After 33 years of service, ACC vice commander bids farewell

  • Published
  • By Maj. Gen. Mike Worden
  • Vice commander, Air Combat Command
Teammates, it has been a sincere privilege to have served with you on this, my last and
culminating chapter of service.

I have learned so much from all of you, and have taken great pride in how
selflessly and tirelessly you all have worked as a team in some challenging
times to support our boss, our Airmen and our Air Force. I know we have faced
challenging times together and some may mischaracterize this time as one
dominated by the disassembly of ACC. They choose to see only a "zero sum"
Air command's loss is another's gain.

We know a different story.

Because of your efforts we were able to unite all "Warfare Centers" in the
USAF into one USAF Warfare Center.

Because of your efforts we were able to unite all the Combat Air Force's
major commands into a single CAF Strategic Plan that has survived external
scrutiny and promises to create greater unity of effort and synergy that
will greatly benefit our Air Force as it strives to build an enterprise
wide, long range strategic plan.

Because of your endless support to the Warfighter, we have helped turn the
Iraqi situation around to where our Airmen may leave a stable and secure
Iraq to its people without a menacing dictator who brutally threatens peace.

Because of your extraordinary efforts we have kept an aging fleet, the
oldest in history, flying safely well beyond its design life.

Because of your lead of the Air Force Command and Control Tiger Team, our
Air Force is funding big command and control, realizing it is our key
asymmetric advantage in the 21st Century.

Because of you, the Air Force has realized how critical Live, Virtual and
Constructive Training is towards our future readiness.

Because of your efforts, and that of the USAF Warfare Center, we are ever
improving our cross domain integration.

Because of your efforts, we conceived and fielded the MC-12 in less than a
year, and have spearheaded Air Force IW initiatives

Because of your support for the Warfighter, we have increased Predator and
Reaper caps by over 400% of the program of record...a major factor in the
success of the surge in Iraq.

Because of your professional and selfless team play, we are standing up a
Global Strike Command, and a cyber NAF Numbered Air Force to provide better
focus on these two critical mission areas. Yet both commands will still
look to us for the integration of their mission area within the larger
context of warfare.

And because of you we are aligning our staffing process with our CAF
strategic "goals," to ensure our limited resources and time are spent on
those priorities which build combat capability the most.

I am humbled by the professionalism and servant leadership that permeates
this command because of you, and because of the leadership example of our
boss, General, transparent, inclusive, emphasizing our people
first, so we can accomplish our AIR FORCE's mission always. We seldom
thought of ourselves as ACC-we focused on collaborating with the other CAF
commands in our duty as the CAF lead MAJCOM. It has never been about us.

As Lori and I depart, we take treasured memories and a piece of each one of
you with us...pieces that make us proud and made us better. It's not just
about what you do. It's really about who you are.

We can never thank you enough for the privilege of being part of your team.

Gratefully and Humbly,

Mike W

Editors note: Maj Gen Mike Worden retired July 31, 2009 after 33 years in uniform. The following is his farewell note to the ACC staff.