The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Commentary: Unique challenges offer tremendous opportunities

 


My family and I are six months into this assignment, and it has been an incredible six months. When we were stationed in Washington, D.C., we yearned for the quieter life, and we found it here at Cannon Air Force Base. Now, our teenage daughters might tell you it’s a little too quiet, but my wife and I are completely satisfied with the pace of life in the local communities. Of course, our 15-month old daughter is happy wherever she is at the moment...ah, the blessings of being a baby.

Quiet is a relative term, for while the surrounding communities may be less than hurried, the mission here at Cannon Air Force Base is just the opposite. Even in the short time that I’ve been here, Cannon has experienced an explosion in activity. We closed out the 16th Special Operations Squadron move; stood up the 524th and 20th SOSs; added several hundred personnel; closed out our end-of-year budget; and executed an operational deployment to Haiti. We also received the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and his wife, Suzie; the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force; and the Command Sergeant Major of Joint Special Operations Command; celebrated our annual awards; and began preparing in earnest for the late fall Operational Readiness Inspection. It is ever apparent that life at Cannon Air Force Base is anything but quiet.

In the last six months I have met many of our airmen and civilian personnel — America’s finest. These men and women, our Air Commandos, operate or support some of the most amazing weapons systems in the world. While the “iron” we employ is itself impressive, it is the spirit of our fighting force that makes me stand in awe of what we do for America. These airmen come from all walks of life — different ethnicities, races, creeds, national origins — and it is their diversity that makes us strong, unique and the envy of air forces the world over. As a team, we leverage our differences and collaborate to get the mission accomplished. It is impressive to watch in action. As I have made my way around the base and met with many of our teammates, there is one attribute that remains common among all...resolve. Our team is resolved dedicated to get the mission done and done well.

Our airmen are innovative, intelligent, audacious, technically savvy, compassionate and passionate. They strive for perfection, set lofty goals and achieve incredible results. They perform with reliability and precision, and believe in mission success. Whether they serve in the operations group, maintenance group, mission support group, medical group or with one of our partner units, our collective team is amazing.

Across the base our airmen work hard to overcome the many issues that come with building a base and standing up new mission, and they are achieving unparalleled successes. Yes, we have our challenges, and arguably some are very unique. Building a base is an immense task, in and of itself, but its unique challenges offer our airmen a tremendous opportunity to find workable solutions.

The success of Cannon Team comes down to one word — Excellence! Excellence is everywhere you turn. It is in the Pecos Trail Dining Facility; it is in the civil engineer squadron; it is in the airfield management shop; it is in the logistics readiness squadron; it is in the dental clinic; it is in the 16th and 73rd aircraft maintenance units...excellence is embedded in across this base, no matter where you look. It is that same spirit of excellence that helped us achieve success in the past and guarantees our success in the future. No matter the mission, excellence will carry the day. Whether we are executing day-to-day ops, preparing to send deployers out the door, reacting to and supporting a short-notice mission, or fixing a water main at the command chief’s house (thanks CE!), it is excellence that will secure our success and lay the ground work for the future.

Air Commandos, I am honored to serve alongside you each and every day. My family and I thank you for all you do and for the many sacrifices that you and your families endure to make us a premier fighting force.

 
 

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