McChord Airmen are indeed 'Above All'

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Brian Newberry
  • 7th Airlift Squadron commander
As I look back on the first half of my command tour, it is clear the success of our wing
mission to provide combat airlift rests on the shoulders of our Airmen, who are "Above All". Every day I see examples within my flying squadron where we adapt and overcome to accomplish our mission safely. In the recent support of President's Bush historic visit to Africa, our Airmen performed admirably operating in austere locations. In one example, the crew quickly off-loaded critical equipment just in time to support Air Force One's landing minutes later.

Yet my Airmen are only part of the story -- I have witnessed numerous examples of McChord Airmen rising "Above All". From the deployed 62nd Aerial Port Squadron Airmen in Turkey making a difference to a flying crew chief working thru the night to get a stranded jet operational again, to a medical technician staying late to help an Airman whose deploying or a security policeman assisting a flyer to become mission ready, the examples are countless. While I was chief of safety here, I preached the importance of breaking the chain of events that could lead to a mishap. Here at McChord, the reverse is true. Our superior Airmen keep the chain of support strong, ensuring combat airlift for America happens without a hitch. The sequence of events depends on so many -- including our vital civilian force to keep us "Above All". 

Teamwork is indispensable in so many pursuits, but our wing commander reminded us in his Wing Call why Airmen have a special edge. We are the only service where we dominate above the earth and sea; both our air forces and space forces own the high ground. We are "our nation's sword and shield, its sentry and avenger" as the Airmen Creed declares. Imagine the difficulty prosecuting a war without air dominance or GPS capability. While visiting the ruins of the World Trade Center several years ago, I was struck by the story of the Broadway Fire Department which lost the most members of any department on that fateful September day in 2001. Their motto remains "Never Missed a Performance." Having served with McChord Airmen for two years now, I can proudly say we have never missed a performance, and more to the point, Air Force Airmen have not missed a performance since our 1947 inception. We are indeed "Above All".