ALI AL SALEM AIR BASE, Kuwait --
The 386th Expeditionary Maintenance Group was inactivated during a ceremony at the base theater, May 30, 2022.
Col. Clinton M. Wilson, commander of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, officiated the ceremony where Col. Robert Grant Meadows, outgoing commander of the 386th EMXG, relinquished command.
“This is the first group level [inactivation] ceremony for the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing as we make a monumental shift from the expeditionary group construct to the Air Staff model,” said Wilson. “Col. Meadows, it's been an honor and privilege to watch you lead the amazing men and women of the 386th EMXG. Under your leadership, the maintenance group demonstrated perseverance and adaptability throughout the year as their mission sets evolved.”
Some of the accomplishments of the 386th EMXG included: moving over 46,850 short tons of cargo, transporting over 85,000 passengers and enabling 21,000 intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance hours; completing the transition of airframes which increased the intertheater airlift capacity by more than 25%; executing multiple high risk hot weather operational launches within 12 hours of the formal tasking; and finally, the maintenance group established specialized transportation and aircraft disinfection teams in direct support of Operation Allies Refuge.
“Thank you,” said Wilson. “These are impressive feats; and even more impressive when you consider the environment in which we're working–130-degree temperatures, dust, various different diseases—but you [all] continue to operate day in and day out without fail. And that's because of your leadership, Grant.”
Wilson congratulated Meadows and thanked him for his service to the 386th AEW and maintenance group.
“Congratulations on your next assignment to McConnell Air Force Base where, no doubt, you'll continue to lead amazing maintainers to higher successes,” said Wilson. “AMC couldn't have selected a more capable leader for the position. Thank you for what you've done for your service and sacrifice throughout a tough year. I appreciate it.”
The wing commander presented the Legion of Merit, First Oak Leaf Cluster to Meadows.
“One thing that was reinforced for me during this past year was the great Americans that make up our United States Air Force,” said Meadows. “They sacrifice for something bigger, something more than themselves. It didn't matter—guard, reserve, active duty—it was clear that these Airmen, rotation after rotation, were here to answer our nation's call. And that determination and drive was evident in their work each and every day. Their positive attitudes shone through, no matter if it was 133 degrees on the ramp or if it was the end of a 12 plus hour day, their drive and passion made them hungry for even more the next day. This is something that I will never forget.”
Meadows thanked and praised the group, his teammates and wing leadership for their efforts, dedication and teamwork over the last year.
“I will close with a phrase that I used in my incoming change of command speech last year: Some people will rarely remember what you say but will more than likely always remember how you made them feel,” said Meadows.
Meadows was instrumental to OAR, the largest noncombatant evacuation operation in United States history, generating 224 missions that transported over 5,400 Afghan refugees.
“To the members of the 386th EMXG, it is my hope that when you reflect on my time as your group commander, you reflect and that you feel that you truly mattered," said Meadows. "Truly mattered as a valued member of this team because you are the main reason I continue to do what I do. Simply put, you're amazing, and it has been my sincerest honor to have served as your group commander this past year. Thank you very much.”