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Commander’s column

Col. Robert “L.A.” Brooks, Wing Commander, 104 Fighter Wing, Barnes ANGB

Col. Robert “L.A.” Brooks, Wing Commander, 104 Fighter Wing, Barnes ANGB

Barnes Air National Guard Base, 104 Fighter Wing - Westfield, Mass -- When the acronym UCI/LCAP is used, what do you think about? I would hope you would think about all the processes we use each day to keep this base running. I would hope you think about the regulations and instructions that drive you to perform certain actions in a particular order to achieve a desired result. I hope you think about the way you do things, how you can do them better, and how an inspector may view your processes.

This inspection should not create a great deal of stress because it does not ask us to do anything different from what we do each and every day...strive for excellence, but we always have room for improvement. The inspectors will walk in, and look at all the supporting paperwork, regulations, and processes to insure we are complying with our governing regulations.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit," was said by Aristotle, and the men and women of this unit continually prove it. In 2009, the wing was recognized with 5 national-level awards, in 2010 we had 6, and we started 2011 by learning that MSgt. Jose Rijos was recognized as the First Air Force Air Sovereignty Alert Defender of the year. As seen by the countless accolades, we are doing our jobs extremely well; all we need to do for a successful inspection to demonstrate that excellence to the inspectors.

Let me be clear, our focus from now until June is to prepare for the compliance inspection, reviewing our self-inspection checklists and ensuring we comply with our governing instructions. We will continue to train in preparation for our upcoming Air Expeditionary Force deployment window, and complete a successful deployment to the Weapons System Evaluation Program in April.

Abraham Lincoln once said "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other one thing". This perspective can be easily applied to our vision of being the most respected F-15 unit in the combat Air Force. It will take everyone's personal effort to succeed in order to achieve this attainable goal. One of the first steps was becoming IOC, successfully standing up the ASA, and then successfully completing our first F-15 Red Flag. Next will be the Weapons System Evaluation, and the UCI/LCAP. We are heading in the right direction, there are no short-cuts in this journey, just hard work and the continual pursuit of excellence.