JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. --
As my time here at Joint Base Andrews winds down, I’ve been thinking about the great things we've been able to accomplish together with our amazing community partners. As I leave this incredible place, I want to use this last opportunity to thank our friends outside the gate for your enduring support of our Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers and Marines over these last two years.
That support has been instrumental in our ability to get the mission done. You are the teachers who educate our children. You're the police officers and security guards who keep our service members safe when they leave the installation. You're the cashiers who offer a military discount because we forgot to ask, and the fellow patrons who thank us for our service.
Let me make it clear: Our service is our pleasure, and it's you we have to thank.
We are (mostly) just like you. When we take off the uniform, we eat, laugh, pray, and have fun along with you. You are our friends and our neighbors, and whether you know it or not, you're a big part of Team Andrews.
Teammates work together in both good times and challenging times, and our community relationship has always been a great example of that. You were there when the Air Force Band and Honor Guard performed around the region on patriotic holidays. You were there as first responders when an Andrews’ pilot had to eject from his F-16 over Clinton. Your kids are there when our service members visit schools on career days, and your local representatives are at the aircraft noise abatement meetings when we explain our flying operations.
Joint Base Andrews is a busy place these days. We conduct more than 10,000 total sorties annually, with 15 different types of aircraft. Every week, we facilitate several VIP flights including the president, vice president, cabinet members and other senior government and military leaders. JBA is often where foreign leaders land, and is therefore their first experience on American soil. That’s why we are America’s Airfield.
Since I arrived here in 2016, we've deployed more than 1,900 people to 82 locations around the world, where our people helped fight terrorism in the Middle East and brought humanitarian aid to Puerto Rico. And here at home, JBA personnel were intimately involved in huge events in and around the NCR, such as the presidential inauguration and the homecoming of Americans who were detained in North Korea.
Those are the kinds of missions your support enables, from the Andrews Alliance, to the officials of Prince George’s County, to our federal leaders, to the citizens of our community.
Thank you for making Joint Base Andrews such an important and welcome part of this community. Thank you for making this truly a team. And thank you for working together to serve this great community and this great country.