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Travis commander reflects on past year

Col. John Klein, official photo, U.S. Air Force

Col. John Klein, official photo, U.S. Air Force

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. –

Team Travis,

Welcome back and Happy New Year! We hope you all had a chance to relax and recharge over the Holidays. Before we press into 2018, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on what you accomplished across the wing in 2017. We had a very engaging year and made a big impact both locally and globally. Here is just a sampling of the many great accomplishments across the wing:

The Operations Group stayed readily engaged in 2017 with multiple major exercises coupled with heavy real-world demands. Our KC-10 squadrons participated in both Exercise ULTIMATE REACH and Exercise TALISMAN SABRE, large-scale international exercises that involved over 33K participants from 4 different nations. In the wake of multiple back-to-back natural disasters, the OG supported over 50 humanitarian missions, delivering 2M pounds of cargo and hundreds of first responders to Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, Mexico City, and various Caribbean islands. The 60th OSS RAPCON Airmen provided vital air traffic separation during wildfire breakouts affecting Northern California. They seamlessly protected 236 California tanker operations and enforced temporary flight restriction areas covering 813 square miles.

Despite the large demand that these additional exercises and humanitarian relief efforts placed upon our wing, our Maintenance Group was able to surge forward with innovation and continue to meet daily requirements. Aircraft Structural Maintenance has been selected as the Air Force’s first test-bed for a new laser paint removal process, and Travis will be one of three locations set to test a new Metal Wire Arc Sprayer. All told, the two processes will save 837 man-hours annually and prevent corrosion on aircraft structures for up to 25 years. The 660 AMXS also began utilizing iPads as a supplement for their eTool program, a modernization that will save maintenance personnel 400+ man-hours a year. The Aerial Port Squadron, the DoD’s premier west coast port, pushed 48K tons of cargo, prepared 35K passengers, and supported 7.3K missions to fuel rapid global mobility.   

While healing, protecting, and training heroes, the 60th Medical Group at David Grant Medical Center, was once again recognized by the American College of Surgeons as a Meritorious Performing Hospital. This is the second year in a row that DGMC has received this recognition and is the first Department of Defense facility to achieve this prestigious distinction twice! Paramount to many of the Medical Group’s achievements were the 14 successful open heart surgeries that were performed.  Open heart surgery, similar to repairing an engine while it’s running, requires the expertise of over 50 medical AFSCs. In addition, our Airmen Medics continued to demonstrate education as a priority by graduating 338 Airmen from nine enlisted Phase programs, and 61 officers from 11 graduate medical professions. Moreover, the Medical Group conducted a pilot study for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) that solidified treatment for 60% of patients.  When this study closes, hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be indicated as a therapy to treat thousands of patients suffering from RA nationwide.  Finally, the Med Group also had a hand in disaster relief efforts deploying 38 medics to Houston, St. Croix, and Florida to assist with treatment and evacuation.

 

 

 

 

During 2017, the Mission Support Group improved processes and the wing infrastructure while garnering multiple high-level awards. The 60th Security Forces Squadron created the Home Station Training Initiative which was elevated to Headquarters Air Mobility Command for potential command-wide adoption. This initiative will result in an overall 40% manning reduction. Additionally, the squadron swept the SF Airmen categories for AMC annual awards by garnering Flight NCO, Raven Team Leader, Staff Airman, and Flight Airmen! The Force Support Squadron brought home the Lemay Trophy for AMC’s best FSS, and the Communications Squadron executed the daunting task of deploying over 10K Windows 10 workstations across Travis AFB. The Logistics Readiness Squadron demonstrated exceptional performance supporting Travis AFB’s commitment to AMC’s MOBILITY GUARDIAN. The LRS guided the deployment of 254 passengers and 372 short tons of cargo for the 3K member multinational exercise. Finally, the Contracting Squadron paced the year with bold innovation awarding $14M in programs.  They expertly executed the $450K Wings Over Solano air show budget and contracted more than $12M in infrastructure and dormitory upgrades.

 

In all of these efforts, despite significant levels of fatigue and risk, the wing worked tirelessly to mitigate many obstacles in order to successfully complete the mission when others needed it most. As 2017 comes to a close, we can reflect upon our full and active year with pride. We played a critical role in natural disaster relief. We stood up the Phoenix Spark Innovation lab—the first of its kind on an Air Force installation. We weathered an onslaught of challenges while continuing to perform our daily demands with professionalism.

However, our work is never done, and we must look ahead to what opportunities 2018—the year of Travis Air Force Base’s 75th Anniversary—may bring. We recently developed a strategic plan to guide our wing thoughtfully and purposefully into the future. Armed with our Mission, Vision, Priorities, and new Objectives, we can posture Travis Air Force Base to be prepared for whatever our nation may ask of us. As America’s premier power projection platform, 2018 promises to be a demanding year for Team Travis, and we are rising to meet the threats. We are Team Travis, this is our purpose, and there are No Bounds to what we can achieve.