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NEWS | June 22, 2007

Time gone bye

By Maj. Gen. Robert L. Smolen Air Force District of Washington commander

Time flies when you are having fun, and it seems like just the other day that I accepted the twin guidons signifying the Air Force District of Washington and the Air Force National Capital Region. What an amazing time this has been! We stood the command up at Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C., reorganized Andrews and stood up the 316th Wing, stood up the 79th Medical Wing, reorganized the Air Force Pentagon Communications Agency into the 844th Communications Group and lastly, relocated the command to Andrews, all within fourteen months. 

As I reflect on a long career, the people here in AFDW will stand out as some of the hardest working and most dedicated Active Duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian Airmen in the Air Force today. It has been my distinct honor to serve with you. 

Many challenges stood in the way as we stood up AFDW at Bolling AFB, and yet again as we relocate to Andrews. Through it all, you have prevailed and exhibited the drive and dedication to duty that I have come to know, love, and respect. At the same time, you continued superior customer service. 

I was in the Pentagon on September 11, and we must never waver in our preparedness. Our vigilance is the key to protecting our country and the nation's capital; that vigilance must be strong and unwavering if it is to last. Our area of operation is very special and it is priceless. While we do the things others do to support the Global War on Terrorism, we have the added responsibility of taking care of tens of thousands of Air Force members world-wide. Our honor guard and band inspire and help bring to rest our heroes. We provide strong support to the Joint Task Force National Capital Region and Northern Command. We have awesome missions! 

I am positive that you will continue to achieve great things for our Air Force and the nation. Brig. Gen. Frank Gorenc brings great experience that will take AFDW to ever greater success. He's an outstanding leader with a phenomenal team of great professionals. Good luck to all of you and thank you for all that you do for the Air Force and this country. Adriane and I are proud to have been members of such an incredible team!

Maj. Gen. Robert L. Smolen retirement -- A change of command and retirement ceremony will held at 9 a.m., June 29, on the Ceremonial Lawn, Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C. All Airmen assigned to the Air Force District of Washington are invited to attend.