Eielson 2012

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- -- Here we are at the beginning of another new year. In 2011, you've put in long hours, survived five major large-force exercises, numerous Operational Readiness Exercises, a Logistics Compliance Assessment Program inspection and PACAF's Consolidated Unit Inspection. As a team, we've persevered through all these events, while still managing daily operations and supporting the joint fight overseas through various deployments.

We've supported our wingmen as they've deployed, redeployed, arrived and departed. The Air Force expeditionary cycle will continue, allowing us to engage as a total force and strengthen our team, as well as develop and incorporate new ideas.

Interior Alaska is a beautiful and unique place to live, but it can also be very challenging at times. For those of you who do not enjoy outdoor activities, it can be frustrating trying to find things to do - especially in the winter months ahead.

On the positive side, the shortest day of the year -with only three hours and 41 minutes of daylight--is now behind us. It's time to start looking forward to spring.

Unfortunately, while we wait for the arrival of spring, it's not uncommon to feel worn out or depressed. It can get cold - really cold - and we've already endured months of snow and ice. It's often too cold to ski or sled and it can be hard mustering the energy to do most anything.

Now is the time to really pull together. It's time to rely on, and be good Wingmen. I cannot stress enough the importance of taking care of our fellow Airmen.

It only takes a minute to check on a coworker, neighbor, or a deployed member's family. But it can have a lasting, very positive effect. Please make a commitment to check in with those around you.

There are many activities to carry us through the next few months of winter. Go bowling, try ice fishing or see a movie. Meet your neighbors and coordinate a weekly game night or a random potluck dinner. Get out of the house and dorms and spend time with family and friends -whatever it takes to get involved and stay active.

Many opportunities are waiting for us as we prepare to excel and prosper this year. Take advantage of each one that comes your way. Don't wait for good things to happen...make them happen! Let's work together as a team and get ready for another amazing year.

I'm very proud of Team Eielson and looking forward to the New Year and the opportunities it brings. I wish each of you a healthy, safe and prosperous 2012!