Keep looking toward the future

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- What a thrill and an honor to be associated with Team Dover! As the DoD's largest aerial port for airlift operations, Dover has long been known as America's center of excellence for strategic mobility. The reason is simple: no military organization, and indeed few nations, can match the synergy of Dover's strategic airlift platforms, advanced aerial port capabilities, uniquely beneficial geographic location, heartfelt community support and world-class professionalism for which the Eagle and Liberty Wings are renowned.

As you know, America's response to the Global War on Terror is absolutely dependent on the capability you provide.

Around the world, and around the clock, Dover Airmen are saving lives, providing safe passage and delivering freedom. Every day, Dover C-5s deliver hundreds of tons of urgently needed supplies and equipment including medical stores, armor and other means to defeat improvised explosive devices, and ammunition to some of the hottest spots in the world. In addition to support provided to Iraq and other troubled regions around the world, 100 percent of Continental United States air cargo to Afghanistan traverses the Dover Aerial Port. And when American servicemembers are in need, Team Dover is there providing a vital link in our unparalleled medical evacuation system, which has returned an astounding 30,000 injured Americans to safety since 9/11.

But Dover's excellence is not confined to cargo operations. As of this printing, approximately 540 of our Airmen are deployed in combat operations around the globe building third-world infrastructure, conducting convoy operations, removing and defeating literally hundreds of IEDs every month, and in a myriad of other capacities ... every one saving American and allied lives and advancing our Nation's cause.

At home your contributions are no less significant. As the Defense Department's sole stateside mortuary, Team Dover is the first to cradle America's fallen heroes and to offer the dignity, honor and respect they and their families have earned. From the moment these patriots arrive at Dover, until the final farewell, they are treated with a level of reverent care one may expect for a family member ... because that's exactly what they are.

As good as it is today, Dover can and will be better tomorrow. No wing in the Air Force is better positioned to advance the Chief of Staff's priorities of winning the Global War on Terror, modernizing and recapitalizing our force, and caring for our Airmen. Dover assets and people will remain absolutely indispensable - even foundational - to America's ability to fight terrorism abroad rather than at home.

We'll move forward with infrastructure upgrades in our port and other base facilities. We'll serve as the home of C-5 modernization and maintenance efficiencies. At the same time, we'll combine the world's finest strategic airlifter - the C-5 Galaxy - with the world's foremost tactical airlifter - the C-17A Globemaster III - in order to build the synergy that will cement the world's finest strategic mobility base, and the East Coast Super Port, as the Department of Defense's unrivaled air mobility force projection platform.

Total force excellence, no-fail mission focus, passion for continuous improvement - all hallmarks of Team Dover! Jill and I simply could not be prouder to be associated with the 436th Airlift Wing, or to be teamed with the 512th Airlift Wing. Thanks so much to Lt. Col. Carl Rahn, Wing Protocol, Staff Sgt. Stevens Hyppolite, Capt. Jerry Narigon, our outstanding Honor Guard and every member who worked so hard to engineer a memorable change of command, provide our family such a wonderful welcome, and, most importantly, to make us a part of your award-winning, world-class team!

Thanks Dover ... and very well done!