Thank you

Colonel Charles R. Henderson bio photo.

Colonel Charles R. Henderson bio photo.

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – As I wrap up my command of the 621st Contingency Response Wing on June 21, I would like to take an opportunity to express my gratitude; and there’s a lot of it to go around!

Let me start by thanking the leadership teams across the 60th Air Mobility Wing and Team Travis. The partnerships we enjoy on this installation make being a tenant wing a misnomer. The reality is that the CRW is integrated with the 60th AMW at all levels. This relationship made doing our incredibly demanding and unpredictable mission so much easier. Thank you to our fellow wing, group, and squadron commanders, superintendents, and first sergeants.

Next, I would like to thank the local community. Travis Air Force Base, California, extends well beyond the fence line. Over the last two years, the cadre of citizen patriots has been unmatched. Your zest and fervor in your interactions, voice in advocating for community and base integration, and passion for the diverse Travis mission represented are so much more valuable to our Airmen than you could possibly know. The vast mayoral network and the local communities’ support has been phenomenal – thank you.

Perhaps due in part to the aforementioned off-base and community relationships, our honorary commanders have been the absolute best. A great example of this phenomenal relationship presented itself in the aftermath of the 2017 hurricane season. While CRW Airmen were supporting disaster relief operations, they left their families behind to contend with their own natural disaster, the California wildfires. 

Our honorary commanders jumped in and attended town hall meetings to listen to the concerns from our families. They leveraged their relationships with the Vacaville Fire Department and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) along with the tremendous assistance from Travis AFB supporting agencies to deliver timely and pertinent information to ease family tensions.

To the men and women of the Devil Raider wing, thank you. I have never been surrounded by more professional, capable, and dedicated leadership teams.

I’m not just referring to the military members, but also spouses and families. The West Coast CRW endured an extremely challenging operational tempo over the last two years. Time after time, each of you answered the call, running towards disasters and conflicts. With only months to prepare, you opened an air base in Iraq in 2016. Shortly thereafter, with merely a week’s notice, you planned and deployed to open an air base in Syria. A year later, you found yourselves fully extended in the wake of the destructive hurricanes in Puerto Rico, the Florida Keys and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Meanwhile, you continued operations to advise our global partners within the South American continent on Air Force mission sets, building partnerships that will last many lifetimes. Without blinking an eye, you supported our South Korean allies through numerous exercises, commanding and controlling American airpower to deliver national power to the leading edge of global reach. 

To all of you, as I pass the guidon off for this incredible wing, I am humbled by your service, sacrifice, and excellence and I am inspired by you all. Thank you.