Congratulations on fiscal '05 accomplishments

  • Published
  • By Col. Bryan Benson
  • 71st Flying Training Wing
Team Vance, congratulations on closing out another successful fiscal year.
First and foremost, we ended the year with all of our people and aircraft -- continuing our outstanding safety record of no Class A mishaps in more than four years.
We initiated construction of the $3.2 million "Baker tract" force protection and Gott Road extension projects with the assistance of the City of Enid and State of Oklahoma.
We survived the Base Realignment and Closure process and will in fact increase our mission as we take on 25 more aircraft and as many as 125 permanent party and 500 Army Reserve and Oklahoma Army National Guard drill personnel.
We added 54 of the nicest homes in Air Education and Training Command -- each larger than my home -- and did it exclusively for our enlisted force.
We broke ground on the consolidated logistics complex and new post office -- projects that allow us to demolish eight older facilities.
We totally upgraded three and one half of our four unaccompanied officer's quarters and will complete the fourth this month.
Air Force and AETC headquarters tested the wing's medical, operations and support readiness with three major inspections and you exceeded every expectation.
In May, we had a no-notice health services inspection by the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Health Care Organizations and received a "Best Seen to Date" rating of "Excellent."
In August, the AETC Inspector General rated Vance "Excellent" in the Operational Readiness Inspection and in September, AETC and the State of Oklahoma conducted an Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health Compliance Assessment Management Program inspection. Both organizations again rated Vance "Best Seen to Date." More impressive is the fact we did so well while changing out the wing vice commander; command chief; director of staff; the 71st Operations Group and 71st Mission Support Group deputy commanders; seven of 12 squadron commanders; and 25 percent of the base military population during the same time frame -- proof positive our processes, safety oversight and wingman practices work.
We closed out the fiscal year with a bang as your group, squadron and contractor leadership worked hard to identify, program and resource mission and quality-of-life requirements. The leadership at AETC headquarters was listening and agreed to fund a $6.2 million replacement of our Kegelman Auxillary Airfield runway, $700,000 addition to the bowling alley snack bar and $3.1 million for a new veterinary clinic, medical clinic parking lot replacement and facility improvements. The command also funded improvements for the library, professional development center, security forces equipment and new carpet and furniture for our unaccompanied enlisted quarters. In total, more than $14.5 million in funding for improvements -- phenomenal!
That said, our work is not over. As we enter fiscal '06 it is important to note the War on Terrorism has lasted longer than World War II. We need to keep up the tradition of excellence as we prepare our current and future Warriors to Fly ... Fight ... and Win. I'm proud of each of you. Keep up the mach and thanks for all you do for America.