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  • Importance of Reading in a Military Career

    As our new Secretary of Defense retired Marine Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis has taken office, it might be good to understand the man behind the position and why he is the perfect man for the job.  I am a military history reader myself with a large collection of books, over 1,000, and after understanding the great importance of reading military
  • 117 ARW Mission and Vision - They Mean Something!

    117 ARW MissionProvide quality worldwide air refueling, airlift, support, logistics, intelligence and medical services in support of our community, state and nation. 117 ARW VisionA world-class team of empowered men & women committed to continuous improvement and excellence, operating as the model Air National Guard unit into the twenty-first
  • “We See It All”

    Everyone on base knows that the 117th Intelligence Squadron is located here in Birmingham, but I have found that most people do not know much about the building on the hill without windows. I have had the distinct honor and privilege to be a part of this elite unit of dedicated intelligence professionals who perform the real-world active duty
  • The Fear of Failure

    Fear is an emotion that evolved as a form of protection from danger.  Fear protects us by keeping us from acting in ways that could put our lives in danger.  Fear also hinders us by holding us back from achievable goals because of painful previous experiences.  Fear can hold us back and steal our dreams.  In 1831 a 22 year old man was fired as a
  • It is Time to Vote

    It is coming down to the final days for the presidential election. It is that time again when you get the opportunity to decide who is going to be the next President of the United States for the next four years. It is one of the privileges that you have as a U.S. citizen and one that many take for granted. For many of you, it is your first major
  • The 117th Maintenance Group: On the Move with a Global Impact

    Notice something missing from the flightline at the 117th Air Refueling Wing?  Were those tumbleweeds blowing across?  The southwest ramp without KC-135R tankers is a rare sight in Birmingham.With the current deployment to CENTCOM underway, many from the 117th Maintenance Group, 99th Air Refueling Squadron and other organizations across the 117 ARW
  • Every Airman is Important!

    Operation Desert Storm kicked off in January 1991. Ever since then, for over 25 years, the United States Air Force and the Air Reserve Components, working side by side with Joint and Coalition Forces, have been involved in just about every region of the world. These components have been providing what the Air Force does best with Global Vigilance,
  • Be Vigilant!

    Later this year will be the 15th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.  We have been formally fighting the War on Terrorism at home and abroad since the towers fell in New York and I do not see an end to it.  To put that in perspective, some of you may be teaching a child to drive this year as he or she gets a learner's permit.  We have been
  • I never thought this day would come

    I never thought this day would come ... retirement.  Some days I looked forward to it, and others, I felt it was coming too fast.  I have to say, though, after "practicing" retirement while on terminal leave, I highly recommend it!  Everybody should get to do this; everybody who has served our country deserves it, and you have definitely earned
  • Nuclear Deterrence

    "Nuclear deterrence is the United States Air Force's number one mission set." We have all heard this quote. At times it can be difficult to believe in light of the overwhelming demands from the Global War on Terrorism.  Some say that the Air Force walk doesn't match the talk. In perception, this may be true but, nothing could be further from the
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