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Let the good times roll!

  • Published
  • By Col. David Almand
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing commander
What a great week this has been for Scott AFB! From celebrating our heritage with a fantastic Air Force Ball to marching forward in the final execution stage of the air show, our teams have been working hard to bring everyone first class events.

It was our honor to host former Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. Norton Schwartz, for the Air Force Ball as our guest speaker. It was nearly standing room only as we had more than 400 of us gathered in the Scott Club to help celebrate our 65th year as an Air Force and 95th year as an installation.

Everything was perfect! And, in fact, that was the best ball I've ever been to! I'm so proud of the Air Force Ball committee who worked for months to bring this all together and to all the volunteers who not only helped with that evening, but worked lots of weekends to raise money for the event as well. It was more than just a great evening ... it made everyone proud to be part of the Air Force. Of note are the following committee members: Maj. Jennifer Baker, Capt. Norman Yu, Senior Master Sgts. Ed Atchley and Jon Weatherford, Master Sgt. Christa Dossett, Tech. Sgt. Noah Bolton and Angela Marsu.

I've received other great news! Team Scott Special Olympics had six athletes advance to the State Championships for golf and softball. These events were held in Decatur, Ill., on Sept. 8 and after a lot of hard work, they brought home four gold medals, one silver medal and a fifth place ribbon. I can't say enough great things about our own Airman and Family Readiness' Brenda Reed who leads the way in providing some great opportunities for our special needs families. The Exceptional Family Member Enhancement Program has truly blossomed under her direction ... and they're now getting ready for the basketball season. They are always looking for coaches, so please step up to assist if you have some time to give.

It seems like we're on a roll with so many accolades coming my way! I always enjoy when a senior leader takes the time to recognize our young Airmen for the work they do. Many times they are learning and are shy, and sometimes they just amaze you right out of the starting gate ... but either way, they are doing great things in our wing. Take, for instance, Airman 1st Class Jaeda Waffer from Public Affairs. She's been on base less than six months and part of her job is to take official portraits. During one particular session, her camera malfunctioned, but she stayed calm and professional, sought help and quickly got the situation resolved. The customer complimented her on her composure and attitude, and so would I. Thanks so much for all that you do for our Team Scott community! It's great to Airmen like you on board our team.

And finally, we're not only in the home stretch, but we are here ... ready to open the gates for our 2012 Airpower Over the Midwest air show featuring the USAF Thunderbirds! So, if you're hearing the "Sound of Freedom" flying overhead, a.k.a. really loud jets, you'll know that the Thunderbirds have arrived at Scott Air Force Base! We welcome them to the Showcase Wing and are excited to have these amazing professionals perform for us throughout the weekend!

Today they plan to fly radio personality Jeff Fife of 105.7 and tomorrow they're taking the St. Louis Blues' team captain, David Backes, into the air as part of their outreach program. You gain a whole new appreciation for the skills and abilities of these pilots when you climb in the seat and experience firsthand what it's like to "break the surly bonds of earth."

The Thunderbirds will also be flying a practice show tomorrow as we host more than 600 seniors and people with special needs. I just don't think you can get enough of seeing how they maneuver in the air as a team to illustrate precision flying. While the ramp will be closed to the base at large, you can still see them perform from practically anywhere on base ... and if you don't see them, you'll definitely hear them.

Then Saturday and Sunday, we open our gates and invite everyone to come and enjoy an exciting, full spectrum air show that will delight all, no matter what your age. The men and women of the 375th Air Mobility Wing are energized to share a little bit about what they do daily as America's defenders of freedom.

We're also welcoming some amazing stunt and aerobatic pilots to our ramp, as well as those who keep the Air Force heritage alive with re-enactments of historic war battles and with flybys in vintage aircraft. Everyone comes together to present a full spectrum of excellence! No doubt it will be a fantastic air show--the culmination of months of planning and hard work.

My hat is off to all of you who are working behind the scenes to make this a pleasant experience for our guests. From directing traffic to manning the food booths to providing first aid support and keeping the tarmac clean, your contributions are just as important as those who are flying the aircraft. It takes an entire team, dedicated and skilled ... and willing ... to step in and make sure all aspects of an event like this goes smoothly.

So let's get ready to enjoy the weekend ... and let the good times roll!