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  • Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

    Wow, what a terrific year 2018 has been.  The 117th is on an awesome trajectory into 2019.  Last year was full of challenges that YOU met and dominated.  Our flight plan was and still is: Warriors Back on Mission, Taking Care of People and Developing Tomorrow’s LeadersYou are fulfilling each of these goals beautifully!2018 was operationally one of
  • Setting Goals

    As I prepare to retire from the military at the end of this year, I thought about what to say in my last Commander’s Column article.  I decided I didn’t want to make it about me or my military career.  I decided to instead try and impart a little bit of wisdom from what I have learned over the years, primarily while serving in the military and
  • There Is No “I” In Team Or Is There?

    There used to be a question asked at board interviews. Who is the most important person or what is the most important function on this base? Consider the Air Force mission and an answer might be that it is the pilot that flies our airplanes. Afterall, when I am engaged by the public while pumping gas or grocery shopping, they want to know if I am
  • Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude, How 100 Feet Saved My ANG Career

    I was in the fifth year of my first enlistment when I came to the first major crossroads of my career.  I was already a full-time Active Guard Reservists on the flight line and had been very fortunate in my career up to that point.  However, there had been a recent shakeup in leadership and with that came a change in how we were being managed. Over
  • The Base Honor Guard – We Need a Few Good Airmen!

    Are you looking for a way to serve the 117th Air Refueling Wing in addition to your specific Air Force Specialty Code?  Do you have a desire to represent the Alabama Air National Guard and the United States Air Force in a positive manner to the community?  Do you want to become a member of something much bigger than any one individual?  Then, we
  • Driving While Tired or Sleep Deprived

    We’ve all done it. I’ve done it. You’ve done it. And, for the most part, most of us have gotten away with it. It just always seemed that we could tough it out or we would be fine and push through. I’ve heard it a million times, and so have you. “That won’t happen to me. I’ll be fine. I can make it.” But, driving while tired or sleep deprived is an
  • The Time Has Come

    It’s hard to believe that my military service is coming to an end. Just a couple more months and I’ll be hanging up my boots. As I look back to October 1983 when I raised my right hand and took the oath at age 25, I never really thought much about how long I would serve. Retirement didn’t even cross my mind, but nearly 35 years later, the time has
  • The Personal Aspect of Full Spectrum Readiness

    The commander of Air Mobility Command, Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II, has established readiness and enabling warfighter lethality as a primary focus for AMC.  He describes full spectrum readiness as the way the Air Force maintains the skills and knowledge required to deploy quickly and operate effectively in a full range of combat environments.  Each
  • Why Did You Join The Military?

    I have been asked this question many times over the years, mainly by those outside the military, so I decided to ask others in this Wing why they joined the Guard or Active Duty.  The top reasons that I got were:·         A calling to serve or patriotism·         Adventure·         Travel·         Education benefits·         Unparalleled training
  • Post-Deployment Health Assessments and Stress

    Since the 1990s, the United States military has deployed hundreds of thousands of troops to the Middle East and other parts of the world. During deployment, military personnel face hostile actions, infectious disease, and many physical and mental stressors. Although the Department of Defense has had a long-term commitment to member health issues, a
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