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Greater exercise tempo: goals reached, exceeded

  • Published
  • By Col. Greg Tims
  • 90th Missile Wing commander
We've been exercising harder than normal lately. This is not only to ensure our goals and objectives are met, but Air Force Global Strike Command's as well.

What is very gratifying to me is that we reached the goals we set 21 months ago. Each exercise is complex, well planned and finely tuned. But it has not been without a lot of hard work. In fact, it has been a long and exhaustive effort, but I can't tell you how proud I am of our accomplishments. This has been a total team effort from plans and programs to all the exercise evaluation teams. Two weeks ago, I witnessed the most detailed and brutally honest hot-wash I have ever seen in my 25 years. This type of effort and dedication will serve us very well in the future. I would like to publicly thank Jeff Haakinson, Tom Deville, Tech. Sgt. Clayton Schoepflin and Tech. Sgt. John Turner and Capt. Dave Peterson, all from 90th Missile Wing plans and programs, Additionally, I'd like to thank Tech. Sgt. Patrick Grogan and Tech. Sgt. Gilbert Flores, both 90th Security Forces Group; Capt. Quentin Rohlfs, 37th Helicopter Squadron; and Johnnie Merrell, 90th Civil Engineer Squadron, for their key inputs to our planning sessions, as well as ensuring flawless execution from an evaluator standpoint.

We had two very special visits on our base this week. First, we hosted the ICBM General Officer Steering Group (GOSG) led by Ann Mitchell, AFGSC Director of Logistics, Installations and Mission Support. Along with her, we had 37 general officers, retired general officers, senior executive service representatives, and colonels as part of the visit. This was our third GOSG meeting, and from my perspective, these sessions are the most productive Air Force meetings I have ever been a part of. Why? Because, simply put, stuff gets done! Huge thanks to Lt. Col. Eric Moore, 90th Maintenance Group deputy commander, and Vicki Liles, 90th MW protocol, and her outstanding protocol team ensuring a picture-perfect session.

Additionally, we held the second annual mayor's visit. We expanded it this year to Wyoming's congressional field representatives, councilmen, heads of law enforcement agencies, and local ranchers. What a fabulous group and what an honor to host these very distinguished visitors. When I say "the things we do out in the missile field," it indeed is a total team effort. We would not be nearly as successful if we did not have the wonderful support from all of the agencies this group represents. Special thanks go to Maj. Joel Briske, 90th Missile Security Forces Squadron commander, and our superb protocol staff for organizing this very important visit.

Since Jan. 14, the tax center hosted by the 90th Missile Wing Legal Office, has provided tax filing services to more than 600 clients. The tax center has provided services to active-duty military personnel, retirees, and their respective dependents, as well as federal civilian employees of Warren. Units from across the base have allowed their members and civilian employees to volunteer at the tax center. Special thanks to Capt. Star Lopez, 90th Missile Wing Judge Advocate and officer in charge of the tax center, and Jenny Brock, 90th MW Legal Office and tax site coordinator, for organizing this effort and the more than 40 volunteers, including 32 volunteer tax preparation experts. To date, the tax center has filed 855 returns. I know they have worked long hours to ensure each return was accomplished error free. These returns have resulted in refunds totaling $1,733,983. In addition, the tax center has saved the Warren populace nearly $131,400 in tax-preparation fees. Well done to you all for your selfless dedication and tremendous effort.

I chaired what we call the "Whiskey" briefing last week. Staff Sgt. Michelle Hawkins, 90th Maintenance Operations Squadron, gave the briefing and did a fabulous job. This is a very important meeting to ensure all -- and I mean all -- players around the table have their respective plans to accomplish the task in perfect order. We have these types of meetings before a critical task is accomplished out in the missile field. This is one of those events that if one person or organization is not ready, we will all fail. There are 1,000 moving parts that could go wrong, so each part is heavily scrutinized. I really like these meetings because it ensures the five groups are working together. Every key player is called upon to speak about his or her part of the process in detail. While the brief could take hours, it actually flows very expeditiously because of the thorough preparation and leadership provided by Michelle. I like it when all players come to the table with the understanding that they are a part of something bigger than themselves, and that each of these events must be done with perfection. Well done to all of you who participate in these briefings for your dedication to the mission and detailed planning, both have been a key to our success.

On a final note, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate Senior Airman Jonathan Gasparetto, 321st Missile Squadron, for his selection as the 2010 Air Force-level A1 Services Airman of the Year. These awards are very competitive and his selection is indicative of the quality of our Airmen in the Mighty Ninety. Way to go Jonathan!

Go Forth and Conquer!