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Not the time to take your eye off the ball

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. James Dye
  • 90th Operations Group chief enlisted manager
Congratulation's Mighty Ninety, you have just finished an impressive display of your abilities to do your job by receiving the highest rating given for a Nuclear Surety Inspection and blowing the Nuclear Operational Readiness Inspection out of the water. All of you should be extremely proud, because you've proven to the world that F. E. Warren is the best ICBM Wing in the Air Force.

Winning the Superbowl, which is what Chief Clark calls the NSI, comes with a lot of pressure, and it would be natural to ease up and take your foot off the peddle after such a victory, but unfortunately our mission doesn't stop, nor does it allow for taking a knee, and we must keep our eye on the ball.

We cannot afford to ruin all the hard work that went into this great accomplishment by dropping the ball now. If we drop, we instantly go from being known as the best wing to being known as "show ponies," meaning we are good during inspections but not day-to-day operations.

Therefore, I challenge each and every one of you to maintain the high energy and professionalism that you displayed during the inspections each and every day, and that will truly be what validates our inspection ratings.

The next area I want to caution you about is safety. Not only did you work your tails off getting ready for three major inspections, you have dealt with a record-breaking winter, and May welcomed us with 10 inches of snow, but believe it or not, summer is coming and with it comes ways that we can hurt ourselves very quickly.

Here are four points that I think almost all of you already know, but would like to remind you of them.

The first point to keep in mind is don't drink and drive. This goes for drinking and boating, jet-skiing, or drinking and operating any motorized vehicle. Also remember that drinking and hiking, biking, mountain climbing or any other hazardous activity is made even more hazardous by using alcohol. The best advice I can give you is to take a cab to the party. This way you have eliminated the car from the start and there is no chance of driving.

Point two, remember that trying to cram too much into a 24 hour day can be hazardous, especially if you have worked a full day and then attempt to drive a long distance or engage in a physically demanding activity. Many domestic and civil disturbances have occurred as a result of tiredness and the intake of too much alcohol. The effects of an arrest or DUI‚ĀĄDWI on a military or civilian career can be disastrous, not to mention the potential impact on the safety of others.

The third point is to prepare properly for summer activities. Proper preparation is often overlooked in the frenzied rush to have fun. Not performing preventive actions such as pre-operational checks of vehicles, boats, jet skis, gas grills, hang gliders, etc., can and have resulted in mechanical or structural failures at the most inopportune times. Packing and using sun screen, insect repellant, needed medications, appropriate clothing and safety gear, such as gloves, life preservers and helmets, are often overlooked as well.

The final point to remember is to include your family in safety preparations. By doing things such as talking with your children about traffic, wildlife, environmental dangers they too can know what to expect and the right way to handle themselves in potentially dangerous situations.
Again, please keep your eye on the ball and you and your family safe. Remember you are outstanding and we need each and every one of you!