26 Dec. 2008
PR# 2008-738

455 AEW Commander visits troops in Western Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan - The 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Commander, Brigadier General Mike Holmes, USAF, visited troops at Camp Arena and Camp Stone in western Afghanistan, Dec. 21.

General Holmes arrived with an entourage from Baghram Air Field, which included the Command Chief Master Sergeant of the base, Dennis L. Vannorsdall, Colonel Jim Reed, 755th Air Expeditionary Group commander and Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Blair, the 755th Superintendent.

After delivering a care package and attending a brief meeting with five Air Force personnel on the flightline of Camp Arena, General Holmes and his crew convoyed to Camp Stone where lunch was served over a round table discussion.

“On behalf of the wing, I want to say thank you,” said General Holmes.  “It’s important for us to get out and find out how we can take better care of you and also to come out and say thanks.  We haven’t forgotten you are out here, although it may feel like it sometimes.”

General Holmes takes trips like this at least once per week to check on the welfare of Airmen serving throughout Afghanistan and to recognize outstanding performers. There are 41 locations in this country where Air Force personnel are serving and it is the General’s goal to reach every location before the end of his tour in March 2009.

“On a lot of levels it’s been a big success, first there are the skills that you bring and the things you do to help the people do the mission here, and help Afghanistan,” General Holmes stated.  “But then there’s also the perception about the Air Force. You guys have shown that you can do anything that needs to be done and do it well. We are not in lieu of anybody, Airmen are doing things they can do.”

After the discussion, General Holmes and the party departed Camp Stone and returned to the airfield for their flight to Baghram.  Although it was a short trip, the Airmen appreciated the visit by their senior leadership.

“It is important for leaders to meet their troops and know who their troops are,” said Senior Airman Aaron Bechtel of Pottstown, Pa.  “We appreciate them taking the time to come out here and get to know us and what we are doing here in Afghanistan.”

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/