WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- For many, gathering with friends and family for the holidays often leads to discussions of the things we are thankful for. As you think about the blessings you've enjoyed in the past year, I ask that you also remember the men and women who defend our freedom, one of the greatest gifts of all.
Today the Air Force has more than 32,000 Airmen -- military and civilian -- deployed to preserve the gifts of independence, freedom and democracy. Within Air Force Materiel Command, more than 1,000 members are deployed this holiday season. I am, as always, humbled by their service and sacrifice.
I am also grateful to the rest of our AFMC team carrying out the mission at home. Thanks to your hard work and dedication this year, across our five centers, we have successfully accomplished all of our critical missions -- Science and Technology, Life Cycle Management, Developmental Test and Evaluation, and Sustainment. You should all be proud of what we've accomplished this year, and I know we will see even more success in 2013.
As a final note, I encourage you to keep safety in mind this winter. This time of year brings increased risks and hazards, especially on the roads. By applying risk management as you make your holiday plans, you help ensure a safe season for yourself and your family.
Wolf and I wish you all a joyous holiday and a happy new year. We are proud to serve with you in the world's most respected Air Force.