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The 62 AW Looks Beyond the Horizon to 2015

C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from bases across the United States begin to form up Dec. 6, 2014, before a joint forcible entry exercise near the Keno drop zone, Nev. The exercise tested the Air Force’s ability to tactically deliver and recover combat assets via air drops in a contested environment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Russ Jackson)

C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from bases across the United States begin to form up Dec. 6, 2014, before a joint forcible entry exercise near the Keno drop zone, Nev. The exercise tested the Air Force’s ability to tactically deliver and recover combat assets via air drops in a contested environment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Russ Jackson)

Two heavy container delivery systems plunge from the back of a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft to forces on the ground during the simulated Rainier War Dec. 6, 2014, over the Rainier drop zone, Wash. The Joint Concept for Entry Operations doctrine defines forcible entry as the seizing and holding of a lodgment in the face of armed opposition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Russ Jackson)

Two heavy container delivery systems plunge from the back of a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft to forces on the ground during the simulated Rainier War Dec. 6, 2014, over the Rainier drop zone, Wash. The Joint Concept for Entry Operations doctrine defines forcible entry as the seizing and holding of a lodgment in the face of armed opposition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Russ Jackson)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Staff Sgt. Russ Jackson, 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs, took these incredible shots from one of our McChord C-17s during the Joint Forcible Entry exercise in December.  Pretty cool pics, wouldn't you say?  As I looked at these incredible images of the amazing things our Airmen do--I couldn't help but think of the profound symbolism embedded in these pictures.  The first image looking forward on our C-17 formation, preparing for what's next...and the second looking aft, assessing how we've done and what we can improve.  No doubt, the start of the New Year provides us with the perfect opportunity to reflect on what we've done, but it also provides us with the opportunity to see what lies ahead--beyond the horizon--as we prepare for an exciting and busy year here at McChord Field. 

Over the next year, a flurry of activity will challenge our team and provide many unique opportunities for us to showcase Airlift Excellence and our Global Reach skills.  First, our bi-annual Nuclear Surety Inspection will test our Prime Nuclear Airlift Force team.  As the only Wing certified in DoD to transport nuclear weapons and nuclear material, this inspection is an important review and assessment of how well we are able to execute our #1 priority mission.  I know our teams in the 62nd Airlift Wing and 627th Air Base Group are ready to go!  Then before we have a chance to catch our breath, we'll host Air Mobility Command's 2015 RODEO--a two week long event involving mobility Airmen and many different mobility platforms from around the world!  This international training symposium and operational exercise with a competitive twist enhances our global partnerships, provides a forum for shared information, and above all showcases the extraordinary capabilities of our mobility enterprise. 

As you can see already, we have a busy road ahead of us!  No doubt we'll face some unforeseen challenges--the fog that will obscure the horizon, the friction of a dynamic and ever-changing world.  Added to that, we'll see numerous changes in leadership and we'll have to adjust to our recently announced reduction in organizational and operational capacity.  To remain relevant, we must continue to think creatively, take intelligent risks, and embrace our heritage of Innovative Airmen.  This spirit of innovation will ensure we remain a true learning organization--capable of finding better, more efficient ways to accomplish our mission.  It's the pure imagination and innovation of our young Airmen that will continue to propel us forward into the Wild Blue yonder and beyond.

Finally, as we roll into 2015, we must continue to value the unique skills, talents, and contributions of every Airman.  Just like the photo of our C-17 formation above, we must strive to be good Wingmen and create a healthy and respectful working environment for all.  Respect for all is not just part of our 62 AW vision, it is rooted within our Air Force Core Values of Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do and should be the foundation on which all Team McChord Airmen serve.  We will work together...as a team...to make good choices and to keep moving forward. 

The future of the 62 AW remains bright, and our many unique missions here at McChord Field set us apart from every other Wing out there.  We'll look to our vision of "Airlift Excellence...Innovative Airmen...Respect for All!" to guide us through the year and prepare for what's beyond the horizon.