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Sharks:welcome to 2008

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Welcome back and Happy New Year! I hope all of you had an enjoyable, fulfilling and safe holiday season. I need to emphasize up front how pleased I am that everyone returned back to duty safely. It's good to be able to unwind a bit, especially after the rapid ops tempo we've been spinning at around here.

You accomplished some amazing things last year, culminating in 15 successful launches and scoring high on our Operational Readiness Inspection. Your ability - and proven agility - to reconfigure the Eastern Range in less than 48 hours last month following the postponement of the shuttle flight was jaw-dropping. On top of that, the Atlas V launch that followed placed its payload into one of the most precise orbital locations in history.

I received many kudos for those achievements, but you're the ones who deserve all the credit. That's just one example of many in which you made me and the 45th Space Wing look exceptional - and it doesn't go unnoticed or unappreciated.

Warfighters in the field know the information and intelligence they are getting from your efforts is reliable and accurate. Our mission is - and always will be - vital to the Global War on Terror.

This year will be even busier on the Eastern Range. We have approximately 20 missions scheduled.

Once again, we will take a good, hard look at ourselves. We'll continue to look at how we do business, expand who we do business with, and see how we can do things better and more effectively.

We will also continue our commitment to Air Force Smart Operations (AFSO21) initiatives, our modernization process and ways to emphasize energy management, while ensuring there is no compromise on mission accomplishment. We will posture ourselves to be flexible.

And once again this year we will continue to have an amazing set of Airmen deployed - at levels never seen before. Our Airmen continue to show integrity, courage and the utmost respect for and dedication to our nation.

We will never let them or their families down. Let's make 2008 a year to remember. Go Sharks!