AL DHAFRA AIR BASE, United Arab Emirates --
Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein visited the Airmen of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Aug. 18, 2017, to recognize the results of just such enthusiasm: the continued progress against and eventual destruction of ISIS.
“It’s not often that you get to see the Secretary of the Air Force and Air Force Chief of Staff,” said aircrew flight equipment technician with the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron Senior Airman Gabriel Quinones, who Wilson coined for excellence. “For me, honestly it boosts my morale. It shows that they care about every Airman and the work they do at every base.”
The 380th AEW is in a unique position as the only wing in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility that supports all five Air Force core missions, said Goldfein.
However, it is not just the diversity of mission sets that sets the wing apart. The 380th AEW is made up of approximately 25 percent Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve members.
“We couldn’t do this job without the Guard and Reserve,” said Goldfein. “This is truly one Air Force. This is an active, Guard, Reserve and civilian team effort to be able to apply airpower that has never been in greater demand.”
Senior Airman Trevor Winston, deployed from the 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield, Ohio, was coined for excellence for his work with the 380th Expeditionary Communications Squadron. While he appreciated the recognition, he emphasized the team effort that supports him every day to get the mission done.
Winston also spoke about the importance of a deployment to a Guardsman or Reservist.
“Diversity is huge, especially for Guard and Reserve. If you work on a guard base you’re very centralized and don’t get to touch a lot,” Winston said. “But in this environment, you work with some of the greatest minds the Air Force has to offer. Different minds working together produces great results.”
It is this enthusiasm in Total Force teamwork that propels the mission forward across the entire United States Air Force, said Goldfein. The 380th AEW is a prime example.
“I think back to one of my favorite quotes from General Hap Arnold, who said during the worst days of the Daylight Bombing Campaign during World War II, ‘The problem with airpower is that we make it look too easy,’” said Goldfein. “I wonder what Hap Arnold would think if he came to Al Dhafra and saw what you do every day. It’s nothing short of amazing.”