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News > Col. Geary wraps up final Commander’s Call: Reflects on past two years
Col. Geary wraps up final Commander’s Call
Col. Thomas Geary, 17th Training Wing Commander. (Courtesy photo)
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Col. Geary wraps up final Commander’s Call: Reflects on past two years

Posted 6/7/2011   Updated 6/7/2011 Email story   Print story


by Kent Cummins
17th Training Wing Public Affairs

6/7/2011 - GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The leader of Goodfellow wrapped up his final Commander's Call June 3 at the 312th Training Squadron's High Bay.

Col. Thomas Geary, 17th Training Wing Commander, will relinquish command of the wing to Col. Mark T. Damiano, Commander of the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, Ft. Meade, Md., during a Change of Command ceremony set for 9 a.m. June 23 at the Goodfellow Parade Field.

After handing out several individual awards, Colonel Geary used the opportunity to say farewell and discuss the accomplishments of Team Goodfellow since he arrived in July 2009.

"It is an impressive place," said Colonel Geary. "The military members, all the Services, and civilians made my job easy the last two years."

The commander highlighted some of Team Goodfellow's accomplishments during his tenure.

He addressed the recent Wildcat Fire that scorched more than 160,000 acres in the surrounding community. The base supported the effort with 75 civilian and military firefighters, representing all the Services, and 15 trucks. Their efforts helped contain the fire and saved 400 homes and other structures.

"When San Angelo and Tom Green County reached out to us for assistance, I didn't hesitate to commit as many resources as possible to help our community overcome the crisis," said Colonel Geary. "It was the right thing to do."

The commander also noted the $63 million worth of completed and on-going military construction projects, including the Mathis Fitness Center Expansion, Pipeline Student Dormitories, the Joint Intelligence Technical Training Facility, and Consolidated Learning Center.

He praised Goodfellow members and thanked them for their tireless efforts in ensuring the training mission is accomplished.

He also underscored the efforts of the 938 federal civilians that work at the base.

"Our civilian workforce represents continuity," he said. "They allow us to accomplish our mission day in and day out."

The colonel spoke about the accomplishments of all the training groups and Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard tenant units on the installation.

From the 17th Mission Support Group's important quality of life activities to the 17th Medical Group's duty of caring for active duty, family members, veterans and retirees.

The colonel pointed out several of the special dedications that took place over the past two years.

The base's Valor Inn was dedicated in honor of Medal of Honor recipients Cols. (retired) Bud Day and Leo Thorness. They both served at Goodfellow. It was the first dual facility dedication for living honorees in the Air Force.

The 517th Training Group at the Presidio of Monterey, Calif., completed an Air Force Heritage Exhibit in honor of cryptologic linguists from pre-World War II to present.

The 17th Training Group dedicated Schulte Hall in honor of fallen Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance warrior 1st Lt. Roslyn Schulte.

The 17th MDG named their treatment facility the Ross Clinic in honor of a former group commander, Col. Jerry Ross.

Colonel Geary praised the "outstanding" volunteerism of the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard members at Goodfellow.

"The volunteer hours are tremendous," he said. "San Angelo loves the military and continuously supports this base. Our volunteers definitely give back to their community."

In 2010, 1,642 people volunteered their time and talents to various community activities. This represents nearly 35,000 volunteer hours.

"I have enjoyed so much the people who make up Team Goodfellow," said Col. Geary, as he concluded his final Commander's Call at Goodfellow AFB.

Colonel Geary will move on to San Antonio as the new Commander of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service Texas.

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