It’s all about attitude

by Brig. Gen. Mark Dillon
86th Airlift Wing commander

Deployments and operations in hazardous environments are a way of life in today’s busy Air Force. Every week, 700 to 1,000 Team Ramstein Airmen are deployed into the combat or hazardous global environment.  For this very reason, we continue to test our Airmen to ensure they’re ready. Although the true test we are preparing for is a real-world crisis, we are also excited to show the U.S. Air Forces in Europe inspector general how outstanding our two wings really are. And the best way to showcase your readiness is to show the USAFE IG your great attitude. 

There is no doubt that our Team Ramstein Airmen are ready for any contingency. You prove that every week. Ramstein continues to be one of the busiest places in our Air Force with previously mentioned deployments, supporting the Afghan surge, real-world contingencies, DV visits and building partnership capacity in the EUCOM and AFRICOM theaters.   

But it has been a while since we have had an operational readiness inspection. In fact, our last ORI was in 2005, so we are more than due for an inspection. Therefore, next week, members of our 86th Airlift Wing and 435th Air Ground Operations Wing prepare to embark on the last leg of a 10-month long journey toward our ORI. The next exercise is the final of five exercises we’ve gone through to prepare our Airmen to deploy and sustain our forces, as well as survive hostile actions. The final exam will be the ORI from Sept. 22 through Oct. 7. Doing well on an ORI requires a great attitude. Command Chief Butler and I witness your great attitudes every week when we visit your work areas, back shops and duty sections.

Let’s take some of that great Team Ramstein attitude and apply it during our ORE and ORI. A great attitude plus your Airman’s Manual equals an outstanding ORI. We have done tremendous work preparing for our ORI: our deployment process is awesome, our equipment is the best and our ATSO skills are increasing. There’s room for improvement in a couple of areas (putting the O in ATSO, communications and SABC), but nothing a great attitude can’t overcome. As an Air Force, we’ve seen our readiness and Airman’s Manual knowledge tested continually this year as we’ve been called on to respond and assist to natural disasters around the world.

From the earthquake in Haiti, floods in Pakistan and, most recently, wildfires in Russia, you have responded magnificently. Our Air Force’s response to these and other events has been unmatched due to regular readiness exercises and inspections. Though you prove every week that you are the best, next month we get to show the USAFE IG just how good you really are. And it all hinges on a great attitude.

As always, thank you and your families for serving our nation. We’ve got some exercising to do the next two weeks, but next month I really look forward to showing the USAFE IG just how outstanding you really are.