Commander’s Corner: Recognizing AF 60th Anniversary participants

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, New Mexico -- We're at mid-December and close to wrapping up 2007, and concluding the chapter of a year-long celebration, commemorating 60 years of the U.S. Air Force. There have been a lot of events tied to that tribute, a lot of attention paid to just how far this service has come in just 60 years. In the words of the Airman's Creed, we are the nation's "sword and shield, its sentry and avenger." We have a lot to be proud of, and it's altogether fitting to show that pride to the communities in which we live.

While there were 60th Anniversary activities worldwide, I don't think there are many bases--or any states for that matter--that commemorated the Air Force's 60th anything like what we did here in New Mexico.

The celebration we put on, a state-wide acknowledgment involving all three New Mexico bases, was really something special. Those of you who made it happen know exactly what I'm talking about. It was a huge effort.

To give credit where credit it is due, Brig. Gen. David Goldfein, the commander of the 49th Fighter Wing at Holloman AFB, was the one who came up with the idea of joining forces across the state and getting the Air Force the recognition it deserved.

Having the idea is a great thing, but it takes an awful lot of work to make it all happen. My vice commander, Col. Mohsen Parhizkar, can tell you exactly how much work it takes since he was in charge of implementing that vision. I observed that monumental effort going on and thought to myself, 'there's a lot of work going into this; this is really going to be a class act.' And it really was.

As one of the people who didn't have to do the actual work, but got to enjoy the fruits of those efforts, I'd like to thank everyone who made this memorable celebration possible. This past Friday, I had the privilege of handing out quite a few decorations, Team Kirtland coins, and thank-you letters to those hard-working individuals.

I've often said that we've gotten so good at what we do that we've become almost invisible, and that people take airpower for granted. It's just there when you need it. Air superiority is sometimes regarded as an American birthright. When soldiers on the battlefield need firepower on target, it's there, with remarkable precision. When we need to know where the enemy is and what he's doing, we've got assets in the air and in space that provide that kind of intelligence.

All those miracles don't just happen. They happen because Airmen make them happen. We have to remind people of that from time to time, and many of you were crucial in taking that story to the community and reminding people what it is that the Air Force does for America. Thanks for everything that you do!

Those recognized for their participation:

Senior Airman Daryl L. Ables
Master Sgt. Harold W. Anderson
Master Sgt. Richard D. Anderson
Airman 1st Class Stefano Angelucci
Master Sgt. Keith Baber
Airman 1st Class Michael Bartelheim
Master Sgt. Chris A. Batchelar
Tech. Sgt. Robert W. Bean
Senior Airman Kevin T. Bemrich
Master Sgt. Joe H. Benavides
Todd R. Berenger
Anita E. Bergman
Lt. Col. John Bernhart
1st Lt. Amy Bishop
Capt. Kevin J. Bishop
Staff Sgt. Robert J. Black
Airman Alexander L. Blackburn
Eva D. Blaylock
2nd Lt. Klayton Bobsein
David Bragg
Airman Jordin C. Buttenob
Vivian Byers
Yolanda Callens
2nd Lt. Jacqueline D. Carlow
Dennis L. Carlson
Lt. Col. Alexander E. Carothers
Master Sgt. Comer L. Carter
Mary Casaus
2nd Lt. Israel Cerda
Master Sgt. Delbert A. Champ
Tech. Sgt. John P. Chilcote
Senior Master Sgt. Ramon Colon-Lopez
2nd Lt. Jeremy A. Conrad
2nd Lt. Scott C. Cook
Master Sgt. Michael T. Davenport
Tech. Sgt. Tracy Debbs
2nd Lt. John E. Demello
Airman 1st Class Holly N. Diehl
Gregory M. Duffield
Capt. Kevin J. Eberhart
Staff Sgt. Anna D. Ellis
Senior Master Sgt. Gary W. Engler
Lt. Col. Cynthia LH. Fisher
Lt. Col. Jeffrey B. Freeman
Staff Sgt. Tyler Fritz
Staff Sgt. Christopher Frost
Airman 1st Class Christopher Gadson
Dolores D. Garcia
Greg Garcia
Staff Sgt. Michael E. Garcia
2nd Lt. Joel C. Gentz
Airman 1st Class James L. Gibson
Master Sgt. Elaine R. Gonzales
Lisa A. Gonzales
1st Lt. Amber L. Goodwin
Tech. Sgt. Sean C. Gray
2nd Lt. Chana M. Greene
Capt. Aaron S. Gwin
Master Sgt. Quincy D. Harper
Edward C. Harrison
Jamie M. Harrison
Laura Hasanoeddin
Maj. Ronald E. Henderson
Maj. Tiaa Henderson
Capt. Gerome Hernandez
Jacqueline Pennington
Staff Sgt. Wayne Jarrett
Capt. James Jensen
Tech. Sgt. Nathan R. Jensen
Senior Airman Sabrina S. Jernigan
2nd Lt. John T. Kauzlaric
Richard Kehl
Maj. Matthew D. Keihl
Capt. Frank J. Klimas
Master Sgt. Wendy Lalande
Tech. Sgt. Jay D. Lane
Tech. Sgt. Christopher Langston
Senior Airman Jason Lawson
Florisca LeBlanc
Staff Sgt. Lewlyn E. Lippert
Capt. Joseph J. Lopez
Staff Sgt. Christopher Lucero
Master Sgt. Eric E. Lyke
Chief Master Sgt. Richard Maffucci
1st Lt. Christopher L. Martagon
Tech. Sgt. Carl H. Martin
Charlie H. Martinez
Elizabeth Martinez
1st Lt. Gerald D. Martinez
Airman 1st Class Thomas Mathis
Senior Master Sgt. Christina E. Maxwell
Tech. Sgt. Christopher J. McCrady
1st Lt. Brandon S. McKinnon
Senior Airman Reuben Medina
Senior Airman Eric R. Minthorn
2nd Lt. Patrick D. Montag
Hodges Montanna
Capt. Myrna B. Montminy
Ken C. Moore
Senior Master Sgt. Cheryl M. Moore
Airman 1st Class Joshua N. Moreno
Staff Sgt. Emily Nelson
Master Sgt. David W. Nichols
Tech. Sgt. Cory M. Norman
Master Sgt. Mark Norris
2nd Lt. William J. Palm
Tech. Sgt. Nathan B. Pardo
Gary J. Park
Rudy Perez
Master Sgt. Mark Peters
Staff Sgt. Tasha Pitts
Staff Sgt. Amber J. Poe
Tech. Sgt. Todd M. Popovic
Tech. Sgt. Anthony A. Proctor
Master Sgt. John H. Proellochs
Lt. Col. Shahnaz M. Punjani
Karim S. Qassim
Maj. Daniel Queen
Joquin Quintana
Tech. Sgt. Francis X. Reilly
Staff Sgt. Michael Reno
Tech. Sgt. Christopher Richards
Staff Sgt. Michael S. Richards
1st Lt. Jamie N. Riggins
Staff Sgt. Jamie N. Rodriguez
Lt. Col. Ronald K. Roeseberg
Sheila N. Rupp
Master Sgt. Adam J. Ryan
Michele L. Sager
James R. Sanchez
Ed Sandoval
Tech. Sgt. Kenneth L. Santos
Heidi L. Sather
2nd Lt. Matthew J. Schlittler
Master Sgt. Ryan W. Schultz
1st Lt. Curtis J. Schwarz
Lt. Col. John Seamon
Master Sgt. Fiafia T. Seau
Senior Airman Gregory Seeley
Maj Wendy S. Senter
2nd Lt Salvatore A. Sferrazza
Dave Sheffield
Master Sgt. James R. Shrum
Capt. Jeffrey D. Simmons
Airman 1st Class Nathan T. Simonson
Bridget R. Skinner
Airman 1st Class Garrett R. Smith
Genie M. Smith
2nd Lt. Russell D. Smyth
Master Sgt. Mariana G. Sobolewski
Maj. Nguyen Son
Jillian K. Speake
Capt. Jacqueline M. Stingl
Gerald C. Stratton
Senior Airman Nikia D. Sylvester
Tech. Sgt. Edward Tarala
Maj. Don R. Thomas
Staff Sgt. Robert J. Thomas
Kimberly J. Tiley
Capt. Gerald J. Tiller
1st Lt. Stephanie R. Tillman
Maj. Michelle R. Tirado
Son Trinh
Maj. Mark J. VanderKinter
Capt. Mark F. Vanweezendonk
Ronald E. Webb
Staff Sgt. Ryan A. Wehrman
2nd Lt. Shane T. Williams
Airman 1st Class David Wilson
Steven D. Wilson
Airman 1st Class William Worcester
Dana Wright
Master Sgt. Nathan R. Zinn