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370th Group and squadron stand up

by Staff Sgt. Carlos Diaz
U.S. Central Command Air Forces Public Affairs

4/22/2007 - SATHER AIR BASE, Iraq (AFNEWS) -- The unit activation and assumption of command of the 370th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group and Squadron took place at New Al Muthana Air Base April 22.

"This event symbolizes the commitment of the U.S. Air Force in rebuilding the Iraqi Air Force," said Brig. Gen. Robert Allardice, Coalition Air Force Transition Team commander. "Coalition and American forces are good at destroying militaries; however, rebuilding one is even better."

General Allardice thanked the Airmen of the 370th AEAG and AEAS, respectively.

"Thank-you for your commitment to serve at this time, and for leaving your families for this worthwhile cause," he said.

The Airmen - wearing full battle rattle - stood in formation resembling ancient military statues.

They were witnesses to activation of the 370th AEAG and Col. Daniel Groeschen assuming command of it.

"The Airmen that stand before you today are just awesome," Colonel Groeschen said. "They are proud men and women who volunteered for this deployment because they believe in the mission, the Iraqi people and its air force."

Colonel Groeschen capped off his speech by reciting the new "Airman's Creed" stating in his own words that," We are America's Airmen and we do not know defeat."

Col. Mark Schmitz then assumed command of the 370th AEAS after its activation.

"We've done so much, and I'm honored to command you in this journey," he said. "To my Iraqi brothers, this assignment is the highlight of my career. I admire your courage, honor and patriotism."

The 370th AEAS is made up of Airmen from a variety of career fields.

"This is my chance to give something back in a grander scale," said Tech. Sgt. Erskin McMickle, a life support adviser. "Seeing this mission unfold before my eyes is a great feeling and I'm glad to be a part of it." 

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