Thursday, June 28, 2007

TOP STORY >>Ready to fight

By Col. Wayne Schatz
314th Airlift Wing commander

Editorís Note: This is part one of a three part series focusing on deployment readiness.

Are you ready to deploy tomorrow? You should be. We are a highly mobile and deployable Air Force. You wouldnít deploy without your M-16 or M-9, so donít deploy without being prepared. This means having yourself, your family, and your professional skills in line.

Ready to fight means consistently participating in a fitness routine. Physical fitness is not something you should rely on gaining through group P.T. but instead something that is a personal responsibility.

It is important to realize that passing the annual fitness test is not the Air Force fitness goal. To successfully boost fitness levels, we must all make regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle a part of our daily regimen. Maintaining a lifestyle of healthy living and physical fitness also helps reduce the risk of injuries and therefore helps increase the readiness of our Airmen.
Preparing for deployment means that your family is ready for you to deploy as well. Have a plan ahead of time for child care, your finances, and take the time to educate your family on the resources they have at Little Rock.

Your squadron commanders, First Shirts, spouses clubs, and family readiness center are all resources for your family members while you are deployed. Itís also useful to have a plan for staying in touch while away and giving your family realistic expectations about how often you will be able to communicate based on your job and deployed location.

Ensure that your professional skills are sharp. Executing the same job in wartime, in a stressful environment brings new challenges. Staying sharp while at home helps to ensure success on the job while deployed.

While we would never want a mishap at home, you can ensure that the stakes are even greater while deployed. You can make the most of your deployment by finding ways to develop yourself professionally while away. Take college courses online or sign up for Squadron Officer School by correspondence. Find some time for some professional reading. Above all, be ready to fight!

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