Thank you for the warm welcome

  • Published
  • By Col. Gary Henderson
  • 23rd Wing commander
First off, let me say thank you to everyone at Moody for your gracious welcome to me and my family. The friendly reception and hospitality from Airmen, civilians and our neighbors from the local community have been unmatched anywhere. I would also like to thank you for the outstanding change of command ceremony. I was totally impressed with the professional bearing and sharp appearance of all involved. It was great to see so many of our Airmen from around Moody, as well as the 563rd Rescue Group, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, and Detachment 1 from Avon Park Air Force Range, Fla., in the formations and stands. Additionally, the base looked great, and your hard work was definitely noticed by many visitors and dignitaries.

Every Flying Tiger Airman has a role to play on the road to success, and I want to share with you my view of where we've been, where we are going, and how we will get there.

Where we've been - Col. Kenneth Todorov's charge to the wing during his tenure was to develop and grow the Airmen around you, always be prepared to deploy, and be ready to fight and win. These remain key tasks to accomplish our mission and we will work to keep them honed to a fine edge. We will build upon this foundation to ensure continued success in the future.

Where we are going - As I stated at the change of command, I believe Flying Tigers should be "always out in front", and should "punch above their weight." Being out in front means not only providing unmatched combat power to Attack, Rescue and Protect worldwide; it also includes the commitment to lead the way in how we prepare for and execute our tasks on a daily basis.

Punching above our weight involves using our unique capabilities to provide an inordinately large effect with a small amount of people and resources. This is the proud history of the Flying Tigers, and I believe it should be our future.

How we will get there - Teamwork and training are the two critical areas we will work on in the future. Teamwork within the wing and with all our wing partners is essential to performing our missions. We will leverage the special relationships between our Airmen, families, and community partners to help support our people and excel at any task we are given. To accomplish these tasks consistently and with precision, we will concentrate on robust training events such as Operational Readiness Exercises combined with dedicated training on a daily basis. This emphasis will hone our abilities to fly, fight, and win.

It is my honor and privilege to serve with the incredible Airmen of the 23rd Wing and Team Moody. We look forward to tackling the challenges ahead; from how to best deliver game-changing effects on the battlefield, to how to take better care of our deployed Airmen and their families.

Thank you again for the warm welcome you have given to our family and for your continued service to our nation. Erin, Katie, Calvin and I are extremely proud to be a part of the Flying Tigers. We are excited for the chance to work with you, and we're thankful for a community that provides such fantastic support to everyone in the 23rd Wing, both here at Moody and at locations across the country.