Our nation is a superpower because we can go wherever we need to, whenever we need to, for as long as we need to. Other nations may be able to launch a missile, sail a ship or deploy some small force to other parts of the world, but no other nation on Earth has Mobility Forces like ours.
Only our fleets of tankers and airlifters can deliver and sustain our nation’s might, regardless of the distance, environment or circumstance. Often, we are the difference between hope and hopelessness.
Sometimes that might come in the form of combat forces, deployed to stop the actions of madmen. At other times it takes the shape of humanitarian supplies, rescue equipment and disaster relief workers running towards some of the worst situations imaginable — flooding, contagious disease or even nuclear accidents.
For some people, it is the start of an evacuation journey in the back of a large, loud gray aircraft to a place where their families can be safer and perhaps have a chance at a better life.
No matter how our nation responds to the world’s crises, the key to that response is you, the Airman who quietly and diligently does their part each and every day. Regardless of the responsibilities handed to you each day, what you do matters — because without you, our country could not be a force for good in the world.
When you keep yourself, your teammates and your unit ready, you keep your country safe by sustaining the ability of the mobility forces to project power around the globe.
Recently, readiness has meant additional training and qualifications for many of us. The conflicts we’ve been fighting haven’t required us to be ready for things like chemical attacks or base defense, but there are nations prepared to make us use those skills in the future.
That is why, across our Air Force, we’ve been focusing on readiness skills, equipment and tactics. Here at JBLM, we’ve flown massive airdrop formations, loaded and maintained aircraft in chemical gear and prepared to take the fight to any enemy that foolishly chooses to test us.
We’ve demonstrated the commitment and flexibility to be ready for any scenario. Our efforts have shown the world that our country cannot be threatened without great risk — and that has made many nations think twice about attacking us or our allies, knowing that they will not survive the fight.
In the future, many of us will be asked to deploy and fight. We will fight and win. There will be no chemical attack, no nuclear power capable of stopping us.
We will fight with pride and honor, confident in our teammates and our units. We will keep our country safe by taking the fight to our adversaries.
And when the fighting is over, and we have won, we will help those people to see the value of freedom, to have a chance at justice and liberty. We will continue to make the world a better place.
I am deeply grateful for each of you and all you do for this great nation. Some of you are at the beginning of your military careers, and others are serving again as civilian members of our Air Force.
Because of your service, our families and our fellow citizens have the opportunity to live in one of the greatest countries the world has ever known. Thank you for being the ready force our nation needs.