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Team MacDill makes Phoenix Rally a success

by 2nd Lt. Larry van der Oord
Chief of Internal Information
photo by Senior Airman Carlye LaPointe

Dr. James D. Webster, representative of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Council, (right) presents Col. Bill Bender, 319th Air Refueling Wing commander, Grand Forks AFB, with the Abilene Trophy Thursday.

Photo by Airman 1st Class Jason Robertson

Lt. Gen. William Welser III, 18th Air Force commander, right, is greeted by Airmen from the 6th Air Mobility Wing after arriving Monday for the Phoenix Rally conference.

From CORONA to Air Fest, and now Phoenix Rally, the men and women of the 6th Air Mobility Wing have proven that outstanding support is truly the standard at MacDill when it comes to hosting any event.

Air Mobility Command's most senior leaders gathered here Tuesday for the three-day conference to discuss the many complex issues facing AMC today.

Approximately 130 guests including Gen. John W. Handy, U.S. Transportation Command and Air Mobility Command commander, and Lt. Gen. William Welser III, 18th Air Force commander, attended the conference.

Lt. Col. Dean Metz, 6th Air Mobility Wing inspector general, was the wing lead for the Phoenix Rally team. Colonel Metz said he could not thank the members of his team enough for all their hard work in preparing for the conference.

"It's truly inspiring to see the dedication displayed by members of the 2005 Phoenix Rally team," said Colonel Metz. "The energy and initiative these people have shown to ensure the success of this conference, coming on the heels of CORONA South, Air Fest and the recent 8044 GenEx, is truly remarkable."

Colonel Metz went on to explain that several of the team members are also involved in other upcoming activities around MacDill.

"In addition, many of these same folks have also been involved with the planning for the upcoming CORONA Top conference, not to mention dealing with our high ops tempo," said Colonel Metz. "As I look at everything they have accomplished recently, I have to say it has been an absolute pleasure and honor to work with this awesome group of Airmen and civilians."

One of the highlights of the conference came Thursday morning when the winner of the Abilene Trophy was announced. The trophy is given to the community that best supports an AMC base. After the Tampa Bay community won the trophy two out of the last three years for its support of MacDill, this year's award went to the folks of Grand Forks, N.D.

The Phoenix Rally team was comprised of a wide cross-section of personnel from MacDill.

"Special thanks goes to Capt. Renee Mitchell, Phoenix Rally deputy, who held the reins while I was TDY," said Colonel Metz. "Melony Angelilli did her usual marvelous job of overseeing all protocol aspects which made up the bulk of the issues we were faced with."

Colonel Metz went on to thank several other key members from the team.

"Master Sgt. Daniel McGuire ran a flawless transportation system in support of all attendees for both on and off-base functions, and the efforts of 2nd Lt. Jay Lee and Senior Master Sgt. Mike Rodgerson were phenomenal while preparing for the many comm requirements levied on us, including many last minute requests.

"Lastly, I want to thank Col. Margaret Woodward (6th AMW commander) for providing a great blend of vision and support to ensure Phoenix Rally 2005 would be the overwhelming success it was," said Colonel Metz.

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