A holiday message from the commander

  • Published
  • By Col. Jeffrey L. Harrigian
  • 49th Fighter Wing commander
Team Holloman Warriors,

As we enter the holiday break, I want to first thank our 49er Team for all you've done this year to transition and deliver our Air Dominance mission. 

For the rest of our Team Holloman personnel, thanks for your efforts in delivering your specific mission in support of our Air Force and our nation. 

Over the next couple of weeks many of you will be travelling to be with family, friends, and loved ones, and I want to remind you that we cannot accomplish this important mission without you. I need you to travel safe and return ready to contribute to the mission in 2009.

Since the beginning of September, the Air Force has lost 15 Airman, 13 of which were personal auto or motorcycle mishaps. This is an alarming trend; here at HAFB we have had 3 auto accidents just outside the main gate in the last month, and luckily all were wearing seat belts and received only minor injuries. Additionally, an Airman lost control of his motorcycle while riding back from Cloudcroft but was saved by his helmet and PPE. Please continue to do the right thing, bring the weather conditions into your cross check and slow down when necessary...be sure to wear your seat belts/PPE when driving/riding.

Another threat to holiday travel is fatigue. Have a plan, take frequent breaks, and avoid prolonged driving at night or during snow/icy conditions. I would rather you extend your stay or stop for the night, rather than get a case of "get-home-itis" and press on when you are overly tired.

Finally, use common sense and risk management while celebrating during the holiday season. Look out for each other, be a good wingman and don't let your friends or loved ones drink and drive. I challenge you to be the example, the one who makes the right call and stops a fellow airman from doing something unsafe or irresponsible. Remember, you are always representing Team Holloman and the greatest Air Force in the world.

Thanks again for all you do...Happy Holidays, travel safe, and return ready to tackle the challenges of 2009!

Jeffrey L. Harrigian, Col, USAF

49 FW Commander