Looking Back Before the New Year

U.S. Air Force Col. Michael L. Downs, 17th Training Wing Commander, steps to the podium to address the crowd after assuming command during the 17th TRW Change of Command Ceremony at the parade field on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, July 14, 2015. Downs is the 45th base commander and commands four groups, including three geographically separated units, with the mission to develop exceptional Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and Fire Protection Professionals for America and Her Allies.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Austin Knox/Released)

U.S. Air Force Col. Michael L. Downs, 17th Training Wing Commander, steps to the podium to address the crowd after assuming command during the 17th TRW Change of Command Ceremony at the parade field on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, July 14, 2015. Downs is the 45th base commander and commands four groups, including three geographically separated units, with the mission to develop exceptional Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and Fire Protection Professionals for America and Her Allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Austin Knox/Released)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. JoAnne S. Bass, 17th Training Wing Command Chief, poses for a photo in the Norma Brown Building on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, June 6, 2015. Bass is Goodfellow’s 24th command chief. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Smith/Released)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. JoAnne S. Bass, 17th Training Wing Command Chief, poses for a photo in the Norma Brown Building on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, June 6, 2015. Bass is Goodfellow’s 24th command chief. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Smith/Released)

SAN ANGELO, Texas -- Goodfellow Air Force Base’s Patriotic Blue sings the national anthem at the beginning of the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo’s Military Appreciation Night at the Foster Communications Coliseum Feb. 25. The opening ceremony also included a presentation of the American Flag by Team Goodfellow service members and Angelo State University Air Force ROTC members. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Michael Smith)

SAN ANGELO, Texas -- Goodfellow Air Force Base’s Patriotic Blue sings the national anthem at the beginning of the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo’s Military Appreciation Night at the Foster Communications Coliseum Feb. 25. The opening ceremony also included a presentation of the American Flag by Team Goodfellow service members and Angelo State University Air Force ROTC members. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Michael Smith)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Airman Nicholas Rose, 312th Training Squadron student, poses for a photo after a training session at the Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy Feb. 3. Rose and his classmates put out fires for the first time in their training. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Devin Boyer)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Airman Nicholas Rose, 312th Training Squadron student, poses for a photo after a training session at the Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy Feb. 3. Rose and his classmates put out fires for the first time in their training. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Devin Boyer)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Airman 1st Class Onnie O. McSpadden, 127th Michigan Air National Guard firefighting apprentice, readies his gas mask in preparation for firefighting training, Feb. 3. The air becomes thick with smoke and heat around the simulated burners, requiring the students to use oxygen tanks to breathe.
(U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Scott Jackson)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Airman 1st Class Onnie O. McSpadden, 127th Michigan Air National Guard firefighting apprentice, readies his gas mask in preparation for firefighting training, Feb. 3. The air becomes thick with smoke and heat around the simulated burners, requiring the students to use oxygen tanks to breathe. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Scott Jackson)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Nathan Nelson, 24th Special Operations Wing Special Tactics intelligence officer, gives a speech about his experiences after surviving a rocket blast in Afghanistan during the Goodfellow Air Force Ball at the McNease Convention Center in San Angelo, Texas, Sept. 18, 2015. Nelson goes on to explain his journey through rehabilitation and how Airmen should never stop giving their best no matter their circumstances. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Caelynn Ferguson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Nathan Nelson, 24th Special Operations Wing Special Tactics intelligence officer, gives a speech about his experiences after surviving a rocket blast in Afghanistan during the Goodfellow Air Force Ball at the McNease Convention Center in San Angelo, Texas, Sept. 18, 2015. Nelson goes on to explain his journey through rehabilitation and how Airmen should never stop giving their best no matter their circumstances. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Caelynn Ferguson/Released)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody, left, prepares to rappel down a 90-foot tower with Senior Airman Cody Carson, 312th Training Squadron firefighting student, center, and Chief Master Sgt. Thomas F. Good, 17th Training Wing Command Chief, right, at the Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy April 3. Cody toured the fire academy and observed different aspects of fire protection training while visiting with staff and students. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Devin Boyer)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody, left, prepares to rappel down a 90-foot tower with Senior Airman Cody Carson, 312th Training Squadron firefighting student, center, and Chief Master Sgt. Thomas F. Good, 17th Training Wing Command Chief, right, at the Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy April 3. Cody toured the fire academy and observed different aspects of fire protection training while visiting with staff and students. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Devin Boyer)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Angelo State University Air Force ROTC Detachment 847 cadets make their way through a cloud of yellow smoke during a field training exercise at a deployed simulation village near Camp Sentinel April 18. The FTX is designed to give cadets a broader understanding of what the Air Force is truly like before committing to serve. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Devin Boyer)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Angelo State University Air Force ROTC Detachment 847 cadets make their way through a cloud of yellow smoke during a field training exercise at a deployed simulation village near Camp Sentinel April 18. The FTX is designed to give cadets a broader understanding of what the Air Force is truly like before committing to serve. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Devin Boyer)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Steven D. Thompson, 17th Security Forces Squadron first sergeant, holds the 17th Mission Support Group guidon during the 10th Annual Airman 1st Class Jacobson Memorial Ruck March opening ceremony at the 17th SFS building Sept. 28, 2015. The march was in honor of security forces member Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Jacobson, and marked the 10th anniversary of her death. Jacobson was the first security forces member as well as the first Air Force female to be killed in action in Operation Iraqi Freedom, in 2005, by a roadside bomb. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Smith/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Steven D. Thompson, 17th Security Forces Squadron first sergeant, holds the 17th Mission Support Group guidon during the 10th Annual Airman 1st Class Jacobson Memorial Ruck March opening ceremony at the 17th SFS building Sept. 28, 2015. The march was in honor of security forces member Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Jacobson, and marked the 10th anniversary of her death. Jacobson was the first security forces member as well as the first Air Force female to be killed in action in Operation Iraqi Freedom, in 2005, by a roadside bomb. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Smith/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Sarah M. Bracy, 315th Training Squadron student, performs a bench press at a crossfit gym in San Angelo, Texas, Aug. 6, 2015. Almost diagnosed with diabetes, Bracy started lifting 10 years ago to better her life. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Scott Jackson/released)
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U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Sarah M. Bracy, 315th Training Squadron student, performs a bench press at a crossfit gym in San Angelo, Texas, Aug. 6, 2015. Almost diagnosed with diabetes, Bracy started lifting 10 years ago to better her life. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Scott Jackson/released)

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response 5K Color Race participants dance and throw colored powder in the air to conclude the third annual race at Kiowa Trail on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 22. 2015. The SAPR Office hosts the event every year to promote sexual assault prevention awareness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Caelynn Ferguson/Released)
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Sexual Assault Prevention and Response 5K Color Race participants dance and throw colored powder in the air to conclude the third annual race at Kiowa Trail on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 22. 2015. The SAPR Office hosts the event every year to promote sexual assault prevention awareness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Caelynn Ferguson/Released)

A Native American dancer shuffles across the dance floor in front of a group of Airmen for Native American Heritage Month at the Event Center on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 17, 2015. The dancer’s garb was supposed to mimic an animal in nature for the dance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caelynn Ferguson/Released)
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A Native American dancer shuffles across the dance floor in front of a group of Airmen for Native American Heritage Month at the Event Center on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 17, 2015. The dancer’s garb was supposed to mimic an animal in nature for the dance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caelynn Ferguson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Ibrahim R. Saado, 17th Security Forces Squadron entry controller, washes his face in soap after being sprayed with pepper spray during monthly training on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 26, 2015. Security Forces members must be aware of the effects of the pepper spray to be certified. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Devin Boyer/Released)
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U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Ibrahim R. Saado, 17th Security Forces Squadron entry controller, washes his face in soap after being sprayed with pepper spray during monthly training on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 26, 2015. Security Forces members must be aware of the effects of the pepper spray to be certified. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Devin Boyer/Released)

Goodfellow Air Force Base Joint Service Color Guard presents the nation’s flag during a 9/11 remembrance ceremony in San Angelo, Texas, Sept. 11, 2015. Community members gave speeches and prayer at the ceremony to honor the fallen from 9/11. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Devin Boyer/Released)
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Goodfellow Air Force Base Joint Service Color Guard presents the nation’s flag during a 9/11 remembrance ceremony in San Angelo, Texas, Sept. 11, 2015. Community members gave speeches and prayer at the ceremony to honor the fallen from 9/11. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Devin Boyer/Released)

A dependent crawls through a camouflaged obstacle with the aid of a volunteer during Operation K.I.D.S at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Oct. 3, 2015. The children completed their final mission by clearing rooms, running through obstacles and attacking mock terrorists with foam batons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Caelynn Ferguson/Released)
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A dependent crawls through a camouflaged obstacle with the aid of a volunteer during Operation K.I.D.S at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Oct. 3, 2015. The children completed their final mission by clearing rooms, running through obstacles and attacking mock terrorists with foam batons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Caelynn Ferguson/Released)

Volunteers for Operation Warmheart pose for a group photo at the Commissary on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 24, 2015. Leadership from almost all squadrons on base came to volunteer their help in building baskets to ease the cost of Thanksgiving dinner for permanent party and civilians workers on base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caelynn Ferguson/Released)
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Volunteers for Operation Warmheart pose for a group photo at the Commissary on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 24, 2015. Leadership from almost all squadrons on base came to volunteer their help in building baskets to ease the cost of Thanksgiving dinner for permanent party and civilians workers on base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caelynn Ferguson/Released)

U.S. Army Spc. James Awerkamp, 344th Military Intelligence Battalion student, grabs the flag of U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel Gagnon, Navy Center for Information Dominance Detachment student, during the annual Army and Navy football game on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 24, 2015. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Devin Boyer/Released)
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U.S. Army Spc. James Awerkamp, 344th Military Intelligence Battalion student, grabs the flag of U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel Gagnon, Navy Center for Information Dominance Detachment student, during the annual Army and Navy football game on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 24, 2015. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Devin Boyer/Released)

A child stares at lights at the tree lighting ceremony at the Parade Field on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Dec. 3, 2015. The base invited all personnel and their families to the ceremony to celebrate the holiday season. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Chase Sousa/Released)
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A child stares at lights at the tree lighting ceremony at the Parade Field on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Dec. 3, 2015. The base invited all personnel and their families to the ceremony to celebrate the holiday season. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Chase Sousa/Released)

U.S. Civil Air Patrol  Capt.Garry A. Nussey, San Angelo Composite Squadron, lays a wreath at the Belvedere Cemetery in San Angelo, Texas, Dec. 12, 2015. The wreath was to honor the deceased veteran Pfc. Norl Wilson. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Chase Sousa/Released)
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U.S. Civil Air Patrol Capt.Garry A. Nussey, San Angelo Composite Squadron, lays a wreath at the Belvedere Cemetery in San Angelo, Texas, Dec. 12, 2015. The wreath was to honor the deceased veteran Pfc. Norl Wilson. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Chase Sousa/Released)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Welcome to 2016, Team Goodfellow! I hope everyone had a relaxing and memorable holiday season. I’m particularly excited about 2016 because it marks Goodfellow’s 75th Anniversary! The Airmen, Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Coast Guardsmen and civilians at Goodfellow impress me every single day with their professionalism and dedication to the mission. I am confident those attributes will make 2016 our best year ever!

I am dedicated to mission, Airmen and families, so here’s a look at what we’ve accomplished in our efforts to continuously improve on each of these central elements.

Innovation, teamwork and collaboration are the hallmarks of our championship team. In 2015, we worked closely with San Angelo and Tom Green County, signing seven partnership agreements with local organizations to help improve our standard of living while driving down costs and making it even easier to work with our civilian counterparts. In March, the city of San Angelo won the Altus Trophy in recognition of its community support to the 17th Training Wing. We are working with the community to take this partnership to the next level. For example, we’re collaborating with the Concho Valley Rape Crisis Center to assist in providing education and training between our Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office and the Crisis Center. Goodfellow is also partnering with Howard College and the Concho Valley Workforce Development Board to create an internship program, providing academic coaching services to CVWDB employees and Goodfellow Airman and Family Services employees. Interns in this partnership will receive continuing education unit credit for classes. With several new partnership projects underway, I look forward to more collaboration between Goodfellow and the community, while increasing our capabilities and cutting costs for everyone in 2016.

On Goodfellow, we continue to grow and improve our processes as we develop exceptional intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and fire protection professionals to meet the needs of America and her allies. We graduated almost 12,000 students in 2015, an impressive feat by our instructors and support staff. In that number, we trained 25 international students from 14 different countries, including our Saudi Arabian partners. To meet the increased demand from ally and partner nations for training, we’re working to create a world class international training center for the future and expand cooperation with our other allies and partners across the world.

This past year we demonstrated our commitment and dedication to strengthening mission capabilities as proven when we garnered an “Effective” rating for the Air Education and Training Command Unit Effectiveness Inspection with seven continuous process improvement and strategic management base programs recognized as “Outstanding.”

We recently opened the Avengers Lounge to provide our Airmen with a dedicated permanent party recreation center. This state-of-the-art facility provides permanent party members residing in the dorms a place to go for entertainment and to connect with other permanent party on base. We’ve completed several other projects this year that will improve the quality of life on Goodfellow; including a ballroom and lounge inside the Event Center, the overhaul of our bowling center, renovations to the Cressman Dining Facility and weekend food services at the Event Center. Some new food projects for the upcoming year include a pizza restaurant and a Food Transformation Initiation for our current dining facilities which feature fresh and healthy menu choices.

Another program we’re truly proud of and continually growing is our volunteer program. In 2015 we gave over 19,000 hours, which equates to $409,078 in man hour savings! You helped out with big-name events like the 9/11 Memorial Ceremony, the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo, Operation Warmheart and the Veteran’s Day Parade. You also helped with other projects and ongoing charitable work like highway cleanups, as child advocates and by contributing to our community in more ways than I can list here. Both the base and the community value your support and selflessness more than you know.

At the end of 2015, we nearly doubled the number of Key Spouses to take care of Airmen and families. We continue to show our appreciation for families through various programs like Operation K.I.D.S., Operation Warmheart and Heartlink. We’re redesigning our website to make sure it provides our Airmen and the families of Goodfellow with a single stop for all base and community info. We’ve also replaced outdated playground equipment and plan to continue updating our kids’ play spaces.

2016 celebrates Goodfellow’s 75th anniversary. We will celebrate our diamond anniversary with events throughout the year beginning with a flag raising reenactment on Jan. 26. The kick-off ceremony will feature a BT-15 fly-over commemorating the San Angelo Air Corps Basic Flying Training School opening ceremony in January 1941. Other key events include a Founder’s Week and anniversary themed activities throughout the year.

The new year ushers in a world of opportunity for Team Goodfellow to demonstrate once again that we are the finest wing in the Air Education and Training Command. We will deal with the changes and challenges including a fiscally constrained budget and force management; however, I believe we will continue to deliver exceptionally well-trained Airmen, Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Coast Guardsmen and civilian professionals in ISR and fire protection. This excellence is our duty and also our legacy.

I am honored to serve as your Commander. Happy New Year, and again, welcome back!