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Thanks for the warm welcome

  • Published
  • By Col. Kyle Kremer
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing commander
It's great to be back at Scott AFB--home to Air Mobility Command's "Showcase Wing!" My wife, Deb, and daughters, Mikayla and Abbey, and I have received such a warm welcome since arriving, it truly feels like coming home. This base is steeped in heritage and tradition, and every day you contribute to its ongoing legacy of excellence. Thank you to everyone who had a hand in putting together the change of command ceremony last Friday. It was a truly fantastic event and exemplifies why Scott AFB is a role model for other installations across the Department of Defense.

In true "showcase style," we'll see the 375th Air Mobility Wing team in action again as we host the annual base picnic and diversity day today. It's been months in the making and there will be fun activities as well as educational booths for the whole family. Thank you to the many local community partners who sponsor this event and work in concert with our 375th Force Support Squadron. Because of their generosity, the food for the event comes at no cost to us. We sincerely appreciate all they do to support Team Scott and our families. It truly exemplifies why the greater Scott AFB community was recently awarded the coveted Abilene Trophy for outstanding community support. I encourage everyone to stop by for some--or all--of the events and enjoy some fun and relaxation as we kick off have earned it!

I am extremely proud to be back in the company of the warriors who provide the core capability that sets our Nation apart from any other country in the world . . . "Rapid Global Mobility." It is the ability of the United States to project power around the globe, anywhere, anytime, and in force that truly establishes us as the world's preeminent nation of influence. Other countries may have similar technology or functional capability, but no one comes close to matching our ability to project power on call and in force. Whether it is refueling fighter squadron deployments, resupplying troops in Afghanistan, providing rapid aeromedical evacuation to our wounded warriors, or delivering humanitarian aid to disaster-stricken countries, you all play a vital role in making that possible . . . right here from the corn fields of Illinois! It doesn't matter if you are directly engaged in mobility activities or enabling our vital mission partners at U.S. Transportation Command, AMC and the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (just to name a few), you are providing the lynchpin capability that our Nation's defense depends upon.

These are challenging times of great mission demands and fiscal uncertainty. However, it is not the first time our military and our Nation have faced such adversity. Just as we emerged before, we will do so again . . . stronger than ever. But it will require us to be innovative in seeking new ways to accomplish our mission and daily tasks, and it will require us to make bold decisions to implement them. It will require us to work together and seek new partnerships as well as expand existing ones. Most of all it will require us to do all of this with respect for one another.

We need everyone to be a valuable contributor in order to ensure mission success. If we allow ourselves to foster a culture that makes part of our team feel threatened, fearful or disrespected, we alienate them and degrade our already strained capability. More importantly, we violate the foundational principle of our collective military core values . . . respect. If we all adhered to our core values and exhibited mutual respect for one another, criminal behavior such as sexual assault would not be the problem it has become today. Historically, polls of the American public have reflected their high regard for the U.S. military, with a confidence above even the presidency and the clergy. However, we continue to erode that trust and confidence when we allow our fellow service members to disrespect one another.

Next Tuesday, the 375th AMW, together with a number of our mission partners, will participate in the DoD-directed Sexual Assault Down Day. Other partner units will execute their own down days before the end of the month. I highly encourage you to play an active role in the planned event--actively listen and actively contribute. It's all too easy to "tune out" and simply "check the box." By doing so, you will only be continuing the collective problem. Ask yourself, how would you feel if it were your daughter, brother, or mother who was a victim? What about your best friend or co-worker? You can make a just need to act and not tolerate behavior that erodes a culture of respect.

As AMC's "Showcase Wing," I know that you and Team Scott will continue to be the model for others to follow and measure themselves against. I am extremely proud to have the opportunity to lead this great organization and historic installation. I am likewise proud of you and look forward to working with you to provide rapid global mobility for our Nation and continue the legacy of excellence at Scott AFB . . . together!