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Know that you are ready

SMSgt Drake

Senior Master Sgt. H. Dale Drake, 71st Operations Support Squadron

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Last fall Iraqi security forces liberated Tal Afar, the last Islamic State of Iraq and Syria urban stronghold in Iraq, after having recently retaken Mosul in heavy urban combat.

Iraqis are leading the way in reclaiming their country, but there beside them aiding, training and assisting are U.S. and Coalition forces from 20 nations.

More specifically, there are Vance Airmen, current and alumni, playing a critical role in the day-to-day fight to decimate ISIS.

From the weather forecaster supporting our intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms to the Defenders standing watch, Vance Airmen are there.

Former Vance Undergraduate Pilot Training students provide close-air support and aerial transport of troops and supplies. They are providing search and rescue on someone's worst day. Vance Airmen are at the tip of the spear.

Our mission at Vance is clear: Develop, Deliver and Deploy.

In the day-to-day work in Enid, America, it is easy to tie your work into the “Developing” of our Airmen through your daily interactions, feedbacks, mentoring and supervision.

Through deliberate and engaged leadership, we consistently develop Airmen at Vance that go on to fuel the Air Force around the globe.

This happens while we continue to be the top UPT Wing in Air Education & Training Command. Our organization is focused on “Delivering” quality world-class pilots for the greatest Air Force this planet has ever seen.

We do this as we are tasked heavily not only at home station but wherever our Air Force is committed around the globe, 24/7.

But while we work to squeeze in more flights, recover aircraft on the weekends and extend our operating hours, it is sometimes hard to see how the “Deploying” segment of our mission statement ties it all together.

At a moment's notice, each of you can be tasked with packing your bags, leaving your family and taking up the active task of being an instrument of war. That is why we train every day. That is why we demand excellence in all that you do.

You have to be able to answer the question, are you ready to perform technically, mentally and physically in a hostile environment when things aren't going by the book and lives are on the line?

As you develop Airmen and deliver pilots day-in and day-out, never lose focus on honing your own skills as a technician. Know that your daily job is preparing you for that moment when you are asked to go downrange and execute the mission.

When your number is called, stand tall and know that you are ready. Have no doubts because you've owned it every day. You've challenged yourself and your team to always be better.

Know that you are the best you can be at your craft. Know that you can answer your nation’s call.