“Attack-Rescue-Protect”: It’s still our motto

  • Published
  • By Col. Kenneth Todorov
  • 23rd Wing Commander
On Jan. 25, many of us sat in a chilly hangar and were inspired by the activation of the 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing and the words shared by its new commander, Brig. Gen. Michael Longoria. During the ceremony, we had the privilege to welcome this new wing to Moody; and our Air Force, installation and community are better for it.

I know I speak for all of the Flying Tiger Airmen in congratulating the outstanding battlefield Airmen of the 93rd AGOW who exemplify their motto: "Fight the Base...Control the Attack." Congratulations to them and to General Longoria.

The activation also gave us time to say thank you to the warrior Airmen of the 820th Security Forces Group as they transition from the Flying Tigers to the AGOW. I can't begin to express how proud I am to have had these warriors as a part of the 23rd Wing. Time and time again, they "joined to fight," impressed, dazzled, and inspired us both at home and in combat operations. They proved their worth in spades to combatant commanders around the globe. Under the AGOW, these Airmen will continue to provide a vital combat capability for years to come. Well done and thank you 820th SFG and "hoo-ah."

Now that the 23rd Wing is reduced by these 700 Airmen, I've been asked by several people if our wing's motto will remain the same. While the AGOW activation and movement of the 820th SFG has brought about change to the 23rd Wing, our motto isn't going anywhere. "Attack-Rescue-Protect" still sums up the Flying Tiger mission very well.

Of course, "Attack" still pertains to our awesome operational capabilities and the Airmen of the 23rd Fighter Group and the associated maintainers of the 23rd Maintenance Group. With each passing week, these Airmen hone their combat capabilities, flying, fighting and winning with the mighty A-10C Thunderbolt II.

"Rescue" still points to our wing's proud legacy to rescue Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and even civilians from harm's way under the most difficult circumstances anywhere in the world.

Let us also not forget the critical roles in the day-to-day running of the wing. We rely on so many of our Airmen in a myriad of specialties to "get 'er done." From contracting to the comptroller, from the clinic to the combat engineers, who are executing the more than $100 million in infrastructure improvements, from the Command Post controllers to those dedicated employees of our Child Development Center, all of us play a critical role in accomplishing the Flying Tiger mission.

Regardless of where you reside in our wing, you play an important role in our success. All of us, Airmen and civilian employees alike, share an obligation to "Protect" aspects crucial to our success in the profession of arms; fundamental things like our resources, installation and integrity of our work spaces. We also share a common purpose to "protect" things more sacred: our core values, freedom, Constitution and even each other. Each and every one of you is critical to our success as a whole and vital to protecting the things near and dear to us.

Nowhere did that premise ring more true to me than at a ceremony last week at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. There, I was fortunate to present the Airman's Medal to the family of one of our own fallen comrades, Staff Sgt. Timothy Hahn of the 563rd Maintenance Squadron.

Sergeant Hahn lost his life last August attempting to save the life of a woman, who was caught in the raging waters of a flash flood in Arizona. Without hesitation or concern of his own safety, he instantly sprang into motion, and with all his effort, made every attempt to pull his Wingman out of the raging waters. Tim Hahn was a true rescue professional and served his nation well.

This wing's calling to serve isn't restricted to one base or location. Whether you're at Davis-Monthan, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Avon Park Air Force Range, Fla., or here at Moody, we are all part of the same wing and team, and we share the same goals.

Our three primary goals as a wing: develop and grow leaders, be prepared to deploy, and be ready to fight and win; provide us with the direction to follow. We must constantly strive toward these ends, while remembering that as Airmen, we are also tasked to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

There's no better way to achieve this than by living our motto: "Attack-Rescue-Protect!"