Anniversaries are a time for reflection

  • Published
  • By Col. Clark Quinn
  • 71st Flying Training Wing commander
New Year's, anniversaries, birthdays, sunrises, sunsets, etc...we have an almost instinctive desire to measure time, and significant moments in time are often when we stop to reflect. Did we get everything accomplished today? Are we where we want to be in life? Have we met our goals? Do we have goals?

I think that last question leads to many New Year's resolutions.

Yesterday, June 18, was my one-year anniversary at Vance, and I'm halfway through my expected time here. As I reflect on the last year, I'd just like to say "Thank You" to the entire team.

It's easy to get lost in day-to-day work and not realize the larger impact of what has been accomplished, so here's a short list of things that you can be proud of:

Developing Airmen: 55 Airmen attended First Term Airman's Center; 37 completed Airman Leadership School; 22 air traffic controllers earned their 5-levels; 28 Airmen received Community College of the Air Force degrees, and I've lost track of how many we've promoted to a higher rank, but it's a lot.

Delivering Pilots: 324 students completed pilot training, and an additional 20 pilots re-qualified following assignments in remotely piloted aircraft.

Deploying Warriors: 38 personnel deployed to 21 locations in 12 different countries, and we welcomed home 40 Airmen from deployments to nine different countries.

To get the mission done, Vance spent approximately $114 million. Our aircraft used more than 10.1 million gallons of fuel while flying more than 50,000 sorties, totaling more than 73,000 flying hours.

The 25th Flying Training Squadron trained students from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey, Singapore, Kenya, Nigeria and Poland, and students from several other countries are on the way.

The 3rd FTS completed more than 17,000 individual grade sheets on student pilots -- and that's just one of our flying squadrons.

Our T-6 squadrons flew more than 2,500 cross-country sorties over weekends. This is required training, but drove seven-day work weeks each time.

Our Air Traffic Controllers managed the fourth busiest airfield in the Air Force, and our Defenders kept us safe 24/7.

The 71st Medical Group had more than 27,000 patient visits and filled more than 58,000 prescriptions.

We also built on our great relationship with the City of Enid.

Vance hosted the regional Special Olympics where 194 volunteers worked with 14 local businesses to create an outstanding event for 179 athletes.

Just like every year for the past 48 years, citizens and businesses in Enid donated their time and more than $25,000 worth of stuff to our Airmen at Enlisted Airmen Appreciation Night.

The downside to highlighting just a few accomplishments is that I don't get to mention all the other great things that Team Vance has done.

If I missed it, it was only because I'm limited to 500 words and not because it wasn't important!

So I'll conclude by saying "Thank You" again to every Airman, civilian and contractor at Vance.

Every statistic and number mentioned above has a person behind it, making it happen.

We collectively focus on our mission and getting the job done, but none of it would be possible without the efforts of the 2,500 plus total force Airmen working here and the support of their families, friends and the community we serve in.

I am honored to be part of Team Vance and I look forward to all that will be achieved in the next year.