A holiday message from the AEDC commander

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, TENN. -- Team Arnold,

As we close out another historic year at AEDC, I encourage each of you to take time to pause and reflect on your accomplishments. Together you weathered one of the most challenging years in most people's memory. We started the year on a continuing resolution (CR) which dramatically reduced our fiscal flexibility and followed the CR up with sequestration, which led to dismissals and furloughs. Then with the start of the 2014 fiscal year in October, the gov-ernment shutdown and lack of a new budget forced more furloughs, leave without pay and a lot of uncertainty about the future; all while our test workload continued to increase.

Through all of this turmoil though, each and every one of you kept your eye on the mission and just as importantly, on each other. I couldn't be more proud of how you performed under such pressure and I sincerely thank you.

As is normal at AEDC, testing will be suspended during the last week of December and most employees will have the opportunity to take time off to be with family and friends; a perfect time for placing the mission on the back burner for a while, but it is not time to forget about each other. Our diverse workforce includes many who may be alone over the holidays, and I ask that if you know someone in such circumstances, please reach out and include them in your plans.

During this busy time of year, we can often become distracted, so keep your head in the game and keep an eye out for those who aren't. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. When you're at home, look for ways to do things safely. Plan travel with weather in mind and schedule plenty of breaks.
Many of us have decorated for the season, and there are inherent dangers in putting up and taking down decorations. Be careful in all you do, and share our safety culture as well as our culture of caring with those outside the workplace.

I look forward to the exciting work you all will be doing in 2014 - a healthy workload awaits! I have no doubt you will continue to rise to the challenges we face with innovative solutions.

I am proud to serve with each and every one of you, and I'm excited to see what you will accomplish.
Best wishes,

Col. Raymond Toth