AFDW ramps up for busy September, Presidential Inauguration

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Brus E. Vidal
  • Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs
Beginning his third year commanding the Air Force District of Washington, Maj. Gen. Darryl W. Burke held a commander’s call with the AFDW headquarters staff today.

He and his leadership team discussed a number of issues during the event, but General Burke said the highlight for him was to recognize the members of his team for their accomplishments.

He first kicked off the event by “coining” MSgt Clayton Greenwell, MSgt Donna Essex, and MSgt Migheal Campbell, for their “hard work in making the Senior NCO induction ceremony a resounding success.”

While addressing the AFDW Headquarters Staff, General Burke then highlighted a number of the staff’s notable achievements over the past quarter.

After recognizing recent individual and team accomplishments, General Burke focused on the significant challenges facing the AFDW team over the next few months, culminating in the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.

“We’re heading into an extremely busy time, culminating in our support to the 2017 Presidential Inauguration,” he said. “Everyone in this room and everyone who is a part of our team – including those who deploy here to augment us in support of inauguration planning operations through event execution – is a critical enabler to mission success.”

AFDW personnel play a crucial role for all Presidential Inauguration activities, and it leads all air component activities for the event through the activation of the 320th Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW). By Air Combat Command direction, the 320 AEW has already been activated as the Air Force Component Headquarters to JTF-NCR and continues to receive deploying Airmen weekly to augment the AFDW personnel who lead 320 AEW operations. The 320 AEW provides an array of support to the Inauguration, consisting of: command and control, communications operations; as an inter-agency liaison; logistics and support operations; engineering operations; legal support and guidance; and a contingency response capability.

The large body of Airmen supporting inaugural events also include AFDW’s U.S. Air Force Band and Honor Guard from the 11th Wing and AFDW Airmen who serve in marching units comprised of active duty, Reserve and Guard Airmen from across the National Capital Region.

Beyond the inauguration, AFDW personnel will also be instrumental in numerous other activities, including a number of events supporting Air Force Birthday week, and the Air Force Tattoo in September.

The Tattoo event, a combination of music, drill and ceremony, and aircraft performances, honors Airmen – past and present – who make up the world's premier Air Force as it celebrates its 69th birthday Tattoo will take place at the Air Force Ceremonial Lawn at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling on Sept. 17.

“The first couple weeks in September will be like putting on back-to-back open house events, but we have no time to exhale with our inauguration planning and executing operations just beginning to ramp up now.”

“The pace will increase exponentially, week-by-week, as we build to the actual event.”

He also discussed the forthcoming AFDW Strategic Plan, discussing five command goals that tie directly back to the AFDW mission: Contingency Response, Ceremonial Honors, and Operational Support across the Nation’s Capital and Worldwide.

General Burke said the goals are: Agile and Focused on Core Missions, Broadly Communicated AFDW Vision & Mission, Ready, Responsive Airmen and Organizations, Integrated Cyberspace Capabilities, and Strong Mission Partner Relationships. Each goal has an outlined timeline for goal achievement and a “champion” assigned to it, to ensure AFDW is continually working to achieving each goal.

Working in support of these goals and in line with the AFDW Strategic Plan, General Burke also highlighted AFDW’s Focus Areas: “clarifying our core missions, deconflicting capabilities with our mission partners, clearly communicating who we are and what we do, improving our processes and seeking efficiencies, fostering readiness and resiliency, strengthening IT governance and customer support, upgrading computing solutions, and strengthening relationships that impact our operations.”

Closing out the event, the AFDW Command Chief, CMSgt Tommy Mazzone, also addressed the staff and praised the team for its dedication to the mission, thanking them for their continuing teamwork and support.

“You do a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ work that is often unobserved but General Burke and I know how important you are and all of the great things you do that, more often than not, will never be noticed,” Mazzone said. “On behalf of General Burke and the entire AFDW leadership team, thank you!

“Thank you for your pride, professionalism, teamwork and commitment to excellence – we have an amazing team here and I’m so proud to be a part of it, working alongside each and every one of you to make our critically important mission happen!”