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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 -- On Dec 7th 1941, a day which President Roosevelt said would "live in infamy," the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked US forces in Hawaii. This Sunday of our December UTA, is the sixty-seven year anniversary of that historic day. The Japanese sunk four Navy battleships and damaged four more. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, and one minelayer, destroyed 188 aircraft, killed 2,402 citizens and wounded 1,282 more. You never know what tomorrow holds. As airmen we must do everything in our power, every single day, to make sure the 104th Fighter Wing is ready to deploy and employ in combat. Next week, next month, or next year, we may be called upon as a unit to deploy. Our expeditionary combat support airmen have done just that, and we must be ready with our aviation package as soon as feasible. 

The blueprint to success has not changed. Do things right at all levels. Make sure your processes are sound, and in accordance with proper technical orders or regulatory guidance. If something does not feel right, pull the chain and stop the assembly line. As we dive into our self-inspection Compliance and Standardization Requirements Lists, let those help you measure your processes and see if you have been doing the right things. If you have dropped something out of your cross check, now is the time to fix it. Make sure you are not only getting the job done, but you owe it to the team effort to make sure you are doing things smartly and efficiently. 

Shop chiefs and commanders need to ensure you are steering your organization in the right direction and helping efficiencies of those beneath you. Having your finger on the pulse of the unit is vital as we move in one direction as a unit and a Fighter Wing. Everyone needs to understand their piece of the puzzle; when everyone understands their responsibilities, efficiency occurs. Proper communication is critical throughout the organization just as it is across organizations working together toward a common goal. 

As we get ready for the winter holidays, I want to thank everyone for their effort, service, and devotion to duty. Enjoy your well deserved time with your families and friends. Remember those who are serving in combat areas of responsibilities away from their families this Christmas Season. I look forward to working with each and every one of you in 2009 as part of the best Fighter Wing in the Combat Air Force.