Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Finishing strong

By Col. Anthony Carelli
111th Fighter Wing Commander

The last week in July marked a milestone in our unit's history. The last pair of 111th Fighter Wing A-10s departed the base and flew to Hill Air Force Base, Utah. This completed the flying mission drawdown that began over five years ago.

Even under the best of circumstances, flying and maintaining fighter aircraft is a complicated and dangerous mission. Flying safely and efficiently over the past five years with a full schedule and all the transition distractions was a significant achievement. During this period, the unit went through multiple major command inspections and accomplished two out-of-cycle Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) aviation deployments, as well as numerous other CONUS combat training deployments.

Those that remained until the end to complete flying operations were small in numbers, but big in heart. Their never say die attitude and commitment to maintaining and flying the best kept A-10 aircraft in the Air Force was unmatched. We maintained and flew our airplanes until the end because we had more to contribute. We delivered combat power in theater and trained others who were deploying to the AEF. When we reached the final date, we launched and flew our own airplanes away to depot. We lost our A-10s, but never lost our focus, commitment, or pride.

Thanks to all in the Wing who helped support this outstanding effort over the past five years. We still have equipment to ship away, facilities to transition, and a new mission to stand up so there is more work ahead of us. Regardless of the mission,
great people will always accomplish great things. Thanks for serving.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Pat Cashin)


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