96th ABW CC bids farewell to base, wing

  • Published
  • By Col. Bruce McClintock
  • 96th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
As Tammy and I prepare to depart for our next assignment, I wanted to say "Thank You" to each and every member of Team Eglin for your tremendous support and effort over the past two years. Your friendships and successes have made this tour incredibly rewarding and fulfilling.

It has been a privilege to work with some of the finest soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coast guardsmen, civilians, contractors and community leaders anywhere. Together we made "Team Eglin" more than just a slogan. Given the complexity and vastness of Eglin, that has been no easy feat but we have had success on many fronts as we worked to communicate, cooperate, and create win-win solutions even when resources were less than requirements.

Together we worked hard to improve the quality of life for our warriors and their families. We took on challenges to improve the overall wellness of every team Eglin member. I am grateful to the members of the Air Base Wing team that showed creativity in creating new and effective programs for improving physical, spiritual, social, and mental wellness. You worked hard to care for our people!

The base engineering and support teams made numerous improvements to the facilities and infrastructure that support Eglin's mission. Civil engineering led the charge to manage over $500M of BRAC construction in preparation for the newly morphed 33rd Joint Strike Fighter Training Wing and $300M for the 7th Special Forces Group. We've also used our budget wisely to enhance base facilities: a new $13.6M BRAC medical facility expansion building, $1.8M satellite pharmacy renovation, $7.4M on repairing and maintaining over 3,000 aging buildings, $305K worth of materials for self-help projects to improve 478 housing units, $450K to replace playgrounds. Also, the renovations on the fitness center, running track, officers' club, enlisted hall were noteworthy but the entire team worked hard to make the best of our resources. Thank you for working so hard to provide the best foundation for Team Eglin.

You all came together to work to make Eglin the premiere base for resource stewardship across our multiple commands and across the Air Force. Your enthusiasm and support for our Energy Expos and energy savings efforts were noteworthy. Team Eglin units also enjoyed quarterly competitions between buildings to see who could lower the energy bills. In fiscal year 2009 we reduced our water consumption rate by 22 percent and overall energy consumption rate by 7 percent. You are well on the path to making resource stewardship a way of life rather than a slogan--keep up the great work!

I am especially impressed at the very strong relationship Team Eglin has with our surrounding communities. Although we have not always agreed on every issue, together we continued to improve our mutual community through efforts including the Joint Land Use Study and the Mid-Bay Bridge Connector effort. The Florida state legislature has passed legislation that will assist and support military members and their families, and will help ensure the future mission accomplishment of our flying operations at Eglin. We've watched with gratitude as the community helped build a Fisher House on Eglin to support family members of those who need our help the most. I'm also proud of our partnership with the local airport who shares our runway; together we created the first USO facility, dedicated static displays, supported Florida efforts to improve roadways outside our gates and welcomed home WWII heroes.

Over the past two years, we've all worked together to help pave the way for the future of this incredibly dynamic installation. I have been privileged to be one of many commanders at Eglin and one of a long line of base commanders. As we all move forward in our careers and personal lives, rest assured that Tammy and I will always have a special place in our heart and memory for Team Eglin, our community partners, and all we have achieved together over the past two years. God bless you and we look forward to seeing you again soon.