Tuesday, November 25, 2008

VIEW FROM TOP>>Thanks to our Wingmen

By Brig. Gen. Rowayne A. Schatz, Jr.
19th Airlift Wing commander

Today, Wingman Day, we are gathering together in small groups to talk about how to cope with all the different stresses we face every day. These stresses, unresolved, can degrade both our mission focus and quality of life. Wingman Day offers us the opportunity to address and resolve these stressors and talk about how we can best support each other.

Team Little Rock’s embrace of the Wingman concept and culture is a key component to the delivery of a peerless Combat Airlift capability. Great military powers throughout history have employed the Wingman concept to fight the greatest battles in history. The Romans, for example, used battle lines arranged with infantry in the center and cavalry on the wings. The infantry lined up face to face with the opponent while the cavalry protected the center from being outflanked by their enemies. Neither the cavalry nor the infantry stood a strong chance of defeating their enemy separately, but together, protecting each other, they were a formidable force. Likewise, Team Little Rock is a formidable force when we employ the Wingman concept in the delivery of Combat Airlift for our nation.

As Airmen, we are part of a larger team and the combined effect of each of our efforts makes us the greatest team in the world, capable of taking on any task or foe. We rely on our Wingman to know when we need help, and to be there to pitch in to fill the gap and make the mission successful. There is a great Wingman line in the latest “Iron Man” movie where Air Force Lt. Col. James Rhodes tells Tony Stark that when he puts on the uniform and he looks in the mirror, he recognizes that every person who wears the same uniform has his back. That is a great feeling, that is the Wingman culture.

Tomorrow our country celebrates a holiday proclaimed by President Lincoln, as a national day of prayer and thanks for our country’s prosperity. From the founding of our country to today, one constant thread throughout is the commitments and sacrifices great Americans like you have made to win and defend freedom here and around the world. You and your families will celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow with firsthand knowledge of the sacrifices required to protect the things we are most thankful for. Thank you for your service.

Kim and I wish you a happy Thanksgiving!

Combat Airlift!


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