By Col Peter Nezamis, 126th Air Refueling Wing
/ Published December 03, 2008
Scott AFB, Ill. -- As I prepare my thoughts to share with you, I am looking out over the 126 ARW ramp and the various KC-135 aircraft positioned there. I can't help but reflect on the changes that have taken place on that ramp, the aircraft parked there, and the surrounding facilities during the nearly 10 years we've spent here at Scott AFB. I also can't help but try to envision what our ramp, aircraft, and facilities will look like 10 years from now.
During each of your careers with the 126th, no matter how brief or how extensive, you've no doubt seen change; and more is coming. I understand that sometimes change can be unsettling, but there is one thing we can all do to ease the frustration and growing pains often associated with change - Take the Initiative!
From the top down, our Air Force and Air National Guard is changing and evolving into the 21st century fighting force we need to be to protect and defend this great nation. The new Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, may have summed it up best when he said, "Please do not allow any part of your organization to sit back and wait for new missions to show up. The future Total Force belongs to those who show up for it." As I write those words, I know that many of you are currently deployed or preparing to deploy; that's taking the initiative. Many more of you are working at home station and doing more with less; that's taking the initiative. All of you around this Wing work countless hours and continually look for better ways to accomplish the mission; that's taking the initiative. You all showed up and potentially put this Wing in position for new missions; in position to be a big part of the future Total Force.
Some of the tasks you accomplish on a daily basis may seem routine, almost mundane. However, your professionalism and attention to detail is reflected in every sortie we fly, in every personnel or pay function we process, and is reflected every time one of you represents this Wing. We would not be where we are today if each of you didn't approach each day with a sense of pride and ownership in the outcome.
I know that the ops tempo this year was significant and there seems to be no relief in sight. I understand how stressful our chosen career can be at times and I am grateful that you all continue to choose this profession - there is none nobler! But, I also know that this tempo can take a toll. With that in mind, I want to encourage each of you to take some time over this holiday season and focus on yourself and your families - recharge your batteries. Enjoy time with your families and friends and get your mind off of work. I want our deployers to do the same when they return to home-station. Trust me when I say that this will be time well-spent and is time well-deserved.
Keep our deployed members and their families in your thoughts over the holidays and during their deployments. I have no doubt that they are in their respective deployed environments representing all of us and the 126th Air Refueling Wing well. The new year is right around the corner and my hope is that we can all start 2009 with a fresh perspective and focus. The new year will be the time for us all to take the initiative - to show up and be prepared for our new missions, new roles and new responsibilities. The initiative we display will benefit our Wing, our State, and ultimately - our Nation.