Thank you Team Fairchild and Spokane Area

Col. Brian McDaniel, 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander, poses in front of a KC-135 Stratotanker with his family July 13, 2016, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. After departing Fairchild McDaniel will be headed to Scott Air Force Base to fill the position of vice commander 618th Air Operations Center(Tanker Airlift Control Center).  (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Sean Campbell)

Col. Brian McDaniel, 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander, poses in front of a KC-135 Stratotanker with his family July 13, 2016, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. After departing Fairchild McDaniel will be headed to Scott Air Force Base to fill the position of vice commander 618th Air Operations Center(Tanker Airlift Control Center). (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Sean Campbell)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- As I prepare to relinquish command of this exceptional wing next week, I just wanted to pass on my thanks. See, this has been one heck of a ride and I could not be more honored having served with you all. This wing has proven that it is ready for the fight and will serve with all of its might. You are all true professionals that are dedicated to the J.O.B.

It was an honor to have been selected to command a wing in the Air Force, but a blessing to have been selected for Fairchild. A tanker wing was absolutely my top desire and I won the lottery. Coming into the position, I had a lot of things running through my brain, but soon came to the realization that you were ready to travel down the path less traveled to ensure mission readiness and focus. You were open to try new ways to exercise our common tasks and expand your own individual readiness. It paid off more than I could have ever imagined.

You set the standard for others to follow and that was evident when you were nominated by Air Mobility Command for the United States Strategic Command’s Omaha Trophy in 2014 and ultimately winning it in 2015 for Best Strategic Aircraft Unit. That was the culmination of two years of dedication, discovering your abilities, hard work and making things happen – an accomplishment that has not been done by a tanker wing in 14 years. You all should be proud and probably made former Fairchild members even more proud.

The wing did not only focus on the nuclear mission, but it never stopped during that process. You sat more than 17,844 hours of alert to safeguard our nation’s and ally’s borders, deployed to all regions of this world to protect our national interests or support those in need, improved base facilities and infrastructure, and assisted the local communities when called upon. That only scratches the surface of the great things you have done over the past two years. Every Airman, civilian, and contractor rolled up their sleeves to make things happen. What more could you ask of the Airmen you serve with.

All of this would not have been possible without the foundation of excellence you built and sustained. All professionals in the truest sense of the word. I am humbled to have been your commander. Words cannot express the joy, excitement, inspiration, mentorship and sense of accomplishment that I have gained by being here over the past two years. It will always hold a special chapter in my life. A chapter that will have many more paragraphs added as each and every one of you progress through your Air Force and personal careers. Never forget that you are an American Airman.

I would also like to thank the other partner units that make up Team Fairchild. You all have different missions to execute and you are making a difference for the nation. It has been an honor to have worked with each of you and thank you for your involvement in the wing’s activities.

Finally, I would like to thank the local communities for their support of Team Fairchild and its men and women. I have not seen communities more supportive of an installation than I have here. You have poured out your hearts for the Airmen and their families and it has not been lost on me. This community is so tuned into what is needed to serve your fellow community members. This is seen every day, not just for the military, but for all. You are instilling “pride” into your community members and building new leaders that this nation will need in the future. I thank you and will miss the area.

Again, thank you for your service to Fairchild, the Air Force, this community and this nation.

In my heart, you are all - “Ready Airmen—Now, Tomorrow, and Forever”

Aim High—Fly, Fight, Win!