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Mighty Ninety closes out another great year

  • Published
  • By Col. Greg Tims
  • 90th Missile Wing commander
I'd like to share a quick story with you. In Nell Sheehan's book, "A Fiery Peace in a Cold War," two months before the launch of Sputnik, Khrushchev announced that "Russia had ICBMs that were able to reach any part of the globe. That in December of 1958, Khrushchev told Senator and future Vice President Hubert Humphrey who was on a visit to Russia, the Soviets had a new rocket, but no place to test it because it flew 9,000 miles. He asked Humphrey what his home town was and then walked over to a map of the United States and drew a circle around Minneapolis. That's so I don't forget to order them to spare the city when the rockets fly."

I have heard this story before and find the conversation between the two men intriguing. As key players within Air Force Global Strike Command, we can ensure peace through a robust and viable nuclear deterrent force. We have a heritage to uphold, and we do not take this lightly. We owe it to those who have come before us to uphold the same standards and discipline that they upheld.

As former President Reagan once said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

If I may, I'd like to share a few stats from this year. In 2010, the 90th Missile Wing:
- Conducted 262,800 hours of United States Strategic Command Nuclear Alert Duty
- Served more than 100,000 meals in the missile field
- Served almost 100,000 meals at the Chadwell Dinning Facility
- Dispatched almost 10,000 maintenance trips to the field
- Conducted thousands of Security Checks
- Provided almost 17,000 vaccinations
- Checked more than 1,700,000 identification cards at the front gate
All of these and numerous other undertakings were all executed in a flawless manner. All picture perfect. There is not another wing that can say this. Oh, and we brought home the Blanchard Trophy back where it belongs to top it off! Folks ask me all the time how do we get results like this? We get results like this because we focus all our attention on the mission and our people. We understand our role in the defense of our nation. We get these types of results because every day we remain committed to being better than the day before. This wing understands how to work hard and then find time to enjoy each other's company. There is a bond formed here among warriors that is truly unmistakable and unmatchable!

What an absolutely superbly and well-executed 2010 Operation Provide Joy. This was spearheaded by the 321st Missile Squadron, led by Lt. Col. Mark Schuler. The point of contact for the event was Capt. Philip Freeman. My sincere appreciation goes out to Tara Morton, 90th Forces Support Squadron, and the Fall Hall Community Center staff for opening up their doors for this worthwhile event and to all of our many volunteers. Julie and I stopped in on the event and we saw 76 children from downtown enjoying a magician, bouncy castle, face painting and Santa, who of course is always a hit. I understand that Pam Cypher made sure every one of the children received one of her famous red, velvet cupcakes!

Operation Provide Joy reaches well beyond the children. The families of these children received a turkey and bags of food. Additionally, Operation Provide Joy does its best to help restock The Salvation Army's shelves for those who might have missed this event. Tech. Sgt. Chris Bartz was this year's food coordinator -- many thanks Chris! It is indeed a great feeling as the commander of the Mighty Ninety to be around such dedicated warriors who serve our nation in uniform, but also reach out to help those in need within the community as well. From my seat looks like you hit a home run Philip -- well done!

If you missed the holiday party last Friday-you missed out! If you were out in the missile field or working on base during the event I personally thank you for standing watch to allow the rest of the wing to come together and celebrate a long standing tradition. I wasn't sure if it was possible to outdo last year's party, but we did. Lt. Col. Shelley Strong, 90th FSS commander, was the point of contact and her and her team ensured the place looked great, the food was tasty, and the entertainment was first class for the more than 700 people who showed up. Yes that is right, more than 700!

My personal thanks go to the committee members, club staff and the designated driver volunteers. Additionally, this event would not have been possible without the donations from Irene Johnigan, AFA President Cowboy Chapter 357, the Top 3, First Sergeants Association, Warren Spouses Club, 90th Operations Group, 90th Mission Support Group, 90th Medical Group, 90th Maintenance Group, 90th Security Forces Group and 90th Missile Wing staff.

The Miracle Matter Jazz Ensemble headed by Matt Fox, David Reynolds, and Airman 1st Class Marcus Bradley, 90th Medical Operation Squadron, started us off. They had trombones, saxes, trumpets all well in tune playing traditional Christmas songs. Then Mike and the Maintainers kept the evening rolling. Mike Elliott, Lt. Col. Trevor Flint, 90th Missile Maintenance Squadron commander, and Major Jerrod Duggan, 15 Munitions Squadron commander, did a bang up job. Mark Warner, 90th MW Protocol, and his band topped off the evening. I really appreciated the local, musical talent as well as those who took the time to decorate the various rooms ensuring the evening was even more festive.
A wing that understands how to work and play together builds a team that simply can't be stopped. We had a very productive 2010 and I'm expecting 2011 to be even better!
This will be the last edition until we come back from the New Year. Julie and I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy New year!

Go Forth and Conquer!