Time gone bye

  • Published
  • By Maj. Gen. Robert L. Smolen
  • Air Force District of Washington commander
Time flies when you are having fun and it seems like just the other day I accepted the twin guidons signifying the Air Force District of Washington and the Air Force National Capital Region. What an amazing time this has been.

We stood the command up at Bolling, reorganized Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and stood up the 316th Wing. We also stood up the 79th Medical Wing, reorganized the Air Force Pentagon Communications Agency into the 844th Communications Group and relocated the command to Andrews all within 14 months.

As I reflect on a long career, the people here in AFDW will stand out as some of the hardest working and most dedicated active duty, guard, reserve and civilian Airmen in the Air Force today. It has been my distinct honor to serve with you.

We faced many challenges as we stood up AFDW at Bolling and again as we relocate to Andrews. Through it all, you have prevailed and exhibited the drive and dedication to duty I have come to know, love and respect. At the same time, you continued superior customer service.

I was in the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, and we must never waiver in our preparedness. Our vigilance is the key to protecting our country and the nation's capital, and that vigilance must be strong and unwavering if it is to last. Our area of operation is very special and priceless. While we do the things others do to support the Global War on Terrorism, we have the added responsibility of taking care of tens of thousands of Air Force members worldwide. Our honor guard and band inspire and help bring to rest our heroes. We provide strong support to the Joint Task Force National Capital Region and Northern Command. We have an awesome mission!

I am positive you will continue to achieve great things for our Air Force and the nation. Brig. Gen. Frank Gorenc brings great experience that will take AFDW to even greater success. He's an outstanding leader with a phenomenal team of great professionals. Good luck to all of you and thank you for all you do for the Air Force and this country. Adriane and I are proud to have been members of such an incredible team.