Farewell to Team Fairchild

Col. Ryan Samuelson stands with his family for a photo  following his final flight as the 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander on May 14th, 2018. Samuelson is departing after two years as the 92nd ARW commander.

Col. Ryan Samuelson stands with his family for a photo following his final flight as the 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander on May 14th, 2018. Samuelson is departing after two years as the 92nd ARW commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Sean Campbell)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- As I bid you farewell, I reminisce on the dedication and innovation I witnessed these past two years. It was truly astounding. Thank you for the heart and soul you give your Air Force and your nation. Service to a greater good than yourself is what makes military service and support so unique in our society. I have been extremely lucky to have served with such patriots.

It would be difficult for me to highlight all of the incredible achievements the men and women of Team Fairchild have accomplished, and believe me, there are many. These achievements span from the innovative efforts at the 92nd Medical Group who introduced the new electronic health record, Military Health System Genesis, supporting 9.4 million Department of Defense beneficiaries worldwide, to moving forward with intense planning for the beddown of additional KC-135R Stratotankers. From the standup of the 384th Air Refueling Squadron to the relocation of our aircraft maintenance units, you continue to posture to be a force multiplier in our role to support Rapid Global Mobility… Now.

You served as hosts to NASA to support our nation’s astronauts missions. You displayed amazing efforts to honor military aviation with Skyfest 2017. You proved to Air Mobility Command we take our training seriously with your Mobility Guardian 2017 performance. You enhanced our Total Force Integration with our Air National Guard partners at the 141st Air Refueling Wing. You created an Air Force-benchmarked professional development series called Leaders Inspiring For Tomorrow. From full spectrum readiness to the support of our U.S. Strategic Command missions, you exercised to full capacity with vigilance and determination... and you delivered results in some of the largest exercises this wing had seen in over a decade! You are a base that embraces mission partnerships with the 509th Weapons Squadron, 336th Training Group, 36th Rescue Squadron, 368th Recruiting Squadron, the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, Detachment 13 of the 373rd TRS and Detachment 332 of the Office of Special Investigations. There’s not an aspect of our mission you don’t perform to perfection and it is evident in the list of major awards: Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, the Abilene Trophy and the second consecutive Omaha Trophy supporting U.S. Strategic Command. All the cooperation and joint success speak volumes to the group of professionals who define Team Fairchild.

Citizen patriots of the ANG…you are the ace that brings ingenuity to our operations, and security to our nation and communities on a daily basis and absolutely in times of need. To Fame's Favored Few, proudly serving since 1942 with the 92nd, you have blessed me and my family with a lifetime of great memories. The 92nd Bomb Group's 308 missions and 8,633 sorties set the legacy for what would eventually become the 92nd ARW. I am awed to have, first-hand, experienced the same dedication and devotion our Airmen display to this day as we continue to create a strong and proud history. I truly believe Fame’s Favored Few of 1942 would be proud of Team Fairchild -- keeping their legacy alive.

To all the men and women of Team Fairchild, Kathy and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the memories we were able to create with you and the professionalism and excellence in which you performed your duties during our time here. As you taught me at so many promotion and award ceremonies: We will never forget that ops doesn’t ever stop, even when there isn’t a medic in the house. Because as we know, if there is a tanker in the air, maintenance put it there. And after pulling chocks with maintainers who rock and letting WSA lead the way, the hoarse voices remind us that it just wouldn’t be… without MSG! May we always remember those who serve so that others may live and that others may possess the skills needed to return with honor.

We know you will continue to make your country proud. Col. Scot Heathman will lead this wing with incredible dedication as your commander until Col. Derek Salmi arrives to take command on June 15th. Those two leaders are some of the finest the Air Force has developed and I look forward to reading about the base's continued journey on the pathway of success.

Aim High… Fly, Fight and Win. Those are never hollow words… but a simple way to focus on what the Free World needs us to do. Remain ready Airmen of Team Fairchild... Now, Tomorrow and Forever!

With pride in your heritage, always train like you plan to fight!