Thursday, October 16, 2008

COMMENTARY>>Team Little Rock!

By Col. C.K. Hyde
314th Airlift Wing commander

Despite many changes, the Rock is still the home of Combat Airlift, and Jodie and I are excited to be a part of Team Little Rock. As the newest wing commander, I would like to share my thoughts about the mission and my vision for the 314th Airlift Wing.
Mission: Train the world’s best C-130 and C-21 Airlifters to fly, fight, and win.

I believe in the mission of the 314th Airlift Wing. This mission hasn’t changed much, but it does include the statement fly, fight and win that our new Air Force chief of staff, Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, recently added to the Air Force mission. We are linked to our Air Force mission and the end state is not flying—the end or objective is winning. Every sortie we fly should be flown with the end state in mind—to develop the skills needed to win. Flying time is valuable and many of our aircraft are old—my grandfather built some of the E-Models on our ramp in the 1960s—and we must squeeze every bit of training out of the time we are given.

Our mission requires innovation, modern training methods and a commitment to continuous improvement; in addition to personal preparation, planning and the best aircraft maintenance and sortie generation in AETC.

Vision: 314th Airlift Wing--the foundation of America’s combat airlift capability.

Brig. Gen. Robin Olds used to start every commander’s call or speech with “I Am a Warrior” and he was. Likewise I say to you,
“We are Warriors.” The ability of the Air Force to fulfill its role of operational and tactical, or Combat Airlift depends upon the foundation that we build in the 314th.

A strong foundation is essential for success in the long war against terrorism, success on battlefields that we can’t predict, and in battles that our students will fight in the future. To achieve this vision we have to build on two cornerstones – the Combat Airlift culture, values, ethos and the skills required of professional Combat Airlifters. Team Little Rock knows what it means to be Combat Airlifters – many of you have served multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. It means dedication to getting the mission done and is reflected in the mottos of our expeditionary wings and groups that have served in the area of resposibility, including “we carry the fight” and “boots on the ground.” Combat Airlifters fly to the sound of the guns and deliver our troops and war material, sustain them while in action, MEDEVAC our wounded, bring them home when the job is done, or return them with dignity when they make the ultimate sacrifice.

It is OUR promise that no Airman, Soldier, Sailor or Marine is ever alone while combat airlifters and the maintenance and support teams that deploy with and support them are on duty. This ethos and commitment to mission accomplishment for which combat airlift is known start at Little Rock AFB and the 314th Airlift Wing. We are responsible for the heritage of combat airlift.

The second cornerstone is the skills required to operate successfully and effectively in a combat unit. Our passion has to extend not just to the Combat Airlift mission but to our part of the mission – making sure our students have a toolkit which includes the professional skills they need to succeed. I don’t know what particular tactics, techniques and procedures will be used in the next war, but we need to ensure our students have the skills to overcome adversity and a constantly evolving enemy to win.

I look forward to a continued partnership with the 19th and 189th Airlift Wings as we accomplish our mission and strive to build the foundation for future success.

Combat Airlift!


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