From Hunter 1: Getting back to the basics and charging onward ...

  • Published
  • By Hunter 1
  • 432d Wing Commander
As 2010 comes to a close, we have the holidays to look forward to and the beginning of a new year. Recently, I've spent some time reflecting on this past year and am simply amazed what we are doing to ensure sons, daughters, mothers and fathers are reunited with their loved ones.

We currently have a 97.5 percent mission effectiveness rate and simply put it's because of your efforts! Because you don't sleep or take federal holidays, joint forces fighting on the ground remain safe. As of right now, I guarantee someone is able to once again hold the hand of a spouse or hug their children because of your tremendous efforts.

I know times are tough as our ops tempo has not eased up. Things will only get tougher from here as we are currently sitting at 47 CAPs. This amount will increase through the next year. The demand for our assets is high and increasing because joint forces commanders know they can count on us to get the job done, and as a result, we suffer from the tyranny of perfection. With each CAP that stands up, more lives will be saved and I hope that each one of you will take solace in knowing that you've help save more lives.

We are still a Nation at war and our country needs us now more than ever. I know many of you will not be afforded the luxury of spending much needed time off. I also know that it can be tough to balance a demanding work load with your personal life. Many of our brothers and sisters in arms, however, are thousands of miles away from people who are near and dear to their hearts. I urge you to spend your available time with your loved ones during this special time of year.

As Hunters are charged with ensuring joint forces remain safe on the battlefield. As your wing commander, I charge you with just a few more things. Take care of one another. The holidays can be a joyous time of year, but also a time of heartache for many. Watch out for your fellow Hunter. If you notice someone acting out of the ordinary, approach him or her about it. Sometimes taking just a few minutes out of your busy schedule to check on a co-worker or a friend can make a tremendous impact. Perhaps you know of someone who may not have loved ones around for the holidays ... if so, invite that person to your life to celebrate with you.

Along with looking out for your fellow Hunter, we need to get back to the basics when it comes to mission execution and safety. Simply put, don't be dumb. Please make wise decisions. If you're thinking about participating in a high-risk activity, ensure you follow all the proper channels within your chain of command beforehand. Most importantly, if you drink, don't get behind the wheel. Have a plan in place before you put yourself or others at risk. Remember that people count on us to be able to accomplish a no-fail mission.

I wish you and your family a happy holiday season. I want to see each and every one of you back in 2011 ready to move this mission forward.

- Hunter 1