Cheney commends Robins

WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., Oct. 28. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp)

WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., Oct. 28. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp)

WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., Oct. 28. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp)

WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., Oct. 28. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp)

WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Vice President Dick Cheney awards the Bronze Star medal to Tech. Sgt. Jason Pierre, 78th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp)

WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Vice President Dick Cheney awards the Bronze Star medal to Tech. Sgt. Jason Pierre, 78th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. (AFMCNS) -- Vice President Dick Cheney speaks the lingo of Robins Air Force Base, Ga. He knows that here it's 'People First ... Mission Always' and that 'Every Day in Middle Georgia is Armed Forces Appreciation Day.'

During a recent visit where he rallied the troops by thanking them for their unwavering support in the Global War on Terrorism, the country's second in command relayed a message of respect and appreciation for a job well done. Robins is part of Air Force Materiel Command, which provides the Air Force with war-fighting capabilities on time and on cost. AFMC is headquartered at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

"You, the men and women of Robins Air Force Base, have met every challenge with focus, with great effectiveness, and, above all, with honor," he said. "You have brought credit to yourselves and to the nation. Your Commander-in-Chief and your fellow citizens are very proud of you. And, it is my great honor to bring that message to you today. Thank you for what you've done for all of us."

Nearly 6,000 people gathered Oct. 28 and listened intently as the vice president sang the praises of units from across the base pausing to cite unique examples from each.

"In the four years since our nation was attacked and we lost 3,000 of our fellow citizens, members of our military have been deployed on many fronts in the war on terror, from the Horn of Africa to the broader Middle East," he said. "In this period, units based at Robins have deployed more than 31,000 personnel; airlifted 5,000 tons of cargo; and played a key role in keeping thousands of American aircraft flying."

He added that the jobs assigned to this base are large and complex.

"The nation looks to all of you to keep the Air Force flying, to move supplies and people in theaters of operation, to support and maintain the jets flying CAP for homeland security, and to provide combat communications across great distances," he said. "The work you do here - every day and around the clock - is sustaining the United States military in the war on terror. That war goes on, and thanks in part to all of you, it's a war we are going to win."

The rally was what Center Commander Maj. Gen. Mike Collings called a day of recognition and included the presentation of the Bronze Star Medal and a reenlistment ceremony, both conducted by Mr. Cheney.

"We're here to recognize you and say thank you," said the general. "Thank you for all you do in the Global War on Terrorism. Thank you for all you do for the relief efforts for Katrina and Rita. Thank you for being Americans. That's what we're here about today. Whether you're on the line deployed being shot at or back here supporting the war fighter this is your afternoon."

Mr. Cheney presented the Bronze Star Medal to Tech. Sgt. Jason Eldridge Pierre, who distinguished himself as convoy commander for Detachment 2632 of the 457th Transportation Battalion in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

When an improvised explosive device struck a vehicle directly in front of Sergeant Pierre he rapidly deployed a disposal team and called in for medical and close air support saving the life of an injured truck operator.

The sergeant, who has been in the military for 11 years, said although many see him as a hero, he just sees himself as doing his job.

"There were people out there doing more heroic things than I was," he said after the ceremony. "I'm more proud of them and what they did than I am of what I saw myself doing. I was just doing my job."

Staff Sgt. Dorian Wilson, of the 78th Civil Engineer Group and one of the re-enlistees said having the vice president preside over the ceremony was a great experience.

"I've been in the Air Force for eight years and I love serving my country," he said. "It was a moving experience. The first time I enlisted I didn't know what I was getting into but now it's a way of life."

Sergeant Pierre agreed.

"It was really unexpected, but nice and greatly appreciated," he said.