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Holiday cheer brings another great year

  • Published
  • By Col. Greg Tims
  • 90th Missile Wing commander
Lt. Col. Shelly Strong, 90th Force Support Squadron commander, and her team put together another wonderful tree lighting ceremony. Many thanks to the communications squadron, law enforcement and civil engineer squadron for helping to make all the pieces come together! You can always count on these folks. A special thanks to my favorite chaplain, Lt. Col. (sel) Alan "AC" Chouest, 90th Missile Wing head chaplain, and well done to you -- 2nd Lt. Beth Shuler, 90th FSS, for a superb job as the emcee! As expected, Santa was a hit. I'll have to say; it was quite inspiring to see the Christmas tree lights flip on and Old Glory waving proudly next to it blowing in the wind. Pretty cool sight.

As we went through the events of the ceremony, I made sure to highlight the 58 Airmen deployed overseas as well as those in the missile field. No doubt they are key players in Air Force Global Strike Command' efforts to keep our nation safe and secure. I thank them for standing guard so we can enjoy these holiday traditions. Like I have said many times before, please ensure you carve out time with family and friends. Finally, my special thanks go to Mike Woods, 90th MW Safety, and all I can say is, you nailed the role once again!

'Tis also the season of holiday parties. Enjoy them -- what a great way to bond outside of the work environment with your teammates. However, I do believe going without a driving-under-the-influence incident is the best gift we could give each other. Let's enjoy the holidays, but enjoy them safely.

By the time you are reading this, we will have completed our nuclear surety staff assistance visit. Col. Jerry Hounchell, AFGSC Safety, led this team from HQ AFGSC. Their team was truly here to help us and they did. They gave us a very thorough look. We showed them F. E. Warren is focused and committed to getting stronger and better every day. They took away many best practices and also showed us things to tweak. I personally thanked them for giving us a good scrub.

We had another great cookie drive. I really like this holiday tradition. Special thanks to my wife Julie for organizing this event. Julie asked that I relay her great appreciation to all those who took the time to bake and make goodies for the event, along with everyone who volunteered early in the morning as well. More than 460 dorm residents and many work areas received a personal tray of holiday cheer. More than 65 volunteers showed up to assemble donations including, Airman Leadership School class 11-B, spouses, active duty, first sergeants, and retirees (thank you Dori Batten!) and civilians who still love to help and be a part of the Mighty Ninety.

A huge hug and thank you goes to Irene Johnigan, president of Air Force Association Cowboy Chapter, for giving our Airmen a load of Cookies from Eileen's cookies from downtown. Irene and the AFA do so much for Warren. We also had donations from churches and folks in the community who gathered together to bake and share their appreciation for the Airmen. Thank you to Kathy Beatty and her staff at the commissary for their donations of supplies, cookies, and candy and to the Child Development Center for loaning supplies for the greeting tags. A big hearty "thank you" to Gary Shaffer, Trail's End Club manager, and his staff for helping set up for this worthwhile cause.

Such a large event is not possible without many kind hearts. These individuals give their time for such a wonderful and annual Air Force tradition, which is an event waited for by the dorm residents and work centers throughout the wing. Col. Scott Fox, 90th MW vice commander, and I popped in on them and we were almost ran over a half-dozen times. If you thought Santa's work shop was busy, that's nothing compared to the cookie drive.

Well organized and focused is how I would describe it! As Julie said, "We always have a festive time during the cookie drive; knowing so many will receive others' thoughtfulness in just a few hours in their dorm rooms and work areas. This kind of event is a joy to participate in and makes our Air Force life special. It was another fabulous year completed in record time. Thank you to everyone."

What a treat it was to have Maj. Gen. (ret) Tim McMahon come and visit us for a few days. We had a pretty packed itinerary for him. Capt. Ken Bush, 790th Missile Security Forces squadron, was the project officer and did a bang up job. I'd also like to thank the hundreds of Airmen that briefed the general, shared their thoughts with him, or just had an opportunity to show off their professional skills. General McMahon is the senior advisor to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force for Strategic Deterrence and Integration. We couldn't ask for better support as we continue to strengthen the nuclear mission. General McMahon is a friend of Warren and is welcomed on this base at any time.

Tomorrow is our holiday party. Those who missed it last year missed a great time. If it is possible, this year's party will even be better. If you haven't got a ticket yet, it's not too late to get one -- just see your shirt, or call me! I truly hope to see you there. Remember, a wing that understands how to work and play together builds bonds between warriors, which produces a combat capability that can't be stopped.

Go Forth and Conquer!