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Showcase Standouts: You make us proud!

  • Published
  • By Col. David Almand
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing commander
Today marks the 63-day out point until the air show in September where we will be hosting the world-class USAF Thunderbird aerial demonstration team, and we couldn't be more excited as we keep working the many details associated with opening our doors to the public!

Along with hosting the air show Sept. 15-16, we'll be celebrating our 95 years as "Scott Field/Air Force Base," and 65 years as an Air Force service with our annual Air Force Ball Sept. 8. After the air show, we'll be hosting some of our most valuable resources--our retirees--as they join us for the annual Retiree Appreciation Day Sept. 28.

It takes a lot of planning and coordination to host these events, and we have some great folks taking the lead and putting in a lot of volunteer hours and time above and beyond their normal work duties as well. Maj. Thomas Knaust, 375th Operations Support Squadron, is leading our air show efforts; Maj. Jennifer Baker, 375th Medical Support Squadron, and Senior Master Sgt. Edward Atchley, 375th Logistics Readiness Squadron, are teaming up for the Air Force Ball; and Capt. Eric Dorsey, 906th Air Refueling Squadron, is leading the way for the Retiree Appreciation Day.

That volunteer spirit is one of reasons that make Scott AFB a great place to live and work--there are so many willing to pitch in and lend a hand. That applies to not only our internal events, but many external events as well. I know there were many of you out in the communities during the July 4th holiday festivities who marched in parades or rode on a float representing your respective branch of service. I thank you for doing that ... especially during such extreme heat conditions!

There are several others I'd like to recognize for contributions in making Scott AFB a great place, starting with all those involved in bringing our new Student Union to life! The Air Force has always taken great pride in how it develops its Airmen. Scott's Education Center staff has done a phenomenal job with providing a great place where more than 5,000 students have taken classes here in the past five years, and just in the last two years, graduated more than 300 from the Community College of the Air Force.

Along with a new Student Union, there's been some renovation work done to enhance the space and consolidate the base's testing center. Special thanks to: 2nd Lt. Eric Vorenberg, contract administrator, Cynthia Strout, MACC A&E team lead, Jojo Bess, construction management, Clark G. Gordon, Planning & Programs, Mechanical Section, Ron Black, Chief Plans And Programs, Master Sgt. Roy Galloway, Project Manager, Daniel Barbeau, Project Manager, Randy Rose, FSS Manager, Food and Beverage, Michelle Marinelli, Education & Training Center, Ladonna Livingston, Education & Training Center, Mike Hertenstein, Project Manager, River City Construction, and of course Claudia Gullet, the wonderful ceramic artist who developed the landmark mural for us! Great work everyone!

Additionally, I would be remiss if I did not express a special thanks to Air Mobility Command for providing us the resources and support necessary for the creation of the Student Union. As a reminder, one of the first events scheduled at the Student Union is a free concert by the USAF Band of Mid-America next Wednesday, July 18 at 11:30 a.m. and then an Open Mike Night on July 28 at 6:30 p.m. Hope to see you all out there enjoying the activities.

Speaking of surviving the heat, I was pleased to see so many attend our first-ever Diversity Day held July 3! The purpose was to combine five ethnic observances into one event to promote awareness and cultural appreciation, as well as streamline the efforts of our numerous teams into one event, saving time and resources. With Native American, Asian-Pacific, Women's History, African-American and Hispanic Heritage booths and tasting tables, along with performances and guest speakers, the event was a great success in large part to the leadership of Capt. Ryan Depew, 906th ARS, and Master Sgt. Robert Boufford, 18th Air Force. A special thanks to all the committee members and volunteers who braved the heat for the set up and tear down! It was a very enjoyable event and your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Lastly I'd like to recognize the efforts of all those involved in dedicating the renovated Air Passenger Terminal in honor of Airman 1st Class Zachary Cuddeback. You can read full details in this week's paper or online at www.scott.af.mil, however I just wanted to add my accolades to a professional and well-done event. It was so touching to hear his father speak about him and it just reaffirms that we are all one family--we celebrate together and we mourn together. Zac was only 21 years old when his life was taken by an act of terrorism while performing his duties at Ramstein AB, Germany. During his short time in our Air Force, it was obvious he was a friendly, outgoing person who quickly made friends as so many of them joined us for the dedication.

It was a fitting tribute and warmly received by his family. Special "Showcase Appreciation" goes to the following team members for making it a first-class event: Capt. Norman Yu, 1st Lt. Sandietta Walter, Senior Master Sgt. Edward Atchley, Master Sgts. Maurice Wijnen-riems, John Baker and Brent Severns, and Tech. Sgts. Wayne Tokaraz, Dan Carter and Allen Miller.

Thanks again for all you do! You make us all very proud to be part of Team Scott!