Angels Over the Bay <br> Professionalism, perseverence, pride prevail

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Andrew Mueller
  • 81st Training Wing Commander
What a spectacular open house this weekend!

I hope everyone who participated in this year's unforgettable open house and "Angels Over the Bay" air show enjoyed this absolutely wonderful event. We had picture-perfect clear blue skies, outstanding ground displays, top-notch aerial demonstrations and some of the best funnel cakes on the Gulf Coast. Most importantly, it was a very safe weekend for all our guests.

I have received hundreds of compliments regarding the professionalism and pride on display at this weekend's event, and I am proud to pass them to everyone on Team Keesler who made it possible. The base looked great, the organization to move more than 160,000 guests to and from the base was outstanding, the ground and aerial demonstrations were awesome, and most importantly the enthusiasm and can-do attitude of our hundreds of volunteers was absolutely world class. What a great way to showcase Keesler's 70-year heritage!

In addition, we were proud to join with the U.S. Navy to help celebrate the centennial of naval aviation and kick off Navy Week here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Hosting a full complement of naval aircraft in heritage paint schemes and the Navy's Blue Angels aerial demonstration team was an excellent start to a great week of activity.

My sincere gratitude goes out to everyone who had a role in making this event possible. Whether you invested countless hours in planning, setting up, cleaning up or tirelessly volunteering to work non-stop in one of the many booths on the flightline over the weekend, this event would not have been possible without you.

Lt. Col. Sean Gallagher, 81st Mission Support Group vice commander who was recently selected for promotion to colonel, led our air show committee of military, civilians,community members and sponsors -- all volunteers! Justin Cooper, 81st Operations Support Flight airfield operations chief, served as "air boss" and Lt. Col. Jonathan Wright, 81st Contracting Squadron commander, served as "ground boss." I sincerely thank you all!

When I became the commander of the 81st Training Wing, I challenged all of you to approach every undertaking with professionalism, perseverance and pride. This past weekend
you embraced this challenge. Working together, Team Keesler made thousands of unforgettable memories that showcased the heritage of our base, our Air Force heritage, a wide range of today's military capabilities and the strong community partnership we enjoy with the cities of Biloxi, Gulfport, D'Iberville and the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast.

In the weeks and months ahead as you replay the images of the Air Force Honor Guard drill team; the K-9 teams; the Army Golden Knights and combat controller parachute teams; the B-25, C-47, P-51, MIG-17, C-21, T-38, F-16, P-40, F4U, AT-6D, B-25J, AT-38C, MH-65C, C-130, YAK 52, T-28 and FG-1D flight demonstrations and the Blue Angels performance over Biloxi's Back Bay, I hope you take great pride in adding another great chapter in Keesler's seven decades of rich heritage on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Make no mistake -- what you do is very important and everyone plays an important role. I am proud to be a part of Team Keesler.