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It's been a great ride

Col. Mark Vlahos, 314th Airlift Wing vice commander

Col. Mark Vlahos, 314th Airlift Wing vice commander

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- It's been a total pleasure to serve as a member of Team Little Rock the past two years. Julie, the children and I will certainly miss Central Arkansas and all the great folks here. My going-away lunch and C-130 final flight were both very special, and are memories that will last a lifetime. Thanks to all the behind-the-scenes heroes who made these events happen. My family and I truly appreciate your efforts. Thank-you. 

I will certainly miss being part of something far bigger than myself which is the daily teamwork producing combat airlift for our nation and Air Force. 

My message today is simple: The mission of Little Rock Air Force Base is bigger than the mission of its component wings. 

Under the leadership of three great wing commanders, chiefs and senior NCOs, Little Rock AFB will continue to shine and remain the C-130 center of excellence and the gem of Central Arkansas. Never lose sight of our core mission: fixing and flying safe airplanes, producing combat airlift and taking care of our Airmen and families along the way. 

That's nothing new here, just common-sense leadership. If you're not having fun along the way, then I suggest you step back and take a look at yourself. Remember: balance in life is the key. 

As I depart from Little Rock, another great Airman, Col. Kirk Lear arrives ready, willing and highly qualified to assume the duties as the vice commander 314th Airlift Wing. Colonel Lear will step right in and focus on the critical mission of training the world's best combat airlifters to fly, fight and win. 

As my family and I depart for Randolph Air Force Base, I will miss the sound of props -- the "four fans of freedom" turning and I will certainly miss all of you. 

God Bless and Godspeed. It's been a great ride.