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2010: A look back...2011: A look ahead

  • Published
  • By Col. James Vechery
  • 60th Air Mobility Wing commander
Happy New Year Team Travis and welcome back to what promises to be a very exciting and dynamic year at Travis AFB! There is no doubt 2010 was a banner year for our Travis family, and thanks to everyone's diligence and planning, we ushered in 2011 on the right note with no DUIs or mishaps. To celebrate the many successes you accomplished in 2010, I'd like to run down some of YOUR greatest hits of the past year affecting our family, mission and future.

On the family front, Travis Week was a huge success! This was the first event of its kind at Travis and did more for our Travis-community relationship in one week than ever imaginable. Over 150 volunteers successfully pulled off 22 separate "Quality of Life" and partner-building events across Solano County and Sacramento. Our Air Force Ball and Team Travis Block Party were absolutely amazing events as over 7,700 Team Travis family members enjoyed the celebrations and we continued to build our community.

Operation Unified Response showcased how we accomplish our mission with excellence! One of the largest humanitarian efforts in history captured the eyes of the world as the U.S. led a cooperation of international aid to the earthquake ravaged island of Haiti. Team Travis was front-and-center in the endeavor landing the first C-17 and delivering over two million pounds of cargo. Our 56-member Expeditionary Medical Support Team provided triage support to the USNS Comfort and life-saving medical care to over 2,500 patients. At the same time, our 15th Air Mobility Operations Squadron and 615th Contingency Response Wing partners were on the ground providing airfield capabilities to the devastated area as hundreds of aircraft came in and out of one of the busiest airspaces in the world.

As we prepare for the future, our End of Year Budget execution was phenomenal! Aggressive posturing throughout the year netted Team Travis $32.5 million in end of year funding for 50 of your top infrastructure, quality of life, and mission needs. We received another $1.6 million for our Comprehensive Airman Fitness initiatives and David Grant Medical Center secured an additional $25 million. All of these remarkable numbers mean Travis will continue to grow and develop as America's First Choice, and be a place you're proud to call your home town.

These are just a few of your greatest hits and I am immensely proud of everyone on our team. We also completed our new construction phase of housing privatization in 2010 culminating with the opening of the brand new Travis Community Center in December. Balfour Beatty has now added 358 new homes to the Travis landscape and we currently have 1,247 families living on base, at 96 percent housing capacity. Additionally, our war on DUIs has made significant strides, down from 48 in 2009 to 28 in 2010. While one DUI is still too many, it is clear you are taking the message to heart and being world-class Wingmen. Our goal for 2011 is, of course, zero! Thank you for all your efforts!

Speaking of 2011, this year will provide another set of challenges and opportunities for our family. First, in a couple weeks, a team will visit Travis as one of two Air Force finalists for the 2011 Commander-in-Chief's Installation Excellence Award. It's no small task showcasing in just a few days all of the incredible things Team Travis does, but I have supreme confidence that you will rise to the challenge and knock it out of the park! Additionally, we have quite a few inspections to prepare for as the 615 CRW has an Operational Readiness Inspection in March and the 60 and 349 AMWs have a Compliance Inspection in May. Lastly, we look forward to hosting a true Travis AFB Open House--our first in three years--as we bring the world-renowned USAF Thunderbirds and many other air power demonstrations to our base July 30 and 31.

It has been my sincere honor to serve alongside you in 2010, and I look forward to an amazing 2011. The Golden Bear Legacy of Excellence is, as it has always been, in your hands! Have a great year, Team Travis...AIR POWER!!!