Are you ready for the unexpected?

  • Published
  • By Maj. Aaron Torczynski
  • 62nd Airlift Wing Command Post chief
You never know when and how you will be tested, but each of us must give our best for Team McChord to succeed in our upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. Are you ready to step up if called upon?

In World War II, the 8th Air Force was America's bomber force in northwest Europe. Until late 1943, a main obstacle to getting bombs on target was the weather. Crews risked their lives to slip past patrols by the "Luftwaffe" - the German air force during World War II - on the way to targets in Germany, only to arrive over targets completely obscured by clouds. Unable to identify their targets, crews then returned to England, fighting those same Luftwaffe patrols on their way home.

In the fall of 1943, 8th Air Force received a cutting edge weapon, the H2X radar, nicknamed the "Mickey." The Mickey's existence and its capability were cloaked in utmost secrecy. It allowed crews to find a target in many weather conditions, and drop bombs on target.

As soon as the equipment arrived in theater, the 8th Air Force bomber groups were ordered to send one plane and one crew to Royal Air Force Station Alconbury, England for unspecified training. With little or no warning, aircrew and maintainers were ordered to pack up their gear and report for duty.

Do you think they were ready?

Armed with the Mickey, these crews, known as "Pathfinders," delivered a strategic advantage that tipped the scales of the war in the Allies' favor. From that point on, bombing missions striking critical targets in the heart of Nazi Germany were often led by Pathfinders. These crews were plucked from their squadrons without warning, given a historic task and rose to the occasion.

It just goes to show, you never know when your test will come, but you'd better be ready.

In October, Team McChord will be asked to perform under the watchful eye of inspectors during the ORI. You may expect to be a leader, a follower or even a "nonplayer." No matter what you think your contribution will be, expect the unexpected and be ready to step up if you get the call.