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Mighty Ninety focused on the mission: Mission ready, day in and day out at F. E. Warren

  • Published
  • By Col. Greg Tims
  • 90th Missile Wing commander
I sure hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. I know I did. I appreciate the fact the wing had a "quiet" weekend and a safe one to add to that. I personally took in a lot of baseball -- watching the big leagues and coaching the future big leaguers. It's indeed an amazing and a phenomenal feat when you can get nine 12-year-olds all on the same page and pointed in the right direction. While we coach to win, we also coach to teach these young men traits that will carry them a lifetime. You probably already guessed it, but character and toughness, along with a few other traits, is our focus. We also try to have fun. Just like our wing, we work hard, play hard -- in that order -- which usually leads to a very healthy and well-oiled team. So it was good to bounce my kids around on the go-cart race track as well as take in a Rockies game, and of course, sitting on my bucket calling the next pitch: fastballs, curves, and sliders. Good old-fashioned therapy is what I call it.

I need to take a minute and brag on our gate guards. When I go through the gate, I always enjoy their professionalism and upbeat personalities. I came through after being gone for a couple of days and Senior Airman Jaimz Andrews, 90th Security Forces Squadron, rattled off the mission and vision statements. It was simply music to my ears. I really appreciate the tone our gate guards set for the wing -- they are indeed the first impression. Let's also note their duty is not easy. They don't have the luxury of "shutting down" due to inclement weather. Thank you to all our Mighty Ninety Gate Guards -- you all rock!

I believe we had a very productive wing all-call last week. How do I know? Because many of you came up and told me. If you missed it, let me recap just a few of the key points. Mike Woods, 90th Missile Wing ground safety manager, always provides a very entertaining, yet serious message when it comes to safety. Some of his videos really caught my attention. He was indeed correct when he said that when he briefs the quarterly safety mishap reports, I don't blink when he covers intramural injuries. That is the price of not only playing the game, but playing the game while giving everything you've got. But I'm greatly disappointed when he briefs the injuries due to pure negligence or ignorance. Thankfully, these injury reports are few and far between.

Next, our very own Chaplain, Maj. Alan Chouest, gave a superb briefing outlining the RED-E campaign as well as the pillars that help keep us "tuned up." These are good tools that aid us in weathering the tough times. Like he said, there isn't a problem this wing can't solve. If you have a problem that is weighing on you, get help. Additionally, my door is always open, so come see me -- I'd be glad to chat with you!

Next, Tony Fontes, 90th Medical Operations Squadron Alcohol and Drug Counselor, spoke about the impacts of alcohol to include binge drinking. I can't say this any simpler, no one in the wing is saying not to have a good time. What we are saying is do it responsibly -- it really is as fundamental as that. I expect those who observe someone getting ready to do something that will negatively impact that person, his or her squadron, or this wing, to have the character and toughness to take action.

Chief Master Sgt. Marty Anderson, 90th Missile Wing command chief, gave many compelling points, but the two that stand out were his comments on resiliency and getting involved. You know when you think about it, these two points really do go hand in hand. As the Chief stated, resiliency is the ability to bounce back. Additionally, the involvement outside of one's job is important to becoming a well-rounded Airman. Funny thing is, the more you are involved with base and community activities, the more people you meet and the more friends you have. These are the same folks that will be there for you when times get tough. Here is another twist on how I look at this. Don't ever pass up the opportunity to enjoy life's good moments. In doing so, it sure helps to bounce back during the difficult times. Just some food for thought.

You know, people still come up to me and say they wished Strategic Air Command was back. I don't see SAC coming back anytime soon. I was in SAC and there are two big differences between today and during the SAC era. First, in SAC we had a lot of money and secondly, we had a lot more people. Today, things are different -- much different actually. Every dollar we spend here in the Mighty Ninety, we spend very wisely. When it comes to people, here is a sad historical fact. In the 80's I watched commanders "hide" people during inspections. We were indeed that "fat." No kidding -- I saw it in both ops and maintenance. Today, I look at it this way: while we have no excess of people, I'm not sure I would "hide" anyone if I could. That is why you'll hear me say that we fight on a pool table. We hide no one. Everybody contributes. No one is more important than another.

Back in January of this year I wrote briefly on a book I had just finished. The book, "The Servant" was written by James Hunter. I'd like to share another thought on this book. He writes, "Thoughts become actions, actions become habits, habits become our character, and our character becomes our destiny." Man, that is powerful. He continues by talking about making a difference with your life. He writes, "When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die the world cries and you rejoice." Really what he is talking about is "legacy." I think it's important to look back and ponder what will still be standing two, five, 10 years after one leaves an organization. What we have built here in the Mighty Ninety is a strong and fundamentally sound legacy. The policies and procedures we have in place will serve those well that come behind us.

Finally, Hunter talks about a sociological study he once read on those over the age of 90. They were asked, if you were to live your life all over again, what would you do differently. The top three answers were this: risk more, reflect more, and they would do more that would live on after they were gone. There it is again, that last part is called legacy. We have a unique opportunity this next week to build even more so on our legacy. A legacy of taking a hard-nosed, blue-collar approach to this mission to ensure we get it right day in and day out.

When you are reading this, Global Strike Command's Inspector General will be landing and the inspection will be set to begin. I am really looking forward to this one. Anytime we can show someone outside the confines of F. E. Warren what we do and how well we do it is very rewarding for me. Like I said during the wing all-call, trust your preparation and stay confident.

I like the philosophy we developed two years ago -- our focus is not on inspections, but it is on daily excellence. Our strategic plan, mission, and vision all focus on daily excellence. Our focus is to assess our combat capability on a daily and monthly basis and tweak and adjust as needed. Like our vision statement says, Ready to Fight Anytime, Anywhere! And remember, it ain't bragging if you can do it.

Go Forth and Conquer!