By Col. Mike Feeley, 166th Airlift Wing commander
/ Published October 28, 2014
NEW CASTLE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Del. -- I see every day and every UTA the amazing level of competence and dedication of our Airmen. I am so proud that this unit truly exemplifies "Excellence in All We Do."
And as we all should know, most individual recognition of excellence comes not from a single person's actions, but comes to represent the spirit of collaboration and team-work of a great organization. If you read last month's edition of The DANG Truth, you read about Steadfast Javelin II, where the Delaware Air National Guard was the lead unit on a multi-state, multi-ship airdrop exercise in Europe.
That exercise, and show of force and support to our NATO allies, was deemed a great success. It showed the air superiority of the U.S. Air Force and our ability to project power anywhere in the world. Having hundreds of Soldiers parachute out of dozens of C-130's has that effect!
What you didn't read was that one of our own, Col. Rob Culcasi, our 166th Operations Group commander, was the overall aircraft mission commander for the ANG and U.S. Air Forces in Europe. His contribution was described ths way: "In addition to leading 150 ANG deployed members, he masterfully orchestrated the execution of a night drop involving 13 aircraft and 500 paratroopers as part of a large airfield seizure exercise in Latvia."
That quote comes from Maj. Gen. Eric Vollmecke, the ANG advisor to the commander of USAFE and Air Force Africa Command. He named Col. Culcasi the "Star Performer of the Quarter." Recognition from our peers is often the best kind, because they are affirming what we already know.
Rob is obviously a top-performer, no doubt about it. But even he will tell you that he didn't do it alone. His accolades represent everyone's efforts. This mission was a team effort for the folks that deployed, folks that helped them deploy, and folks that stayed here and took on additional responsibilities to keep the wing flying. Those teams include nearly every unit on base, from services to maintenance, from finance to operations.
So to Col. Culcasi, and to all of you, thanks for all that you do and the excellence you bring to America's air power.