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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, Massachusetts -- BarneStormers, practice makes perfect and no example more clearly demonstrates this then our ORE schedule. We are going to continue to practice so that when it's time to demonstrate our abilities during an ORI, we will be ready to succeed.

One of the greatest 'Bama coaches of all time, Coach Bear Bryant once said "If a man is a quitter, I'd rather find out in practice than in a game. I ask for all a player has so I'll know later what I can expect."

I know that no one in this unit is a quitter, but we all have areas where we can imporve. These exercises are the perfect opportunity for us as a wing, and for every Airman as an individual, to put themselves through the paces so when the Inspector General grades our ability; we will know that we did our best, because we practiced as hard as we could.

The week following drill, our nation will pause to reflect on the contributions of our veterans who have demonstrated throughout history that we won't fail. Veterans come from all walks of life; they are our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends, bosses and employees. The efforts of our nation's heroes have forever affected each and every one of us. On Veterans Day, take a moment to think of the company we are in, and the legacy we have swore to maintain.

The BarneStormers are far and away some of the most dedicated hardworking and professional members I have had the privilege of working with. Last month the unit was highlighted on national Fox news. The story covered our preparations to assume the Air Sovereignty Alert mission in February 2010. As I was interviewed by Mr. Trace Gallagher, I was able to tell a national audience how proud I was of our unit and more specifically let the American public know that we will not let them down, we have the trust of a nation to uphold.

Before you know it, we will be celebrating thanksgiving and then the winter holidays. This is a perfect time to spend time with your love ones, reflect on the achievements of the year, and be thankful for the gifts we have. We too will be reflecting on the achievements of our folks. December's UTA will focus on family and taking the time as a unit to celebrate the achievements of our annual award winners.

In addition to the Annual Award Program and Children's Christmas party, we will be collecting food for the local food pantry and participating in the annual angel tree program.

Thank you for your hard work this drill and understand the practice will pay large dividends on game day.