Focus on ground, air training, not 'worry cells'

  • Published
  • By Col Mike Callan
  • 71st Flying Training Wing
Team Vance -- let's worry about the things we CAN control!
As I write this article, I'm staring out my window at a blue sky void of any clouds and I'm reminded of the "worry" that many of you have expressed during the past two weeks about our inclement weather and the negative impacts (both on the ground and in the air) it has had. In short, stop wasting "worry cells" on the issues you can't control and let's start taking actions on issues you can.
A short list of those issues include a.) planning for when the weather improves, what student and permanent party pilots have on priority; what events must happen in what order to ensure proficiency and syllabus compliance; b.) reviewing your cold weather procedures for your work place and ensure everyone has taken the required actions to operate safely; c.) actively focus on your Operational Risk Management process to ensure the "off-duty" activities that cheerfully come during this holiday season are participated in such a manner that guarantees success and safety; and d) taking time to enhance your expeditionary skills (keeping that exercise regime going, staying proficient in your self-aid and buddy care skills, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical skills, small arms skills and anti-terrorism prevention and identification skills)! As we've been discussing for months, northwestern Oklahoma can bring a fairly strong winter punch and we need to be prepared to successfully overcome these challenges and find smart ways to still safely accomplish our mission. I KNOW Team Vance can take almost anything thrown at it and find a quick recipe for success -- I've seen it time and time again!
I saw many a smiling face this past Monday so I know everyone enjoyed their four-day break and had plenty of good food during the Thanksgiving holiday. I also saw many of you in the fitness center during that four-day break, and I congratulate those exercise warriors who weren't about to let some pumpkin pie interfere with their commitment to fitness. Take their example as a visible sign that you can do it (despite the plethora of great holiday goodies about).
Please continue to keep our deployed expeditionary Airmen in your hearts and prayers -- they are doing a great job for our nation, our U.S. Air Force and the 71st Flying Training Wing, and will, with God's grace, safely return to us in the very near future. Enjoy your weekend and as a reminder, we will be flying this Sunday so expect increased activity on the base. Please keep those gloves, hats and winter coats close by the door -- if the past weeks are any indicator, you're going to need them for a while!