Commander shares a farewell message

  • Published
  • By Col. Anthony Cotton
  • 341st Missile Wing commander
Members of Team Malmstrom and our teammates of Great Falls and the surrounding counties - What an incredible journey...for all of us! As Marsha and I box up the last of our things, we'd like to say thank you. Thank you for allowing us to be part of the Malmstrom family and the great communities surrounding our base. Since my arrival in July of 2009 (Marsha and Bri joined me in 2010), I have seen a Wing that continues to grow and mature. We have enjoyed some incredible highs, and we have banded together to endure some disappointing moments. One thing is constant--throughout my tenure as your Wing Commander, I could not have been more proud. Wing One continues to provide our nation with deterrent capability, 24/7, 365 days a year. It continues to be the bedrock of strategic deterrence for our great nation and her allies. The professionals assigned to the 341st Missile Wing maintain a credible force for our nation that is second to none. Your ability to maintain combat capability of our nation's most powerful weapon system is breathtaking.

Let's put it in perspective. Last winter, North Central Montana experienced one of its most brutal winters, not only record snowfall, but record low temperatures throughout the region. Yet, in what we affectionately refer to as our 13,800 square-mile "flight line," young maintainers, defenders, civil engineers and operators, literally plowed through every day to sustain our high operations tempo. Once the unprecedented snowfall decided to melt, those same warrior Airmen deployed out to the field and worked tirelessly through 12- to 16-hour days to prevent flooding creek beds and rivers from overtaking our launch facilities. But further Wing One, you accomplished that while simultaneously preparing for and excelling in three major inspections along the way. Compliance, competence, composure and commitment - Cotton's 4 C's; not a chant or mantra; it is a course of action. It is the way you accomplished activities here every day. The quantitative proof is in the results of our inspections, with further confirmation coming through the sincere words of our leaders throughout the Air Force. The American people place incredible trust and confidence in you and deserve absolutely nothing less because you always deliver!

To our teammates of Great Falls and the surrounding communities - thank you. Our partnership is the best I've experienced in my 25 years of active-duty. Your pride in and sense of ownership of our mission is something I know all Wing Commanders across the Air Force wish they could boast about...I can and I have. Marsha and I have enjoyed our countless adventures throughout North Central Montana and the rest of Big Sky Country, and we will cherish the friendships we established here.

While we hate to depart our beloved Wing One, we definitely leave it in great hands. Colonel H.B. Brual and his wife Desiree come in with the right energy to take this Wing to even greater heights.

Marsha and I will never forget our time here. We wish you all continued success. Godspeed Wing are ALWAYS READY!!