First Impressions of Dover

Col. Tyler Schaff, Mission Support Group commander (U.S. Air Force photo)

Col. Tyler Schaff, Mission Support Group commander (U.S. Air Force photo)

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- You only get one opportunity to make a first impression and Dover has hit it out of the ballpark! My family and I have been extremely impressed with our first few weeks at Dover. The mission of the 436th Airlift Wing is to “deliver excellence,” which I assumed directly related to the amazing mission of our outstanding maintenance and operations professionals, moving personnel and cargo around the world in support of America’s national security missions.

I’ve since come to realize that the motto means all that and so much more! Below is what I’ve seen so far on how our entire team “delivers excellence.”

Team Dover: The cooperation and synchronization between the 512th Airlift Wing, Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System, Joint Personal Effects Depot and the rest of the vital organizations at Dover is nothing short of phenomenal. Accomplishing the mission is the priority, not who takes credit for the action. These relationships aren’t built and developed overnight; therefore, I can sense the deliberate investment that has been made in nurturing and improving these relationships over the years. Go Team Dover!

Community: The involvement and support of the Dover community reaches far beyond any reasonable expectation from off-base partners. Airmen and families being welcomed into the local community is an immeasurable benefit that improves morale, bolsters retention and fosters teamwork. I’m very excited to help expand our thriving community partnership program to improve the base for our Airmen and their families while also supporting the local area. Dover has been recognized, at the Air Force level, for their outstanding partnership through the Public Private Private Public (P4) program. Additionally, the robust Honorary Commander program helps to make these relationships a bit more personal, while continuing to share the mission of Dover AFB into the community. I recently had the opportunity to meet with my Honorary Commander, Mr. Gordon Basht, Director of Sales for Dover Downs Hotel and Casino. The synergy that has been created between our organizations is one that I look forward to continuing and building upon. Thank you Dover and this welcoming local community for your continuing support!

Civilian Airmen: The mission of Team Dover can’t be accomplished without the dedication, continuity and mentorship from our civilian Airmen. I’ve heard and observed how our civilian employees are invested in our mission and people. The uniform-wearing team tends to get most of the recognition, but I’m here to tell you that I’m glad we are all on the same team! I look forward to learning from each one of you.

Mission Support Team: I am already biased about the 436th Mission Support Group team – they are amazing! MSG “delivers excellence” each day so that our teammates across the base can deliver Airmen, aircraft and equipment around the world. Contracting, Security Forces, Force Support, Logistics Readiness, Communications and Civil Engineering make up a dedicated team that crushes the mission each day - despite battling deployments, limited resources, skill level mismatches, policy barriers and antiquated IT systems. I am proud to be on your team and look forward to hearing your innovative solutions which will continue to improve how we “deliver excellence” to Team Dover!

First impressions are lasting impressions, and at this point I couldn’t be more pleased. My family and I are beyond grateful to have the opportunity to serve with you at Dover Air Force Base. We’re all in! Let’s keep it up and “deliver excellence!”