Years show 'extreme makeover'

  • Published
  • By Col Wade Johnson
  • 71st Flying Training Wing

Next week we have the pleasure of hosting the 19th Air Force Commander, Maj Gen Edward R. Ellis. General Ellis arrives here Tuesday at approximately 11a.m. accompanied by his wife Sydney and the 19th Air Force Command Chief, CMSgt. Tim Dickens. General Ellis will be on station through 10 a.m. Thursday.
For those of you who do not already know, General Ellis was the commander of Vance AFB from 1995 to 1997 and this visit marks the first time he has returned here since then. I can only imagine how many changes that have taken place here since Gen Ellis commanded the 71st FTW because, in just the one year I have been stationed here, I have seen several significant changes. I am sure it will look as if Vance AFB received an "extreme makeover" in the past seven years.

While the many noticeable changes one can see include newer facilities and better roads, there are some things that have not changed and the first thing that comes to my mind is the tremendous men and women that make up Team Vance and the awesome mission of "Expeditionary Air Warriors Training Tomorrow's Leaders" this team accomplishes here daily.
The other very important aspect of Vance AFB that has not changed nor should it go unrecognized is the unwavering and exceptional community support the city of Enid provides. This base continues to enjoy one of the absolute best base/community relationships in not only in the Air Force, but throughout the military.

Team Vance I know you will provide a warm welcome to the general, his wife, and the chief as they visit your facilities.
I speak for Col. Callan when I say this is your time to shine. We have been to your squadrons and we have seen first hand your professionalism and the positive way you represent your units and the Air Force.
Next week is just business as usual for us Team Vance. Keep on doing the great things that you do, I know General Ellis will be as impressed with you as Colonel Callan and I are.
The commander's column would not be complete without the safety push so here it is: Enjoy your weekend Team Vance, maintain that safety focus, keep up the great work and we will see you on Monday!