26 April 2010


Relief in-Place/Transfer of Authority.

That is what the Army calls it. In simplest terms, train your replacements, hand over the reins and fade away.

The RIP started back on 13 Apr. A very long and drawn out process (no it's not suppose to take this long, but being an Air Force unit executing an Army mission, it's hard to convince "Green" that "Blue" knows what to do). The TOA took place today. No formal ceremony, no formations, no speeches (thankfully). Simply woke up this morning, handed the new guy the cell phone and went to the gym instead of the office.

My job now is purely and advisory role. Absolutely no authority whatsoever. My only responsibility; ensure my Airmen stay out of trouble until we board the "freedom bird" in 10 days. 10 very long days away!

I remember arriving in country 173 days ago. We took over for another AF team (the first to perform the law and order mission here). They did a great job laying the foundation. We had the opportunity to evolve the mission, refine tactics, techniques and procedures and build a hell of a reputation in the process.

For the past 5 months, my cops busted their tails to build an organization known for it's professionalism and performance. I could not be prouder of them and what they accomplished (and sacrificed).

On a daily basis they selflessly faced the best and worst of what a combat environment has to offer -- death (via explosions, gun shots, overdoses and suicides), assaults, illegal drugs, rocket attacks and the seemingly natural hatred for police in general.

And through it all, they performed magnificently. Accolades abound, we will hold a simple awards ceremony before we leave to formally acknowledge their accomplishments. As an
Air Force puke, I always get a kick out of seeing my Airmen recognized by the Army for a mission well done.

I can not say I'll miss this place, but I sure have learned a lot about leadership, myself and the true patriotic spirit of all the men and women who choose to volunteer to serve our Great Nation.

God Bless Them All.

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