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Thank you, Team Dover!

Airmen from the 3rd Airlift Squadron pose for a photo with other exercise participants Sept. 24, 2019, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., during Mobility Guardian 2019. Exercise Mobility Guardian is Air Mobility Command's premier, large-scale mobility exercise. Through robust and relevant training, Mobility Guardian improves the readiness and capabilities of Mobility Airmen to deliver rapid global mobility and builds a more lethal and ready Air Force.(U.S. Air Force video by Tech. Sgt. Esteban Esquivel).

Airmen from the 3rd Airlift Squadron pose for a photo with other exercise participants Sept. 24, 2019, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., during Mobility Guardian 2019. Exercise Mobility Guardian is Air Mobility Command's premier, large-scale mobility exercise. Through robust and relevant training, Mobility Guardian improves the readiness and capabilities of Mobility Airmen to deliver rapid global mobility and builds a more lethal and ready Air Force.(U.S. Air Force video by Tech. Sgt. Esteban Esquivel).

Senior Airman Dean Lemley, 736th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron C-17 dedicated crew chief, places a squadron patch on the sleeve of Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright Sept. 4, 2019, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Wright visited maintenance personnel and aircrew members on the Globemaster III. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

Senior Airman Dean Lemley, 736th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron C-17 dedicated crew chief, places a squadron patch on the sleeve of Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright Sept. 4, 2019, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Wright visited maintenance personnel and aircrew members on the Globemaster III. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

(Right) 1st Lt. Jamie Leatherman, 436th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, holds the torch with contestant Anne Marie Eaddie-Smith during the Special Olympics Delaware 2019 cycling tournament Sept. 21, 2019, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. More than 100 volunteers came together to help make this event possible. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Quail)

(Right) 1st Lt. Jamie Leatherman, 436th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, holds the torch with contestant Anne Marie Eaddie-Smith during the Special Olympics Delaware 2019 cycling tournament Sept. 21, 2019, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. More than 100 volunteers came together to help make this event possible. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Quail)

The Trojan Thunder T-28 Demonstration Team flies past the tail of a C-5M Super Galaxy during the 2019 Thunder Over Dover, Sept. 15, 2019, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. The T-28 is a piston-engine military trainer aircraft designed in the late 1940s to replace the T-6 Texan as the military's primary two-seat trainer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

The Trojan Thunder T-28 Demonstration Team flies past the tail of a C-5M Super Galaxy during the 2019 Thunder Over Dover, Sept. 15, 2019, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. The T-28 is a piston-engine military trainer aircraft designed in the late 1940s to replace the T-6 Texan as the military's primary two-seat trainer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- Last January at my commander’s call, I talked about our strategic calendar. At the time, when we looked at September, it was extremely busy … too busy. So, we made decisions to lighten September’s load. We asked Air Mobility Command to move our Unit Effectiveness Inspection, and they did — we had it in May instead of September. We moved our next base exercise from September to the second week of November. This came at a price. For example, we lost a few months of preparation for the UEI, but it did not stop the wing from doing well and earning an “Excellent.” As September approached, the load still was not light enough. The air show and the Air Force Ball in the same weekend proved too difficult; so we modified how we commemorated the Air Force’s birthday, changing it from a ball format to celebrating it in the squadrons and on the flight line the day prior to the air show.

Now that September is behind us, I am happy we successfully moved some of these events off the schedule, but recognize many had to remain in September. Most visible was our air show, bringing approximately 40,000 visitors to the base. Yet other events, with far less visibility, still had an enormous impact. For example, the week after the air show, Dover Airmen volunteered their time to host a bike race for Delaware’s Special Olympics.  Last week, Dover hosted aircraft from nine nations in support of the United Nation’s General Assembly meeting in New York. Efforts like these allow us to build trusted partnerships, both locally and abroad, thanks to the work of Team Dover. Thank you to all who showed these partners Dover’s unrivalled installation support.        

Although the calendar was full, it was not all work. Our Resiliency Tactical Pause began in August. However, there were several units in the medical group and force support squadron who started September with their Pause, helping ensure our Airmen and their families are cared for. Additionally, some of our Airmen had the opportunity to hear senior Air Force leaders speak firsthand at the Air Force Association’s Convention in Washington. Others had the opportunity to hear Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright speak during his visit to Dover. Chief Wright stated this was one of the best base visits he has ever experienced. He could tell from the moment he landed, Team Dover’s dynamic was incredible. Wing events like these help fulfill the wing’s priority to develop Airmen, and I greatly appreciate the Airmen who made these events possible.   

The busy calendar at home station did not keep the wing from continuing its rapid global airlift mission. We sent 108 Airmen to AMC’s Mobility Guardian exercise, increasing the command’s full-spectrum readiness and preparing our Airmen for contested environments. September also witnessed our Airmen flying missions in support of the president of the United States and our combatant commanders, ending the month by sending C-5s to start the next multi-modal operation from Spain to Afghanistan. These missions will only get busier over the next few months; thank you to those who supported them, as well as those who will in the near future.   

I know I am not the only commander who appreciates the work of Dover’s Airmen. Our Airmen also support the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations mission to return our nation’s fallen with honor and dignity. We closed September with the passing of the guidon at AFMAO and the retirement of their commander, Col. Dawn Lancaster. In true Dover style, she appreciated the world-class support she received from our Airmen and has asked me to pass on her sincerest appreciation.

In addition to her gratitude, I want to thank everyone who helped make September such a success at Dover … THANK YOU for your continued dedication to the Team Dover missions.