SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --
The commander of Air Combat Command visited the service members of Task Force-Southeast at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, April 20, 2020.
“I’m looking forward to hearing about all of the great things Task Force-Southeast is doing to help with the federal government’s response to fighting COVID,” said Gen. Mike Holmes, the commander of Air Combat Command. “I knew you guys were up for the challenge, and I had no doubt that you could do this and I’m proud of you for what you’re doing.”
Holmes toured several facilities to learn how the task force operates and about its mission to aid in the country’s fight to combat COVID-19.
“Throughout the country there are many task forces operating in different regions to provide defense support to the states that have been hit hardest by the coronavirus,” said Maj. Gen. Chad Franks, Ninth Air Force and TF-SE commander. “What makes TF-SE unique is that it is the only Air Force-led task force and we are excited to be part of the joint team in this crucial effort. Our preparation to become a service retained Joint Task Force capable headquarters has paid off.”
TF-SE is responsible for coordinating Department of Defense support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency response to COVID-19 in FEMA regions III and IV. These regions include 13 states from Pennsylvania down to Florida and east of the Mississippi River.
Upon arrival to Shaw, Holmes received an in-depth commander’s update brief discussing current operations and emerging requirements. This was followed by stops in several locations to meet most of the more than 130 ACC Airmen and their joint service and coalition counterparts who make up the task force.
Accompanying Holmes on the visit was Chief Master Sgt. David Wade, the ACC command chief, whose previous assignment was as the Ninth AF command chief, making him familiar with much of the team and all of the work that went into establishing the numbered AF as a task-force capable command.
“It’s pretty awesome to see this task force, having spent a couple years here myself and seeing all the hard work put in while I was here,” said Wade. “And we’re seeing it employed here fighting the virus in the U.S. doing important [Defense Support to Civil Authorities] work and so I just want to say thanks for all the hard work.”
Holmes also thanked the team as he wrapped up his visit, stating his appreciation for the sacrifices of the task force members and their families back home during this historic time.