Commentary

October 26, 2012

Exercises prepare Airmen for inspections, real-world situations

by Col. Samuel Mahaney
452 AMW commander

I am so impressed with the attitude and professionalism of this wing. You are all doing a fantastic job and I am proud of you. I hold the leadership throughout the wing accountable for taking care of you. I also expect every member of the wing to do his or her part to facilitate and exercise a culture of feedback.

Let me explain by sharing a few of my basic leadership tenets:

Take care of your people and they will take care of the mission: This is my leadership creed and I consistently stand by it. People want to excel. If a commander takes care of the basics such as pay, lodging, training and equipment, people will do well. If a commander goes above and beyond that, people will excel.

Culture of feedback: No organization succeeds unless it is constantly re-evaluating itself. I thrive on feedback. It is how I make my living. The equation is simple: you tell me what is broken, I fix it. For this equation to work, you have to speak up. Don’t worry about hurting my feelings. If I get a bruised ego and the rest of the wing benefits, it is a win for everyone. If you have an issue, idea, or better way to do things, use your chain of command to get the word to me — tell your supervisor, first shirt, or commander. In addition, after using your chain of command, you can also tell a member of the Rising Six, a member of the Top Three, a chief, or a member of the Company Grade Officer’s Council — I talk to all these people regularly. Also, consider representing your unit at the Wing Advisory Council (10 a.m., UTA Sundays, MXG conference room).

Culture of excellence: This wing should thrive on excellence. When preparing for the Operational Readiness Inspection or Nuclear Operational Readiness Inspection, excellence should be the standard. Across the wing, we are bringing in folks from units that have recently succeeded in ORIs and NORIs to conduct comprehensive Staff Assistance Visits. We are not waiting for things to fix themselves, but are aggressively addressing the weak programs and processes identified during the ORE and previous NOREs and making them stronger.

As you progress toward these inspections PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. Practice putting on the Mission Oriented Protection Posture gear! Strategize with your workmates on how to handle different situations. Study your Airman’s Manual.

I meet with your group commanders twice a week for one and one-half hours at a time for ORI/NORI strategy sessions, where we practice every possible scenario. These are incredibly busy men, so just like them, take every opportunity to practice and prepare.

Harassment or assault: Speaking of taking care of our people: every Airman is entitled to a safe, productive work environment. I do not tolerate harassment of any kind in the workplace. If you are a victim of harassment or assault, tell your supervisor, first sergeant or commander immediately. You will be treated with dignity and respect, you will be kept safe, your physical and emotional needs will be addressed and an investigation will begin immediately.




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