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Bolling steps into the future as AFDW stands up

BOLLING AIR FORCE BASE, D.C. -- The Air Force District of Washington was reactivated at Bolling Air Force Base in an official ceremony held here Jan. 5.

"This is a big day for AFDW. This is a big day for the Air Force," said Gen. T. Michael Moseley, the vice chief of staff of the Air Force, who officiated the brief ceremony.

The reactivation of AFDW followed the September 2004 activation of the Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region, of which AFDW now serves as the Air Force component. The other components are the U.S. Army Military District of Washington, Naval District of Washington, Marine Corps National Capital Region Command and U.S. Coast Guard.

Today, the Air Force is concerned about securing the nation's capital and being part of a joint team, General Moseley said. AFDW will now plan and coordinate Air Force assistance for homeland defense and civil support in the District of Columbia and Virginia and Maryland counties along with the other JFHQ components.

Referring to Bolling's 87-year history and a well-known 1980s movie, the vice chief of staff told guests that reactivating AFDW marks the next step in Bolling's future, or its step "back to the future."

The similarity stops with the name, though, because AFDW is part of a full-fledged combatant command under U.S. Northern Command. The new command structure gives the Air Force a single voice for working cross-service issues throughout the NCR and improves the service's level of support to the JFHQ. "With your effort and attention to detail, the capital is safer and more secure," General Moseley said.

During the symbolic ceremony, the general passed on the AFDW guidon to Col. Duane A. Jones, who officially assumed command of AFDW by accepting it.

AFDW will transition from initial to full operational capability in the next six months.

"When we stand up operationally in July, it'll be something the Air Force can be proud of; it'll be something the American people can be proud of too," Colonel Jones said. "We've got a lot of work ahead. We've got an exciting time ahead."