Climbing to Flight Level 2010

  • Published
  • By Col. Timothy E. Tarchick
  • 934th Airlift Wing commander
I wanted to be the first to greet you in 2010 but I didn't want to write one of those typical "New Year, New You, New Resolutions" kind of commentaries I see every January. Mainly, because 2009 was not "typical" and 2010 won't be either. Still, there is something to be said for those "typical" commentaries as most of them summarize the year quite nicely. So I'll highlight some of our accomplishments:

* We won an AFRC Airman, Family Readiness Program of Year Award, a 22nd Air Force's Aerial Port Roundup Award, the Services Wartime Assessment Training Competition and the AFRC Air Transportation Unit of the Year Award, just to name a few of the many awards the wing has won.

* We contributed more than $126 million to the Twin Cities are through contracts, jobs and other projects

* We have had more than 400 934th Airlift Wing personnel deployed throughout the year for operations such as Integrated CONUS Medical Operations Plan (ICMOP). Deployments for Coronet Oak, Joint Enterprise, Air Expeditionary Force and other mobilizations. We took 7 Higher Headquarter inspections.

* We have hosted more than 300 civilians on this base in the last year - they visited us simply to find out more about the wonderful jobs you do and trust me they are telling their friends how proud they are of you.

* We have seen an array of distinguished visitors -- the President of the United States, several generals and Tops In Blue (The Air Force's premiere entertainment group) -- venture through our gates.

While 2009 could be called "The year of deployments", 2010 is shaping up as "The year of Inspections". We have a 22nd Air Force Staff Assistance Visit coming up in March and an Air Force Reserve Command Unit Compliance Inspection taking place in September. We still have about 70 people deployed and more than a dozen heading out the door as this issue of the Viking Flyer reaches your doorstep. All this on top of our normal mission of providing mission ready Airmen and tactical airlift - anytime, anywhere.

I'm actually glad that 2010 won't be a typical, normal, ho-hum year because 934th Airlift Wing Airmen are anything but "typical." In my almost four years here, I have one word to describe all of you - EXTRAORDINARY! You have proven yourselves time and again on tasks big and small, mundane and unique, short and long. You have done an outstanding job not only meeting expectations but exceeding them. And for that I am extremely proud of you. I know that I am saying "we" a lot but that's what today's Air Force Reserve is all about. "I" cannot make this base excellent without you. Together, "we" can make 2010 our best year yet.

That said, now is not the time to cross off Dec. 31 on the 2009 calendar, grab a cup of coffee, kick your feet up on the desk and coast through 2010. Oh no, now is the time to step up those expectations a notch, to be the best Air Force Reserve unit in the command. Now is the time to focus on the SAV and UCI. Now is the time to do more, push harder, do it safely, and climb higher than we have ever gone before. Now is the time to continue in our tradition of excellence.

Let me be the first to welcome you to 2010, the year of Extraordinary!