MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Gen. Mark Kelly, commander of Air Combat Command, toured Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, May, 5-6, 2021.
Kelly and Command Chief Master Sgt. David Wade, ACC, set out to expand their knowledge of the current and future operations of the 23d Wing and 93d Air Ground Operations Wing.
“This installation is so unique in many ways -- everything from incredible rescue and attack teams to the incredible ability of our AGOW Airmen,” Kelly said. “(This base) brings together accumulative capabilities that no other installation we have brings.”
To start the tour, Kelly recognized four retired Airmen for their decades of service and Capt. Taylor “Petrie” Bye, who safely landed a damaged A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft last year.
From there, Kelly; Wade; Col. Dan Walls, 23d Wing commander; and Chief Master Sgt. Jimmy Wilfong, 23d Wing command chief, visited the 23d Wing’s COVID Vaccination Unit where they learned the overall base vaccination rates, the check-in process for receiving a COVID vaccine and how the 23d Medical Group is providing centrally located, transparent information for Moody Airmen and the local community about COVID-19.
To end the first day of the tour, the 23d Wing and ACC leaders flew in a HC-130J Combat King II to Avon Park, Florida, for Kelly and Wade to board a HH-60W Jolly Green II for an air tour of the Air Ground Training Complex. Here, they were able to engage in the mission set of rescue Airmen.
The 347th Rescue Group composed of the 38th Rescue Squadron, 41st Rescue Squadron, 71st Rescue Squadron and the 347th Operations Support Squadron are responsible for the training and readiness of Airmen to rapidly deploy worldwide in support of combat rescue.
“They make sure that somebody’s worst day, is not their last day,” said Kelly. “We have the unspoken promise to our Airmen that when they’re having their worst day, we will bring them back through the sound of the guns to get them back to their families, and you can’t put a price on that.”
With an early start to the second day, Kelly and Wade joined the 820th Base Defense Group in a group exercise at the Warrior Athlete Center of Excellence to immersive themselves in the physically demanding environment of the BDG.
BDG Airmen provide high-risk force protection and integrated base defense for expeditionary air forces and they are highly trained and equipped to deploy at any given notice.
“If you don’t adopt the (BDG) mindset, you will never adopt the culture and the capability,” said Kelly. “Their mindset is very combat focused, task organized and team focused – you just can’t have enough of high performing, team oriented, expeditionary focused Airmen.”
Following the group exercise, the 93d AGOW presented various pieces of combat and weather equipment in an innovation demonstration to explain how and why each piece of equipment will be better for the future of combat in the Air Force.
“We put the word out in the Air Force about Airmen innovating, and they do their best innovation on the toughest challenges, and the toughest challenges that we present to them is combat challenges,” said Kelly. “Everywhere you turn on this installation whether it be the 23d Wing or the 93d AGOW, (Moody) is just full of exceptional Airmen and teams working together to be better tomorrow than they are today.”