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Wing Commander stresses Airmen excellence

  • Published
  • By Col. Greg Tims
  • 90th Missile Wing Commander
Unless something goes south from the time I am writing this and the time it is published, today we will have gone 2 months without a DUI. Getting to this point is a total team effort. DUIs are preventable. While going 60 days is no easy feat, I am expecting us to continue this trend. This is about in-your-face leadership and it needs to be. This is about producing results that show favorably on our Airman and this base. Zero DUIs is the standard and always will be. That is the right goal -- anything less should not be tolerated.

Last week, I had the pleasure of pinning a Bronze Star on Master Sgt. Mike Blackwell, 90th Security Support Squadron. Our mission is to provide preeminent combat capability across the spectrum of conflict. Mike not only is prepared to execute the strategic mission if asked, he also performed overseas in an exceptional manner during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, 2009-2010. This is the spectrum of conflict we refer to in our mission statement.

Mike participated in more than 300 combat missions, traveling more than 13,000 miles to build and sustain superb relations with the Iraqi citizens and their police force. Well done Mike, we are proud of you!

I had an unexpected bout with food poisoning and was unable to attend the Wyoming Congressional Delegation Breakfast in Washington D.C. However, Chief Master Sgt. Marty Anderson, 90th Missile Wing command chief, was able to represent the wing. It was a well attended event to include Senator Michael Enzi, Senator John Barrasso, Congresswomen Cynthia Lummis, General Norton Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and many other senior Air Force leaders.

Irene Johnigan, Air Force Association Cowboy Chapter president, arranged and organized the event. While short in duration this was a very meaningful and powerful breakfast. Our Congressional Delegation is very tuned-in and supportive of the needs of this base. Chief Anderson was able to meet with them, together we'll work with their staffs on Military Construction projects and other endeavors to help us maintain the best base in the Air Force.

We just resurfaced our indoor track. If you have not seen it, it is fabulous. Hats off to Lt. Col. Shelly Strong, 90th Force Support Squadron commander, and her team for getting this done before the winter months.
However, we have two issues we need to solve with regards to our gym utilization and physical fitness tests: First, we need to decrease our 28 percent failure rate. Secondly, we need to increase the 31percent excellent rate.

You might say a 31 percent excellent rate is great. No doubt it is, however I want everyone to be afforded the opportunity to maximize their fitness scores. As you know, working out here is a lot easier in the summer than in the winter. We also must factor in our throughput rate. Even with the new policy of only testing one time a year if you score in the excellent category, we are expecting approximately 12,000 Airmen must be tested. This number factors in tenant units, those who test twice a year, as well as those who have to retest.

The main challenge to overcome is gym space is at a premium. We must balance the need of decreasing our failure rate with that of giving our civilians, spouses and retirees an opportunity to maximize their workouts.

Trust me, much thought and debate has gone into this decision. I have spoken with numerous people ranging from those who only use the gym occasionally to some of our hard core gym rats (by the way: I use this as favorable expression in regard to someone who values and dedicates time to improving their physical fitness). I have not minded, one bit, putting in the time because being a gym rat myself, we have to get this right. Here is the plan in a nutshell:

Freedom Hall (Main Gym)
- Will now be open 24-hours -- starting Monday
- We would like to try to move unit PT out of this gym and over to Independence Hall
- Our various small group fitness classes will be held in the spinning room
- We will buy new weightlifting equipment and expand this area of the gym
- One of the racquetball courts will house some of our mechanical weightlifting pieces
- You will see various pieces of aerobic equipment in the "nooks and crannies" - feel free to jump on any piece of equipment and work up a sweat

Independence Hall (Indoor Track Gym)
- Will now be open 24-hours -- starting Monday
- This is where we would like unit PT to be conducted
- There will be two open spaces for unit PT-- one large, one small
- The track at Independence Hall will be closed for PT testing in the morning starting at 0800, will reopen for one and a half hours at lunch, then reopen after 1600 until 0800 the following day.
- Aerobic machines will remain on the second floor
- A small weight room will remain on the bottom floor
- Both of these rooms will be open for use from 0530-0730; 1100-1230; and 1600-1830
- We will open up Saturday's to retest PT failures

Obviously, times may be subject to change as we refine this process. However, I am committed to getting this right, then providing stability so our Airmen, mission partners, spouses, and retirees can set a schedule and stick to it.

More information will be forthcoming. But rest assured, much thought and planning has gone into this decision. It has to.

The vision of this wing is to be ready to fight, anytime, anywhere. Our institution values readiness and a strong work ethic to include staying in prime physical condition.

If you are in the satisfactory category this plan should help you raise the bar and score an excellent on your next fitness test. For those of you who are struggling with passing your test, you know what to do.

Go Forth and Conquer!