Monday, May 19, 2008

VIEW FROM THE TOP >> Back to basics

By Col. Mark Vlahos
314th Airlift Wing vice commander


Once again, congratulations to both AMC and AETC Team Little Rock members on a job well done during the operational readiness inspection.

Now that the ORI is complete, we need to get re-focused on the basics: mission, safe operations, timely performance reports, decorations and awards, and family. These basics can be summed-up in three words mission, people, and family.
Safe flight and ground operations is critical to our mission.

Operational risk management processes allow us to infuse safety in everything we do from aircraft maintenance to the C-130 aircrew in the air. Flying is multifaceted and requires many people combining their individual expertise to accomplish the mission. ORM is the one common discipline that every member of the team must practice to accomplish the mission successfully and safely. ORM and safety is especially important in our training environment. Always remember, safe and effective flight and ground operations and training are Job One!

History has shown that we lose the most Airmen in off-duty accidents during the 101 critical days of summer. We all need to give this special focus as we head into this timeframe. Anybody who has heard me speak on the subject knows that my bumper sticker is: It's at the tactical level of leadership that lives are saved. This is true in combat, at home station, and off-duty. Commanders and supervisors, encourage your people to get out this summer and have fun, however remind them as Chief McLean did in his article last week, ". . . make sure you take your brain with you."

A key part of rewarding and taking care of our people, is timely performance reports, decorations, and awards. Timeliness is important, not just because the boss is tracking rates, but because we always want our Airmen to meet a promotion board with a current report on top--there is no excuse for not doing this! With regard to decorations ... get them done before Airmen PCS out -- pin'em where they win'em!

Make sure you and those you supervise take some much earned leave to unwind. Spend time with your families, they most likely need a much deserved break also. Our families are our first line of support. Take care of them and keep them strong because the role they play in our lives and AF is critical.

Nothing I've said here today is new, much of this is leadership 101. I do feel it is important to review the basics from time to time -- basics set the foundation for doctrine, core values, and help us strive to maintain a standard of excellence everyday! Thank you for all that you do to keep this nation strong. Combat Airlift!

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