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301st Fighter Wing; on time, on target for success

  • Published
  • By Col. Kevin Pottinger
  • 301st Fighter Wing
It is hard to believe 12 months have gone by since I became the 301st Fighter Wing commander. I am proud of the level of commitment and motivation displayed by the 301FW members. Almost every specialty in our wing has been deployed or has had something to do with supporting a deployment. 

Our wing is known throughout AFRC as very special. The active-duty wing commander, stationed at Balad Air Base, Iraq, commented very favorably on our performance during our latest Iraq deployment. Our reputation worldwide is outstanding. 

Let's reflect on the highlights of the past year: 

AEF volunteerism We have more people willing to volunteer for Aerospace Expeditionary Force positions than actual positions available. Volunteerism of this caliber is more than any wing commander could expect. 

Wing Improvements All areas of wing metrics exceeded the previous year's measurements. For example, Individual Medical Readiness increased approximately 20 percent; fitness 11 percent; and Professional Military Education 13 percent. 

Personnel Changes Col. Ken Bachelor moved from 301FW vice wing commander to 10th Air Force assistant director of operations; Col. Vince Wilcox was promoted to the 301FW vice wing commander position; Col. Max Mendoza accepted a position at AFRC Headquarters and will move before the end of the year; Chief Master Sgt. Bob Chura moved to the 301st Maintenance Squadron superintendent; and Chief Master Sgt. Michelle Ozuna to the 73rd Aerial Port Squadron air freight superintendent. 

Mission Support Group Award The 2006 Air Force Association Citation of Honor was awarded for the group's achievements. 

Let's look forward at the challenges ahead of us: 

Operational Readiness Inspection Our focus for the next 18 months or so is to prepare for this 2009 inspection. Even though we continually prove our wartime readiness, this important benchmark process assesses our ability to deploy and employ for tasked potentialities. This focus requires teamwork for a common goal, and we all must commit wholly to doing our individual bests for the most successful outcome for the wing. 

Equipment and Resources With the addition of nine F-16s, we will be increasing our manpower by roughly 200 team members. This means more sorties, an increase in operations tempo, and the potential for more commitments worldwide. 

The Road to Excellence In order to pursue excellence, all members must do the right thing when no one is watching; follow the chain of command; communicate effectively and often; and know your specific job responsibilities. Additionally, for those of you in leadership positions, you must lead by example and continue to mentor your personnel for career opportunities. 

In closing, I want to thank every wing member for this past year. My transition as 301FW commander was made that much smoother by your professionalism and dedication to our mission. I am looking forward to the challenges ahead, and I know as a team we will be successful.

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