Mission continues after inspections cease

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Neil A. Rohan
  • 301st Fighter Wing
By the time you read this, our UCI, MSEP and HSI inspections should be in the winding down stage. I want to thank everyone for stepping up and showing the inspectors what I have known now for three years and counting — the 301st Fighter Wing is second to none. Remember that we will celebrate the conclusion of these inspections and welcome home our “C-Team” folks from Balad with a party in April. It should be a great time. More on that in the next issue of the Fighter Line.
     Now that the inspections are winding down, we move into a period of relatively low operations and personnel tempo (OPSTEMPO/PERSTEMPO). There is a mini-deployment to Spangdahlem scheduled at the end of March and another one to MacDill the following month, but that’s about it.
     Our next big effort won’t be until Summer of 2007, when we will once again “rainbow” deploy with our sister F-16 units to the Middle East as we take our turn in the next Aerospace Expeditionary Force cycle. So, between now and then we finally get a chance to catch our collective breath.
     The only other update that I have concerns changes that will come about as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). As you know, we gained an additional nine aircraft and a little more than 200 manpower positions as a result of the 2005 BRAC. These gains are effective in FY2007, which means anywhere between October 2006 through September 2007.
     There are four military construction projects associated with the BRAC, including the expansion of the fighter squadron facility. I expect groundbreaking to begin on these projects early in the fiscal year, but I don’t expect we’ll see the additional aircraft until the July 2007 timeframe, after we’ve returned from our AEF deployment. As for the new manpower positions, they will be filled gradually throughout the year.
     Finally, I want to acknowledge some recent 301st Fighter Wing award winners. Leading the list is the 73rd Aerial Port. This unit won the USAF Logistics Aerial Port of the Year, 2005, Reserve Component award. Maj. Diane Echols was named Air Force Reserve Command Aerial Port Field Grade Officer of the Year. Finally, the 73rd was selected as AMC’s nominee for the “National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA)” award in the Reserve category.
     Next, we had two winners in the AFRC Media Awards: Tech. Sgt. Julie Briden-Garcia and Tech. Sgt. Ron Zumwalt were selected to represent AFRC in the Air Force-wide competition in the categories of Stand-Alone and Contractor/Stringer Photographer, respectively.
     Mr. Roy Queretaro, 301st Operations Group range officer, was selected as AFRC’s nominee for the 2006 Air Force Association Outstanding AF Civilian Employee of the Year Award in the Civilian Program Manager category.
     Finally, (whew!!) the AFRC Logistics Readiness Awards for 2005 were just announced. The Logistics Readiness Squadron of the Year is our very own 301st LRS.
     Congratulations to all the award winners and thanks again to all of you for your superb efforts in preparing for and persevering through this latest round of inspections.
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