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USCENTCOM Commander brings holiday greetings to members of the 386 AEW

Col. Clarence Lukes Jr., 386th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Richard Vargas, 386th AEW Command Chief Master Sergeant, salute as Central Command commander U.S. Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III arrives on the flightline at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Nov. 24, 2015. Austin toured various 386th AEW work centers and interacted with service members expressing gratitude and thanks for their service and support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Col. Clarence Lukes Jr., 386th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Richard Vargas, 386th AEW Command Chief Master Sergeant, salute as Central Command commander U.S. Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III arrives on the flightline at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Nov. 24, 2015. Austin toured various 386th AEW work centers and interacted with service members expressing gratitude and thanks for their service and support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

U.S. Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander, U.S. Central Command, coins Staff Sgt. Zachary Brown, a 386th Expeditionary Communications Squadron Client Systems Technician, during a visit to the 386th AEW Nov. 24, 2015, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. During his visit Austin presented a coin to four Airmen in recognition for their outstanding performance within their units. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

U.S. Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander, U.S. Central Command, coins Staff Sgt. Zachary Brown, a 386th Expeditionary Communications Squadron Client Systems Technician, during a visit to the 386th AEW Nov. 24, 2015, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. During his visit Austin presented a coin to four Airmen in recognition for their outstanding performance within their units. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

U.S. Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander, U.S. Central Command poses for a photo with the 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Nov. 24, 2015. Austin met with Airmen from various units and took the time to thank them for their contribution to the mission and support for the fight against ISIL. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

U.S. Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander, U.S. Central Command poses for a photo with the 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Nov. 24, 2015. Austin met with Airmen from various units and took the time to thank them for their contribution to the mission and support for the fight against ISIL. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

Southwest Asia --

The United States Central Command Commander, General Lloyd J. Austin III, made a special trip to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Tuesday, Nov. 24, to visit with troops stationed here.

General Austin personally delivered words of admiration and gratitude to the Airmen of the 386th and their families stressing that he is proud of them and cares about their welfare.

“What you do is important to mission success,” Austin said.  “It is because of the work that you do and the work of your teammates that we are being successful and we will defeat ISIL.”

General Austin visited several squadrons at the 386th, including the maintenance squadron, the communications squadron and the security forces squadron.  Senior Airman Cayo Bellaine, 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, was among those who met with the General.

“I think it’s wonderful he took the time to come see us,” said Bellaine.  “He was very humble and I came away with the feeling that he truly cares.  And that means a lot.”

General Austin told the assembled service members at each location that, “What you’re doing is important and you are making a difference.”  He thanked them for their service and many sacrifices and asked them to pass along his message of thanks to their family members and loved ones as well.

U.S. Central Command, with national and international partners, promotes cooperation among nations, responds to crises, deters or defeats state and non-state aggression, supports development and, when necessary, reconstruction in order to establish the conditions for regional security, stability, and prosperity.

For more information on USCENTCOM, visit www.centcom.mil

For more information on the 386th AEW, visit www.afcent.af.mil/Units/386thAirExpeditionaryWing.aspx

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