Team Vance Airmen truly blessed

  • Published
  • By Col Mike Callan
  • 71st Flying Training Wing
Team Vance -- we are TRULY blessed!
As I write this week's article (and the last article for 2004 I might add), I'm reminded of all the wonderful things you have accomplished during the year!
We began 2004 with a flurry of activity. We started off with a command-directed safety briefing and flew instructor pilot-only sorties to get our instructor corps "back in the groove" before getting back to the business we do the best -- training the world's best pilots with the world's best instructor pilots! The mission support group in coordination with DynCorp put the finishing touches on some very important Vance Vision 2025 projects! Chief Jeff Kallas and I went to Washington, D.C., and met with the Oklahoma Congressional Delegation and voiced our optimism for our military and the need for their support and funding for our base. Our security forces continued to defend our base and our mission, and the communication and logistics readiness squadrons continued to plan and execute various upgrades to our infrastructure. The medical group prepared for a regional TRICARE shift and continued their great support to our base and its beneficiaries. Finally, numerous wing staff agencies worked with increased vigor (public affairs, finance, inspector general, etc.) to ensure we had the necessary Air Education and Training Command support for our mission. We welcomed young Airmen to our base through the First Term Airman's Center, saw countless Team Vance warriors promoted on their "potential" to accept and assume increased responsibility, and the wing garnered a plethora of higher headquarters awards (no surprise really)!
We continued in our expeditionary role deploying Team Vance personnel to the world's hot-spots, and they represented our base and our U.S. Air Force with distinction. Yes, we battled through adversity including upholding the standards our Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps demand of our people through Uniform Code of Military Justice action, commanders "took charge" of personnel who made bad decisions regarding alcohol use and investigated several allegations through the IG and military equal opportunity offices. I'm proud to see our commanders and first sergeants stepping up to ensure our base is made up of ONLY the absolute very best Americans our nation has to offer, and unfortunately this meant making some very unpleasant but necessary decisions on their part -- great job!
We completed 2004 with many shovels hitting the ground (Elam Road, 54 new enlisted homes, Gott Road extension, consolidated logistics center), our dedicated contracting staff (DynCorp, Trend Western, LSI, etc.) continue to improve their support to our base and mission, and finally we witnessed a "return to fitness" as the base fitness center saw increased activity for ALL of Team Vance's personnel (young and not so young)!
Col Wade Johnson, our families and I have indeed been very blessed to have served with you in 2004, and are very proud of your many accomplishments. As we celebrate the holiday season together, please remember to keep our deployed warriors in your prayers -- they are truly sacrificing for our nation's continued freedom. Have a safe and very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!