Yokota bids farewell to commander

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Ruth Curfman
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Yokota Warriors will say farewell to Col. Scott Goodwin, 374th Airlift Wing commander, and his wife Ann, during a change of command ceremony Thursday at Hangar 15 at 9 a.m.

"It's been a busy two years making sure the mission happens safely. Airmen and their families were cared for and the base is positioned for success in the future," said Colonel Goodwin.

The commander can be assured that he has left Yokota Air Base a better place and the Air Force has recognized this.

"One of the things that I am most proud of is all that the wing has accomplished," he said. "Most recently, the wing's performance during the Initial Readiness Response Inspection in March was absolutely phenomenal and we ended up with an excellent rating overall."

During the inspection, four out of 16 graded areas were recognized as outstanding and 11 received excellent ratings.

"This was a spectacular showing from all of the participants," he said. "Yokota Airmen helped to set the precedent for other bases to follow."

In addition to the IRRI, Yokota Airmen and units garnered more than 100 other awards for their hard work and dedication.

"During the past two years, units and Airmen here have received 95 Pacific Air Forces, 16 Air Force and seven national level awards," said the commander. "This just goes to show the caliber of the people we have here and the dedication they have in doing their jobs and I am very proud of them."

However, the work doesn't stop there.

"We continue to support Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom by deploying our C-130 crews and maintainers," he said. "Not to mention the thousands of Airmen deploying worldwide in support of our Air Expeditionary Force and the war on terrorism."

Although almost all Airmen will deploy at some point during their military time, they can find comfort in knowing that the base will continue improving while they are away.

"We have also seen numerous enhancements in quality of life for our personnel here," the colonel said. "Some of these initiatives include the ground-breaking triple play technology services, the East Side Blues restaurant and the new pet facility."

Even PACAF and the Air Force agree that Yokota has some of the best services around.

"The Samurai Café has won best in PACAF two years in a row and the new bowling center, Tomadachi Lanes, and Yokota Officers' Club have been recognized as the Best in the Air Force," said Colonel Goodwin.

In addition to the quality of life improvements, Yokota also continues to prepare for the future.

"There are a lot of infrastructure projects going on around the base," he said. "One of the largest projects is the huge effort going into the planning and positioning of the base for the Japanese Air Self Defense Force's Air Defense Command Headquarters moving to Yokota."

Although the colonel will not be here to see the transition, he knows the people of Yokota will ensure that it is successful.

"I have had an opportunity to work with America's finest in the wing and associate organizations," he said. "The Airmen of Yokota never cease to amaze me with their dedication, ingenuity and their service. I will truly miss them all as well as all of the Japanese friends I have made and this amazing country I have grown to love."

As the commander reflects on his time here, he wanted to share his thoughts with the Airmen who remain here.

"First, you are serving in a tremendous country at a unique time in the history of our alliance," he said. "Each and every Airman needs to do all they can to support that alliance because it truly is the cornerstone of security and stability in the region.

"Also, as we have in the past, always be prepared to do your job," he said. "The demands on our Air Force are great so we need to always be prepared to face the challenges. We must also always be ready because there is no telling when the next humanitarian crisis or contingency will be upon us."
As the colonel prepares to leave for his next assignment as the assistant deputy director in charge of combating the global war on terrorism at the Pentagon, he had one last thought to share.

"It has been an honor and a privilege to serve with everyone here at Yokota Air Base," he said. "I wish everyone the best of luck in the future."