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JBER bids farewell to commander

By Airman 1st Class Caitlin Russell | 673d ABW Public Affairs | July 11, 2018

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska --

Arctic warriors and the community are bidding farewell to one commander of the 673d Air Base Wing and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, and welcoming a new one.

U.S. Air Force Col. George T.M. “Dutch” Dietrich III commanded the 673d ABW and JBER from July 11, 2016 to July 13, 2018.

“Colonel Dietrich works to ensure Airmen understood their impact and relevance to the mission,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Charles Orf, 673d ABW command chief. “He provides clear intent and wants us [the Airmen] to translate that into execution. He believes for the mission to be successful moving forward innovation is key. And to do this, we need to empower Airmen at all levels.”

Dietrich will move on to serve as the senior logistician at the Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

“I know Colonel Dietrich will be successful moving forward and is well-equipped to support the mission at JSOC,” said Donald Weckhorst, 673d ABW and JBER executive director. “He’ll bring the energy, expertise and flexibility he has demonstrated at JBER.”

Weckhorst said Dietrich focuses on connecting to all service members, building and maintaining relationships, and supporting mission partners.

As 673d ABW commander, Dietrich was in charge of more than 5,500 military and civilian personnel, supporting America’s arctic warriors and their families, and four groups operating and maintaining the joint base.

“Colonel Dietrich challenged service members at every opportunity to be an innovative workforce [and] accept reasonable risk without fear of failure; he motivated [them] to support and lead current and future mission requirements,” Weckhorst said.

Dietrich said his top priorities were to have fun and to make it better.

“I have certainly had fun during my time, and I hope everyone else has as well,” Dietrich said. “From my perspective, we’ve made the wing and JBER better by empowering Airmen. The Airmen have really taken ownership of that, and I’ve seen the improvement across the board.”

Dietrich said with the support and partnerships shared with the wing, mission partners and the community, he encountered few challenges along the way.

“I feel incredibly privileged to have had this opportunity to command the 673d ABW and JBER, it was a dream of mine to get stationed here,” Dietrich said. “I’m so grateful to have been able to command a group of high-performing professionals and I hope the incoming commander enjoys it as much as I have.”

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