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AMC commander: Celebrate the holidays, reflect on a great year and be safe

Gen. Raymond E. Johns Jr. is the commander of Air Mobility Command headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.  (U.S. Air Force Photo)

Gen. Raymond E. Johns Jr. is the commander of Air Mobility Command headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. (U.S. Air Force Photo)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- As we look forward to this holiday season and the upcoming New Year, it's time to reflect on the year gone by. It's been an incredibly busy one for Air Mobility Command. You have performed magnificently ... rising to meet the challenges head on to deliver hope, fuel the fight and save lives -- I couldn't be prouder of you!

The year started off with the President's decision to move 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan and soon after a devastating earthquake struck Haiti. Mobility Air Forces responded immediately to the crisis, just as you did this summer in support of Pakistani flood relief efforts. In addition, we set airdrop records in Afghanistan providing a crucial lifeline to our ground forces, while our tankers helped provide a canopy of protection over our troops, and aeromedical evacuation crews brought our wounded warriors home. Chief Spector and I look back with admiration on the amazing work you've done and thank each and every member of our Active Duty, Guard, Reserve and Civilian team for their hard work and sacrifices.

You are the reason we're always effective, and it's critical that we continue to look out for one another during this holiday season. Please, take time to use sound risk management, especially when driving. Alcohol, excessive speed, and weather remain key contributors to accidents this time of year. So remain vigilant and have a plan beforehand and stick to it -- Take extra time if needed. Remember that AMC's Holiday Safety Campaign has many good tips and tools for you to use -- see your unit safety rep for details.

While we celebrate the holiday season with family and friends, please think about those who are deployed and can't be with their loved ones this year. They're a long way from home protecting the freedoms we hold so dear with families eagerly awaiting their return.

Diana and I wish a safe return for our deployed Airmen and wish all of you and your families a very joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year!