July 13, 2012 (by A1C Zachary Perras) - In a tradition nearly as old as military aviation itself, Brigadier General James N. "Bull" Post III, 354th Fighter Wing commander, completed his final flight at Eielson Air Force Base on July 11, symbolizing the end of his command.
Members of the Iceman Team render a salute to Brig. Gen. James N. Post III, 354th FW commander, as he taxis down the flight line upon completion of his final flight on July 12th, 2012 at Eielson AFB. [USAF photo by A1C. Zachary Perras]
Post's last flight at Eielson follows a tradition in which aircrew members, upon completion of their final flight with the wing, or "fini flight," are met and hosed down with water by their squadron comrades, family and friends.
During a ceremony at the Thunderdome following his fini flight, Post personally thanked members of the Iceman Team for their dedication, service and sacrifices made for the Air Force.
"It has been an honor to serve with each and every one of you," Post said. "Thank you for your loyalty and your support and for everything you do for our great Air Force and our nation."
Post achieved more than 4,000 flying hours in the F-16 Fighting Falcon during his career, placing him in an elite corner of the F-16 community. He is only known general officer to accomplish the feat while still on active duty. He has totaled more than 4,400 flying, including 286 combat hours.
The general attributed such an achievement to the total force that supports each mission of the Air Force, saying Airmen and their families are the backbone for success.
"It takes the full team - families, each and every one of us in and out of uniform who commit to our Air Force, to ensure that it's the greatest in the world," said Post. "Every single one of you makes it happen and that's a big deal to me."
Despite leaving Eielson behind, Post reminded those in attendance that the Iceman Team must always be mission ready.
"We don't leave success to chance - there's no second place in this business," he said. "You just can't give it a shot and see what happens and settle for second place, and none of you have let that happen, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate that and how much it means to me."
Following a change of command ceremony July 13, Post will move on to serve as Deputy Director, Operations, Plans, Programs and Requirements, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
Brig. Gen. Mark Kelly will assume command of the 354th FW, arriving from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, where he served as Chief of Staff, Pacific Air Forces.