Commentary | May 6, 2009

Hunters continue to provide support to warriors in OIF, OEF

By Col. Chris Chambliss 432d Wing, 432d Air Expeditionary Wing commander

Only four months into the New Year, we've continued to put forth our best efforts and the end results have spoken volumes. 

The success we've had has resulted in a higher demand for what we do. As operations in Afghanistan and Iraq continue, so does the need for providing real-time reconnaissance, surveillance, and precision attack. 

Our contributions to the Global War on Terror have been significant as we started 2009 with our 31st MQ-1B Predator Combat Air Patrol and 3rd MQ-9 Reaper CAP.
We all should be proud of the impact we have. Because of what we do 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, our U.S. and coalition warriors on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan have had our protective over- watch. 

This early into 2009, our operations tempo will only continue to increase. In February, we celebrated the MQ-1B Predator reaching 500,000 flying hours. The Predator fleet passed 250,000 hours in June 2007, after 12 years of flying. However, it only took a year and eight months to fly the additional 250,000 hours due to the continuous demands for the aircraft made by combatant commanders in theater, and the dedication of Creech Airmen, Air Force Special Operations Command, our Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve partners to meet that demand. 

In addition to our increased mission requirements and performance, our home, Creech AFB, is growing. Since the 432d Wing stood up here in May 2007, there have been additional facilities stood up in direct support of our mission and personnel to include a new Medical Aid Facility, which opened Feb. 12 and the new Creech Logistics Readiness Support Center building, which opened on April 10. 

432d and 99th Air Base Wing Leadership remains committed to improving operations efficiency and quality of life so that Airmen can remain focused on the mission at hand. 

As our mission evolves and demands continued to be placed on us, I ask that you all stay focused on the tasks given to us. What each and every one of us do day-in and day-out is important. Our Nation continues to call upon us and we must remain committed to our 24/7, no-fail combat operations mission. 

The success of any organization depends greatly on the people who make the contributions. No matter your job or position within the 432d, you are critical to our mission success. Thank you for what you do!