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Mighty Ninety daily excellence: Constant focus, toughness to get it right every day

  • Published
  • By Col Greg Tims
  • 90th Missile Wing commander
Today we will execute our Wingman and Safety Day. I don't believe that annual Wingman and Safety Days are enough. That is why we had four scheduled last year and four again this year. While we did receive some specific guidance from Air Force Global Strike Command for this one, I'd like to expand upon it. I want commanders to use this time to break into smaller units and ensure not only that all objectives have been met, but just as important, to take a break from the operational grind and gather a relaxed and measured pulse of your unit. The most precious, national resource we are responsible for is our Airmen.

The Combat Capability Evaluation and Logistics Compliance Assessment Program are over. This was the first ever-LCAP in ICBM history. Additionally, the CCE was also completed. We got a very thorough and intense look from both teams. I cannot stress enough that the daily excellence focus we have cultivated is key. I thank all those who ensured all the "i"s were dotted and "t"s were crossed. Be sure to understand the nuances of both of these reports. Daily excellence takes constant focus, blue collar determination and toughness to get it right every day.

While I write this, I am watching the world news on TV and looking at the turmoil occurring overseas with regards to political leaders and the frustration of citizens with their government. It reminds me that we should never take for granted the peaceful transfer of power that occurs from one president to another in our nation. The turmoil and upheaval of lives overseas who are protesting for better governance is very sad. It is indeed a privilege to serve our country in uniform, as government civilians or contractors and to be able to protect its liberties and freedom. These liberties and freedoms must never be taken for granted.

Be sure to take a moment and reflect on the meaning of this holiday weekend. Presidents' Day, celebrated each year on the third Monday in February, is a day when Americans honor the legacies of the U.S. presidents. The holiday was established in 1800, when Congress declared Feb. 22 -- George Washington's birthday -- a federal holiday. Still legally known as Washington's Birthday, Presidents Day has become a day to honor not only Washington, but Abraham Lincoln, the 16th U.S. president who was born on Feb. 12, and the lives and accomplishments of all U.S. presidents.

What a great ceremony the Airmen Leadership School dinner was last week. Tech Sgt. Brandon Neeley, 90th Force Support Squadron, was our emcee and did a fabulous job. I really appreciate the professionalism and dedication Master Sgt. Jenifer Moore, 90th FSS, and her instructors provide to each class: Tech Sgt. Zach Parish and Tech Sgt. Patricia Souder, 90th FSS -- well done! I might add, the dinner was exceptional -- big hearty thank you to Gary Shaffer and Brandy Stoetzel, 90th FSS. I really enjoyed Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Arvin's, 90th Security Forces Group, speech. The chief and I have never been stationed together so we have no war stories to reminisce about with regards to the mountains we have conquered or the dragons we have slain together, but what an honor and privilege to have been able to serve with him these past 19 months. Like I said the another night, Chief Arvin's leadership is not only critical to the SFG, but instrumental to our wing as well.

This past Monday, I visited with Col. Fran Vasta-Falldorf and the 90th Medical Group Laboratory Disaster Team and saw them in action utilizing their state-of-the-art Joint Biological Agent Identification and Detection System and M1M system. This is a special part of the 90th MDG. What a fabulous team of professionals. Tech Sgt. Theresa Gray, 90th Medical Support Squadron, showed me how she prepares the sample for analysis. Staff Sgt. Sarah Hewitt and Staff Sgt. Melissa Diaz, 90th MDSS, performed the last two steps to include the analysis portion. Lt. Col. Kathy Pflanz, 90th MDSS commander, 1st Lt. Jamie Williamson, 90th MDSS and Master Sgt. Chet Bangs, 90th MDSS superintendent, were there to explain the hiring, training and evaluation process. The hands-on demonstration really gave me an appreciation of the rigor in training and evaluation needed to ensure the process is done in extreme precision -- clearly no mistakes can be done during this process!

I'd like to end with a vignette from the book, "Military Leadership," by Robert Taylor and William Rosenbach. They write that character and rock-solid values distinguishes real leaders. They go on to tell a anectode: "A revealing story is told about General Ulysses S. Grant. In 1854, General Grant resigned in despair from the Army. He had no money, no job and was far from his home in Ohio. So, he traveled to West Point to see an old friend, Simon Bolivar Buckner. Buckner did not turn Grant away; rather, he gave him some money and words of encouragement. Eight years later during the Civil War, General Buckner surrendered Confederate forces to General Grant at the Battle of Fort Donelson on the Mississippi River. After the surrender ceremony, General Buckner walked alone back to his quarters because all the Confederate officers had fled. General Grant followed General Buckner, leaving behind Union Officers celebrating the victory. In the gloom of General Buckner's room, General Grant, in his typical modesty, gave General Buckner words of encouragement and all the money he had with him."

Go Forth and Conquer!