Positive attitude, focus key to success while deployed

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. James Clavenna
  • 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander
Over the last couple of decades, Air Force deployments have gone from the exception to the norm. No longer do folks talk about if they'll deploy, now the discussion is when they'll deploy -- or even more common, when they'll deploy next. 

Just the other day, while deployed here in Southwest Asia, I asked a security forces member nearing the end of a 180-day deployment what he was going to do when he got home. He told me he would be home for just a couple of months before they deployed to Iraq for a year to conduct security training. And despite this increased operations tempo across the Air Force, Airmen have found a way to maintain very positive attitudes. 

It is certainly the same at my current deployed location. Every day I am impressed with the positive attitudes displayed from security forces and services food specialists to medics to aircraft maintainers. My deployed teammates beam with pride, professionalism, and discipline -- and the results are even more impressive. Mission effectiveness and flying the air tasking order are our focus and the team I joined is truly firing on all cylinders. We understand our mission and work extremely hard to execute it because we know that the lives of American Sailors, Soldiers, Marines and Airmen are on the line every day and every sortie we launch saves lives. 

Our deployed mission is no more critical than the mission of Team McChord back home. I have watched dozens of McChord green tails transit our location delivering critical cargo and passengers for this fight. Each time, I have met a dedicated crew and flying crew chief that had the same professionalism and focus as my deployed teammates. 

But that focus does not just happen. It is absolutely dependent on a few key ingredients: preparation, support and fitness. Preparation is the foundation of every mission or deployment success. Airmen and their supervisors must ensure that personnel are trained and ready to go. Notice for deployment is good, readiness is even better. Support is what keeps me going. My AMXS teammates back home continue to excel while 

I'm away and the phenomenal leadership team there has allowed me to focus on my deployed mission, knowing that all is well on the McChord flightline. 

Additionally, the support network there has reached out and taken care of my family, so I don't have to worry about them -- I know that someone will take the big kids skiing or watch the little kids or whatever might be needed. Finally, the last key ingredient is personal fitness -- physical, mental and spiritual. As we get ready to break the 100 degree mark here in a couple of weeks, it is absolutely apparent that fitness is imperative. Our heads have to be in the game every day to execute our mission. 

To everyone back home -- thanks for taking care of the McChord mission as well as my family, so I could focus on supporting the warfighter over here. To MaryBeth, Molly, Jack, Joey, Megan and James -- thanks for your love and prayers and for taking care of each other ... I'll see you this summer.