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We Truly Do Stand Ready

SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich. -- Last week I was asked if I could write the commanders column for this issue of the Prevailing Wind. Having a couple of ideas of what to write about, I looked over the last four issues in order to not repeat anything already said. I knew that our wing was busy, and with so many of us so focused on the daily task at hand and what is on the horizon, it's difficult to sit back and reflect on what the 127th has accomplished over this year. I am always amazed on how our part-time and full-time force stands up and performs the mission without hiccup.

Our wing patch has the phrase on the bottom "We Stand Ready," and we have proved to anyone who asks that the 127th is ready, reliable, relevant and accessible.

So this leads me to ask everyone if you are personally ready. When I think of my personal readiness I think of four "fitness" factors. When you hear the word "fitness", what comes to your mind? I'll wager that your thoughts go to Physical Fitness, the need to Exercise, perhaps even the annual Air Force Physical Fitness Assessment. But our "Fitness" is comprised of more than the Physical, there are also Emotional, Intellectual, and Spiritual dimensions to fitness. What steps should we take so as to be "Fit" in each of these areas? Allow me to give you some brief suggestions on this subject:

Physical Fitness: There are a number of dimensions to Physical Fitness - cardio-vascular, strength, flexibility and balance are some of the primary components. Exercise to maintain fitness in each of these.

Emotional Fitness or Emotional Intelligence: Know yourself, connect with other people, especially those most important to you. Laugh, love, play, practice kindness and forgiveness (empathy), and above all, live in the now.

Intellectual Fitness: In addition to knowing your job, read a book examine and challenge ideas with other people, work a crossword or puzzle, or learn a new skill.

Lastly, Spiritual Fitness: This is really about Purpose! Think about your beliefs, values and truths that bring meaning and purpose to your life. Why do you get out of bed in the morning?

I believe that Fitness in all four dimensions -- Physical, Emotional, Intellectual and Spiritual -- is important not only in "standing ready" for anything the Air Force and Air National Guard sends us, but more importantly in order to enjoy a rich, fulfilling and meaningful life and.

As part of your leadership I have a part in ensuring your readiness as well. I think of three simple principles of leadership that I think are important and I ask myself each day as I do my job.

Set Expectations - Did I explain your duties and responsibilities? Train and Resource - Did I give you ample opportunity to train and equip you for success. Mentor and Provide Feedback - Did I provide you input both good and bad of your performance in your job?

So let me go back to my first paragraph and how busy we were this year. The ARG had members and aircraft deployed to the CENTCOM AOR from January to March, Guam in April, Deployed in less than 72 hours to Spain to support Operation's is Libya and will soon start a "rolling mobility" back to the CENTCOM AOR. The MSG had numerous people deploy to CENTCOM as well, about 45 from CE, roughly 18 from Services and Comms as well as supporting all other wing deployments back home. The Operations and Maintenance Groups deployed to Red Flag in January and February, declared Initial Operations Capability in June and asked by the Air Force to move up our AEF to CENTCOM 6 months to deploy 300 plus people and 12 aircraft in September through December of this year.

All these deployments and exercises were flawlessly executed. This is due to all players "Standing Ready." I am very proud of every one of you who has worked so hard to ensure the success of our wing and proving we are ready, reliable, relevant and accessible.