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Mighty Ninety sees great start to new year

  • Published
  • By Col. Greg Tims
  • 90th Missile Wing commander
What a great week! In order, we hosted Ms. Jackie Harriman, our Western Region State Liaison, dedicated a dorm and conducted an intense exercise. One of the many strengths of this wing is, no matter what we do, we do it with thorough preparation, confidence and passion. If you think about it, we have done it so well in the past 19 months that it just comes naturally to us. But trust me, not every wing can brag like this! Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability. Go conquer the task at hand. Ever heard of "Go Forth and Conquer?" No matter what the task, event, or challenge, there simply is nothing we can't overcome.

Last week Ms. Jackie Harriman drove up from Colorado Springs, Colo., to address the upcoming Wyoming Legislation that impacts our military personnel and families in Wyoming. We have been working with Air Force Global Strike Command to ensure they are aware of the current legislation that is being proposed that may impact our military members and their families. The four bills she focused on were: Interstate Compact, Predatory Lending Laws, Child Custody laws and the License Transportability. I really appreciate her coming to the base to keep us all up to speed on these issues.

We had a superb ribbon-cutting ceremony that signifies the end to our Airmen occupying the 800 series dorms. If you recall, I wrote about this last month. The ceremony symbolizes the new era for our dorms. All ten dorms that our Airmen reside in now face Randall Avenue. Now Independence Hall, Fall Hall, the Library and the Dining Facility are all easily reachable for all our Airmen. I thank Lt. Col. Chuck Roberts, 90th Civil Engineering Squadron commander, and his squadron, the Army Corps of Engineers, our contractors, Air Force Center for Engineering and Environment, and the State Historical Preservation Office for working together and making this vision of first-class dormitories for our Airmen a reality.

We had what I would consider one of our more intense, yet one of our best executed exercises this past week. My hat is off to Tom Deville, 90thMissile Wing Plans and Programs, and his staff for devising and flawlessly executing a complex and very realistic scenario. When the exercise kicked off, I headed to the security forces building to watch how our backup augmentation force is organized and formed for dispatch. Capt. Kevin McMahon, 90th Security Support Squadron commander, greeted me at the door. I have watched this process before at other bases, and I could tell within seconds that all was smooth sailing with Kevin at the helm. I liked what I saw. Master Sgt. Mike Blackwell, 90th Security Forces Group, had the Senior NCO presence needed to turn chaos into order. I also was impressed with Chief Master Sgt. Tim Ryan, 90th Missile Security Forces Squadron. I have always wanted to be a high school football coach, and when I finally get there, I plan to hire Chief Ryan as my assistant. When you have hundreds of Airmen to organize in a short time span, you need very directive and motivating leadership. That is exactly what I saw from Chief Ryan. I normally do not coin chiefs, but I couldn't help myself. What a superb leader. If I go into battle, I want Chief Ryan on my team.

I did see something very interesting I want to share with you while in the middle of watching the BAF organize into its fighting components. I saw two individuals who were armored up and carrying a weapon, but they were in civilian clothing. So I stopped both Airman 1st Class Joshua Edwards and Airman 1st Class Eric Lyons, both from 90th MSFS, and asked them why they were not in uniform? They both stated that when they got the call to form up the BAF, they were away from their ABUs, but felt compelled to drop what they were doing and run toward the fight. Many have heard me say this before, but I believe the common bond that we all share is the two fundamental truths the Air Force has trained everyone to do. The AF has trained all of us to 1) Solve problems, and 2) Run toward danger not from it. I was staring these two fundamental truths in the eye when I spoke to Joshua and Eric. This type of dedication and hustle is indicative of the 1980's when the Klaxon would sound. When you heard it, you dropped everything and ran toward your battle station as fast as you could. This is an old school concept that I am glad is alive and well at Warren. It will indeed serve us well.

During this exercise, we had also decided to "blitz" the field. Therefore I grabbed my team consisting of Chaplain Alan Chouest, 90th Missile Wing head chaplain, Staff Sgt. Nathan Vallejo, 90th Maintenance Group, and Staff Sgt. Jamie Heyliger, 90th SFG. We boarded a helicopter under the assured hands of Capt. Quentin Rohlfs, 1st Lt. Jon Gentri, and Staff Sgt. Ikaika Paio, all with the 37th Helicopter Squadron. This crew rocked! We headed right to launch facility November-05 where a Missile Guidance Set Removal and Replacement was taking place. This is a procedure that we do often, making it appear very routine. However, it is anything but that. It requires an enormous amount of thorough preparation and coordination between many key players.

When we arrived, I was greeted by the mobile fire team comprising of Senior Airman James Hodge, Airman 1st Class Tommy Gousby, Airman 1st Class Charles Jones, and Airman 1st Class John Ingle, all with the 790th Missile Security Forces Squadron. Don't let their ranks fool you. This was the best fire team I have seen in 19 months. They were focused, knew their responsibilities like seasoned veterans and delivered outstanding post briefs.

The Security Escort Team was equally impressive. Airman 1st Class Lou Robinson and Airman Tony Roybal, both 790th MSFS, were on their A-game. More superb post briefs with a tough, professional and competent attitudes.

I had the chance to chat with Tech. Sgt. Tim Favreau, 90th Missile Maintenance Squadron, when we arrived on site. This is another Airman who gets this mission and has a passion for striving to be the best. His team was absolutely fabulous, and consisted of: Senior Airman James Drews, Senior Airman Ryan Salery, Senior Airman Jake Wissler, and Airman 1st Class Nathan Borchardt.

Airman 1st Class Adam Pruitt, 90th MMXS, was on site learning the ropes as he begins his maintenance certification classes. And of course, with Tech. Sgt. Aaron Heard, 90th MMXS, as the site supervisor, all were in very good and capable hands.

We then flew over to another site where another critical, and yet seldom performed task was taking place. Civil Engineering was in control, and when I saw Arny Lutz, 90th CES, walking my way to greet me at the fence, I knew I had nothing to be concerned about. Mr. Lutz is a retired senior master sergeant and has 30 total years combined active duty and civil service time. I personally know Mr. Lutz, and he too is one of those leaders that if you ever go to battle, you would want him right by your side. Thanks Arny for not only keeping things around this base in working order, but responding to the field during seldom performed yet highly critical tasks!

The 20th Air Force Combat Capability Evaluation starts Monday. I believe our game plan (established 19 months ago) of focusing on daily excellence as measured in our monthly/weekly strategic plan metrics will continue to serve us well. Now is the time to put our training to the test. I am indeed looking forward to the outcome.

One last note to pass on: In January we went without a single driving under the influence incident. Yes, this is a big deal. Well done to each and every member of the Mighty Ninety! Let's keep this string going!

Every day we get better. We are better than the previous day when the sun went down. The momentum we are building is unstoppable.

Go Forth and Conquer!