Welcome back!

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Welcome back from the holidays Team Goodfellow. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and have come back refreshed and ready to tackle the opportunities and challenges we face in the new year. We are not starting from scratch; we had many noteworthy successes in 2008.

We continued to turn out technical school graduates--our main mission--at record rates, especially in the growing intel arena.

We postured ourselves to successfully train the additional Airmen who will be coming our way this year as a result of the Air Force's 4,000 person plus-up and the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance surge.

We stood up a new training squadron here at Goodfellow, the 217th, and this Air National Guard unit is now fully integrated into the intel training we are doing...a key step in Total Force Integration for this wing.

We also successfully moved a squadron flag--the 314th Training Squadron--from Ft. Huachuca, Ariz., to Monterey, Calif., splitting the Air Force's largest squadron, the 311th Training Squadron, into two and ensuring effective span of control.

We made many physical improvements to this base, improving our security and our quality of life. Our new chapel is nearly complete, the Arts and Crafts Center has reopened, our gym will soon be expanded, and the fire school will soon have a new large-frame burn trainer.

We privatized existing housing and began construction on 133 new houses at a nearby parcel of land off Paint Rock Road as well as 10 new units by the clinic. We hosted successful visits by the Air Education and Training Command commander, the Second Air Force commander, and the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force to name just a few.

We achieved our largest-yet participation in the annual Veterans Day Parade in addition to the incredible number of volunteer hours you spent working in the community.

We also broke all previous records on participation and donations to the Air Force Assistance Fund and the Combined Federal Campaign.

All of these accomplishments and many others were made possible by the hard work and dedication of all the members of Team Goodfellow. I hope you will take a look around the base and feel the pride your success has brought.

Now we need to press ahead and achieve new goals in 2009. One of the most important challenges we face early this year is our Operational Readiness Inspection.

I know you have all been working very hard to prepare us for this opportunity to "strut our stuff." I ask that you redouble those efforts and take us to the point that the inspectors are overwhelmed by your thoroughness, professionalism, knowledge of your programs, and your enthusiasm.

Considering the caliber of our people, I know an "Outstanding" is definitely achievable!

Many other opportunities will also present themselves this year. I look forward to meeting them with you as we move the mission of Team Goodfellow forward.

Happy New Year, and again, welcome back.