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  • The Smell of Freedom

    They call it the sound of freedom. It is that distinctive sound made when the auxiliary power unit is running and the jet engine starts to turn. Man, I love that sound. Or maybe you prefer the roar as a beast with a Gatling gun sticking out of its nose passes right over your head. How about the vibration as the multi-engine heavies get ready to go?
  • Air Force's 10 Most Important Missions

    What was the most important mission in the Air Force? How did we get to where we are today, as the most powerful Air Force in the world, with a decades-long legacy of air supremacy? As a self-styled military aviation historian, these are the questions that keep me up at night. The question was prompted largely by the gathering this month (April
  • Traditional-Fulltime Relationship in the Guard Directly Affects our Combat Capability

    Our legislators are rediscovering the value of the National Guard. In these fiscally constrained times, our cost-effective way of doing business is one of the primary reasons we were able to beat back the proposed cuts that would have eliminated A-10s at Selfridge. What makes us valuable is that we bring combat effectiveness equal to or greater
  • Remembering the Airman's Creed

    I am an American Airman.I am a warrior.I have answered my nation's call.These are the words that begin the Airman's Creed. The Airman's Creed is meant to invigorate the warrior ethos in those of us who have chosen to wear the blue suit.Since its inception in 2007 the Airman's Creed has received mixed reviews from Airmen across the service and it
  • Sequestration? Time for Leaders to Lead

    OK, so we've driven off that fiscal cliff and triggered Sequestration. Now what?Many of us who work for the government are asking ourselves that very question. The answer is not an easy one to put into words, but I will try.It will not be business as usual, no matter what you want to think. There will be changes to many of our lives. Many of us are
  • Getting Your Administrative House in Order

    How many times have we been warned, "Military Personnel Data System (MilPDS) is shutting down for upgrade"? This message has loomed over us for the last year. This month, it becomes a reality as the system shut down for approximately 20 to 23 days, beginning 4 March. What does this really mean for you?Introduced in 2001, MILPDS is the system which
  • Even in Uncertainty, Pride Endures

    You can't eat pride and respect. But it sure makes your next meal taste a little sweeter.On the same day that the wing commander called a meeting of all personnel to discuss the looming federal sequester and resulting furloughs, which will have a very direct and real impact on the pay checks of many of my friends, I received two particularly
  • Trust

    Trust takes years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair.A good friend of mine from the Iowa ANG was the deployed commander of his unit in Kirkuk, Iraq. He told me of his first meeting with his higher level commander, an active-duty brigadier general. The conversation went something like this: "As your boss, I expect and demand your
  • Are you EPR ready?

    127th Wing Commander Col. Michael Thomas often coaches other leaders on the importance of setting expectations for their team members. I could not agree more. It is important that each of us understands what our leaders expect us to know and do. And then, of course, we need feedback on how well we did what was expected.For enlisted members in the
  • CCAF Requirment Ahead for Senior NCO Promotions

    The former Director of the Air National Guard had long considered requiring a Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) degree for promotion in the ANG to senior master sergeant and chief master sergeant. It appears that requirement may get implemented this year. In preparation for this, Force Support Squadron emailed a list of all the Wing's CCAF
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