the future of the 18th Air Force is in good hands ... Major General Faulkenberry's hands.
In the days, weeks, and months to come I ask you to give her your full support, as you have me. Help her as you have helped me to take this amazing Eighteenth Air Force of ours to new heights. In the end, an organization reflects the people who lead it and the people who serve in it. There is no doubt that this amazing team will ensure Eighteenth Air Force continues to earn acclaim as not merely the Air Force's largest NAF ... but its best.
As always, thank you for your continued service and dedication to our fellow Airmen, our command, and the world's finest Air Force!