9/11 remembrance - 10 years later

  • Published
  • By Maj. Gen. Andrew Busch
  • Ogden Air Logistics Center commander
As I contemplated the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and the 10 years since, I couldn't help but remember where I was on that day and the strength our nation drew from our common experience. I was assigned to the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at the time and those days will forever be etched in my mind. I remember watching base employees (military and civilians) waiting outside the gates for up to six hours. What stands out in my mind is that nobody complained. Everyone had only one thing on their mind ... how can I help? The days immediately following the 9/11 attacks were no different. Until we understood the nature of the threat and adjusted our procedures, lines at the gate were over a mile long as early as 4:30 a.m., yet they still didn't complain and were only focused on helping.

Another image that always comes to mind is President Bush sitting in a Florida classroom reading to a class of kindergartners when he was given the disturbing news our country was under attack. Amazingly, almost 500 of our currently serving military and civilian Team Hill employees are young enough to have been students in that elementary school on that very day. Despite living a majority of their lives seeing news reports of the devastation that comes with war they found strength and chose to join the fight. I am grateful to them for making that initial choice and for all of your choices to continue supporting our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Today, as we did on Sept. 11, 2001, we still have one thing on our mind ... how can we help? Hill Air Force Base's help comes by way of significant contributions to the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of those contributions include several 388th deployments to the desert, constant EOD, security forces, and contracting deployments with low dwell times, and the recent deployment of the 729th Air Control Squadron. We also find ourselves rushing new capabilities like Beyond Line of Sight communication to the fight, providing over 6,700 major depot repair actions, and contracting for mission critical contractor support to deployed systems. On the home front, we provide tremendous family support through pre- and post-AEF retreats and personal care for families while our team members are deployed.

As we continue to move forward I would like to remind you, the work we do today is no less important than it was the day after the attack. Whether we are checking IDs at the gate, turning wrenches to get an aircraft back to flight, or contracting for critical sustainment efforts we all continue to be key contributors to the fight. I encourage you to reflect on the events of that day, remember those we lost and become encouraged by what we found -- strength and a renewed sense of the importance of our work.