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No single-point of failure throughout Mighty Ninety

  • Published
  • By Col. Greg Tims
  • 90th Missile Wing commander
I hope everyone has had a chance to enjoy the summer. I just got back from retiring a dear friend of mine -- Col. Carl Dekemper out at Vandenberg AFB. After the ceremony, I packed up the family and went to Arizona for a little leave. I always enjoy going back to my old high school and running the same stadium steps I did in my youth. However, now in preparation for youth football, my sons get to join me in my workouts. We all endured the 110 degree temperatures as I ran them through the same drills on the same field I did back in the late 70's.

Special thanks to Col. Scott Fox, 90th Missile Wing vice commander, and Col. Rob Vercher, 90th Operations Group commander, for keeping the reigns in my absence. The one attribute that makes us so successful is we have no single-point failures when it comes to manning. When one steps out another one can step right in and keep things going down the right track.

Speaking of keeping busy, our maintenance continued on this week in superb fashion. This past week they delivered three strategic assets, brought eight A-CATS back on alert, cleared three priority-one maintenance actions, conducted two downstage movements, two MGS R&Rs, started up a Rivet MILE site, replaced two diesel engine units, cleared nine separate faults, cleared four camper teams, prepared one missile alert facility for HSEP, fixed one turbo B-plug, and prepared a PSRE and booster shipment. This was on top of all the routine, periodic, communication maintenance and training and evaluation sessions that were conducted. Oh, and by the way, several of the maintainers are out preparing for Global Strike Challenge, and some of the folks are assisting the base fitness monitors conducting physical training tests. While many of you may not fully understand all the terms I just used, I'll boil it down to this: Our maintainers are out in every corner of this missile field and base ensuring our weapon system is working properly and ready if needed. Well done to our maintainers!

Back in May, I held a meeting with some of our leadership to give them my assessment of where we stood as a wing. Basically, a one-year report card. One of the areas I highlighted that got an A+ was on-duty risk management. I can't begin to tell you how pleased I am at our safety record. I believe this is not luck. I believe this is due to engaged leadership at all levels, a very proactive safety office, and a robust wingman program. We had a superb summer with regards to safety and I applaud all of you for your efforts.

Rounding out this great effort, I am pleased to report that last Friday (Friday the 13th I might add!) we went 500 days without a rollover. Additionally, this wing has had only one rollover in the past 993 days. This is simply a phenomenal record. This is one to take great pleasure in. My hat is off to all those who drive at all hours of the night in some terrible weather conditions. Your safety attitude and mission focus is second to none!

I took some time last week to go visit Suzanne Barto, 90th Logistics Readiness Squadron deployment and distribution flight chief, and her folks. In college, I worked as the stocking manager for a retail store. I always took pride in how clean and organized my stockroom was kept. The stockroom Suzanne and her folks run is the sharpest and cleanest I have ever seen. What else was pretty cool that I wish to share with you is, the phrase "PERFECTION IS THE STANDARD," is stenciled above one of their entrances. Not only does this team believe it, they live it. In the 14 months I have been here, their performance has indeed been perfect - which it needs to be. When it comes to shipping and receiving NMWR, there is no room for error. Most bases cannot brag on this type of record. Additionally, they have the wing mission and vision statements stenciled in large bold letters on an adjacent wall. I can't say enough about this professional team of warriors.

We have had a few issues lately I need to address in very broad terms. Let me take a moment and talk about rules. I can't stress enough how important following the rules are at a nuclear combat unit. I have been assigned to units where some believe not all the rules apply to them. When this concept becomes prevalent, disaster will strike. This is critical to understand -- all rules apply to all. Please continue to keep an eye on one another, and if you see someone going astray, pull them back in. Our combat capability relies on following the rules at all times.

Go Forth and Conquer!