Thank you, Team Keesler, for great welcome home

  • Published
  • By Col. Greg Touhill
  • 81st Training Wing commander
Twenty-four years ago this week, a very young second lieutenant from Pittsburgh, Pa., arrived at Keesler to begin an exciting Air Force career. 

Back then, electronics technical training for officers was eight months long and I spent those months learning the basics of electronics, computers, telecommunications, radar, and air traffic control -- in addition to getting my first taste of Air Force life. Eight years later, my family and I returned for seven months of advanced training, a period we regarded as our most enjoyable assignment. 

Now, nearly 24 years to the day from my initial entry into our great Air Force, we return home to Keesler. 

I'm excited about the opportunity to serve alongside you in the finest training wing in the world. Over the coming weeks, I intend to conduct immersion sessions with every squadron and division to learn about you and from you. Your performance in the recent Air Education and Training Command operational readiness inspection was impressive and I can't wait to see you in action. 

As I start my tenure as your commander, I also look forward to partnering with the Mississippi Gulf Coast community as we continue to rebound from Hurricane Katrina. 

I'm amazed at the strength and resiliency of this community. While there's much more to do, you've come so very far through your hard work, tremendous energy and inspiring spirit. My family and I look forward to joining you on the rest of this journey. 

Charlene and I are honored and delighted to be back to Keesler and the coast community. Team Keesler has a worldwide reputation for training excellence, and we're eager to meet you, learn from you, and work with you to make our base and community even better. 

Thank you for the great welcome home.