Notes for November
Published November 17, 2009
Men and Women of the 140th,
I want to pass along a couple of thoughts as we enter the "dark ages" of winter and prepare for the Holiday Season.
First of all, yesterday the 140th Operations Group received an "Outstanding" rating on their Standardization and Evaluation Inspection held over the past 2 weeks. Please join me in congratulating Col Loh and all of the men and women in the Ops Group. This is their 3rd Outstanding rating in a row on this particular inspection. The 12th AF Inspection Team Chief called the program a "model program" that quite frankly, the inspectors could find no fault in. We all should take pride in this accomplishment as again, one of our own, is leading the way and doing us all proud. In addition, congratulations to the following individuals identified as "Superior Performers" during the inspection: Lt Col Chuck Caldwell, Lt Col Jim Fogle, Lt Col Mitch Neff, Lt Col Craig Wolf, Maj Marc Garceau, and SMSgt Lawrence Aragon. Lastly, thanks to the men and women of the 140th Maintenance Group for your support of Ops during the inspection. The jets were superb, on time, and flown as scheduled. Well done to all involved!
Last week we got hit with one of our typical snowstorms that brings things to a halt for a couple of days. If you're new to Colorado, these last 2 weeks were pretty characteristic as we can measure the snow in feet, followed only days later by 70 degree golf weather. Please remember that as these snowstorms hit us (and fortunately they typically only happen a couple of times a year), use the Buckley AFB Snow line at 720-847-SNOW to keep in touch with what the Base Commander has declared for our Base. For those of you at GSU's, the Unit Commander will declare the operational capability for that location. Remember that when the Base is closed, you are not expected to travel to work unless you are deemed essential personnel, which general you can read to mean involved with our 24/7 ASA or Space Warning missions. However, EVERYONE of you hold a trump card that if in your particular situation it doesn't make sense from a safety perspective to travel, then don't do it. We'll get somebody to cover for you, as safety must come first...you are too important to risk unnecessarily! Regarding the pay issue for Technicians on snow days, our Adjutant General through our HR Office will let us know how that is affected. But again, please keep safety in the forefront and don't do the dangerous in the name of pay concerns. That just doesn't make sense.
On a sad note, we all are aware of the incident at Ft. Hood this past week and we pray for the victims and their families. Also, our host brothers and sisters across the street in the 460th had a suicide last week. Both of these horrific events are reminders of the need for us all to be good wingmen. I have said to you in the past that in many cases, you may know your work-mate better than their own family members and may see a need for help before anyone. Be aware of changes in personalities, or daily routines and moods. Be proactive and take the time to talk to people who you think may need a friend or someone to listen to. Who knows, you may literally or figuratively take a gun out of the wrong hands. And know also that there are free counseling services available to all Guardsmen regardless of status through both the CONG and Military One Source. These are terrific resources standing by to help you. Use them! And lastly on this note, be constantly aware of your surroundings and report things out of the ordinary. Remember that as you travel and do your daily business, your uniform can also unfortunately identify you as a target. Keep your awareness up out there.
Finally, November marks the beginning of the Holiday Season when we typically gather with friends and family to celebrate in whatever way you believe. Often these celebrations involve alcohol and occur away from home. And unfortunately, weather and short days/long nights prevail as well, so please be smart. Use a designated driver or call a cab. In the long run that's a lot cheaper than a DUI or even worse, hurting someone or yourself. Again, you are way too important to take those unnecessary risks. Which brings me to this last thought. On Wednesday the 11th, we will celebrate Veteran's Day where as a nation, we give thanks to those who gave their all to preserve everything we hold dear. This is a day set aside to give thanks to those of you who have volunteered your time, energy, and in some cases, your very own lives, to serve those who enjoy what makes this land the most favored on the planet. Thank-you to all of you and our veterans alike for your selfless devoted duty. You each make the world a better place and are deserving of our deepest gratitude.
Happy Veteran's Day and Happy Thanksgiving!