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To the Airmen of Global Strike Command: Happy Holidays and Thank You

  • Published
  • By Lt. Gen. Jim Kowalski
  • Air Force Global Strike Command commander
It was a remarkably busy year for Air Force Global Strike Command and we're proud of everything you've accomplished for the U.S. Air Force and our Nation. You've sustained professionalism in the most demanding of missions--the disciplined execution of nuclear deterrence and global strike. Your efforts ensured strategic stability, contributed to the deterrence of regional threats, and assured our nation's friends and allies.

We hope you'll find the time over the holidays to reflect on the long list of achievements of your units and the command in 2011. Your accomplishments this year include the more than 30-hour flight of Whiteman AFB B-2s in March as they struck counter-air targets in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn; the August demonstration of both Global Power and our improved relations with the Russians as Minot AFB executed the first-ever B-52H flight over the North Pole enroute to the Moscow Airshow; going seven out of seven for a perfect record on major inspections; and through all of this, our ICBM's maintained a 24/7/365 alert rate consistently exceeding 99 percent!

Additional milestones include a $21 million annual savings through the restructuring of our continuous bomber presence in Guam; the transfer of munitions units from Air Force Materiel Command to AFGSC; and beginning the implementation of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

Special mention must be made of our Minot AFB Airmen and their families who dealt with massive flooding and the disaster response with relentless determination. They also managed to sustain ALL commitments to the combatant commanders throughout the long summer of recovery.

Your hard work and accomplishments did not go unnoticed by Headquarters Air Force. Recently announced, AFGSC earned the General Wilbur L. Creech Maintenance Excellence Award for command-wide improved performance in aircraft maintenance and logistics readiness as our bomb wings improved aircraft availability while aggressively restoring sortie rates and flying hours as key metrics of production and readiness--and executed an impressive 96 percent of the program.

At the wing level, the U.S. Strategic Command's Omaha Trophies for Strategic Aircraft Operations and ICBMs went to the 5th Bomb Wing and 91st Missile Wing, respectfully. We also saw Barksdale AFB, home to the 2nd Bomb Wing, named as one of two Air Force finalists for the 2012 Commander in Chief's Annual Award for Installation Excellence.

Team recognition also went to the 5th Maintenance Group as the Air Force's nominee for the Air Force Association's Citation of Honor and the 5th Medical Operations Squadron, who took home the Air Force Chief of Staff Team Excellence Award.

Global Strike Command Airmen recognized for individual achievements include Tech. Sgt. Bradley Williams, 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron, who was selected as one of the Air Force's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year! We also have Tech. Sgt. Sarah Morgan from AFGSC Headquarters, who was named the Air Force Enlisted Aide of the Year; Master Sgt. Jeffrey Richards, 509th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, who won an Air Force Ground Safety Award; and Staff Sgt. Garrett Thompson, 2nd Security Forces Squadron, who was the Air Force nominee for the GEICO Military Service Award in Traffic Safety and Accident Prevention.

Congratulations to all--you have established new standards for our command!

In all of the joyous ways this holiday season is celebrated, Julie and I wish you and yours the very best during this special time, and throughout the New Year.