SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill -- In our Air Force's 61-year history, Airmen repeatedly have been called upon to defend the cause of freedom in the air and on unfamiliar terrain around the world. Whatever the conflict, natural disaster or crisis, airmen have answered the call and performed their missions with incredible courage and distinction. Their consistent example of excellence and dedication is our treasured heritage.

Mobility airmen share in the proud legacy of our nation's defense throughout the history of manned flight. Through air mobility, our nation can extend an out-stretched hand of compassion to those in need, or a clenched fist to those who threaten our freedom. The air mobility legacy is visible all around us -- from the Air Force's first challenge 60 years ago, the Berlin Airlift, to the relief efforts after natural disasters in our country and around the world, to today's daily engagement in the Global War on Terror.

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The Berlin Airlift and the long list of operations that followed are each a significant piece of Air Force history. Our legacy of successful delivery of our nation's might, or its assistance, set the standard for the modern Air Force.

As Colonel Gail Halvorsen, the storied 'Candy Bomber' of the Berlin Airlift said, "Today Air Mobility Command travels faster, farther and with a greater load. But one thing hasn't changed since 1948: The Airmen and their attitudes. They continue to exemplify integrity, service before self and excellence in all we do."

Indeed, today's airmen are remarkable. Through careful attention to detail, ingenuity, flexibility and a keen mission focus, we prove our value to our joint partners, allies and nation. The positive impact of the talent and spirit of airmen is displayed daily around the world -- it's an identity we proudly claim through our character and daily performance. Through your daily mission success, we honor the legacy of those great mobility airmen from the past and set an uplifting and high standard for future mobility airmen.

I am encouraged by our Air Force's boundless horizons and look forward to serving alongside you to deliver excellence through global reach for our nation.