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To the Airmen of Global Strike Command: Enjoy a safe and enjoyable Independence Day

By Lt. Gen. Jim Kowalski Air Force Global Strike Command

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The Fourth of July is an opportunity to reflect on the courage exemplified by American patriots who pursued independence and gave birth to our great Nation. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the freedoms and opportunities afforded us in this wonderful country and to salute the men and women of our military who continue to stand ready to defend our hard-won freedoms.

In Air Force Global Strike Command, we defend our nation's freedoms every single day. From the security forces member standing watch over the missile complexes in the heartland of America to the crew chief deployed to Guam to the knowledge operations manager guaranteeing the reliability of our critical networks, every one of you is responsible for ensuring we have safe, secure and effective nuclear and conventional deterrent forces.

Safety must remain in the forefront of our minds as we get ready to celebrate our nation's independence. Historically, summer is a time with increased risk of accidents, many of which can be avoided with proper risk management. You owe it to yourself, your family and your fellow Airmen to use the information provided in your holiday safety briefings and come back to work refreshed and ready to carry out the mission.

This is also a time we find ourselves traveling and gathering with many of our fellow Americans. Unfortunately, not everyone shares our values so it is important that you remain wary of other potential threats. Maintain situational awareness at all times. If you observe suspicious activities, report them to law enforcement or the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

Securing American freedoms means ensuring that our greatest assets, our Airmen, are both physically and mentally healthy. Take time during this holiday to celebrate this wonderful nation with friends and family, and use common sense and sound judgment to make this an enjoyable holiday. Our nation's security depends on the wellbeing of every military member, civil servant and contractor - we need you ALL back safe!

Thank you for what you do every day - it is an honor to serve with you. Julie and I wish you and yours the very best as you celebrate Independence Day!