Mission, priorities and vision are all about you

  • Published
  • By Col. Andrew Hird
  • 62nd Operations Group commander
Understanding the mission is essential for each one of us to define requirements for success and make decisions to allocate our effort, resources and time. For Airmen in the 62nd Operations Group, we often think that launching aircraft and conducting global airlift is our mission. In fact, this task that you contribute to every day is the operational mission of our parent warfighting organization, the 18th Air Force.
While we are essential in that task, our role at Joint Base Lewis-McChord is to provide the most essential resource in the 18th Air Force "to develop and sustain operational Airmen for global mobility employment." Our mission statement, honed by all five of our squadron commanders, articulates our commitment to support the most critical element of Air Mobility: Airmen. It is essential that all Airmen know that they are a vital component of developing and sustaining themselves and those around them, and make decisions to advance that mission.

To aid in that daily decision-making, we have established priorities to help allocate your time, level of effort, money, and hardware. They empower you to know what success looks like. As with our mission statement, our squadron commanders have focused our priorities on people.

Before expending your time and energy, ask yourself if what you are doing fits into our group's priorities of "Mission Ready Airmen, Joint Integrated Training, and Developing Future Leaders." The level to which your tasks support these priorities helps focus the chain of command to seek additional resources to advance your work. If a task doesn't seem to clearly link to a priority, then ask your chain of command to show you how it does. If the task does not support one of our priorities, work with your supervisors to redirect your valuable time to something that does. As professional service members, we owe each other this dialogue to ensure we use resources effectively and efficiently to achieve our mission.

Our Inspection System relies primarily on this conversation to advance a culture of continuous improvement. Individual Airmen are the primary inspectors for our Commander's Inspection Program. You've heard in our wing commander's roll calls and commander's calls about the "Power of One." That is you!

Each of these is an example of professionals like you understanding priorities and caring enough to alert the chain of command when we can make efforts become more effective. If you are frustrated in your work, it is likely because the value of what you do isn't clear, or you believe your tasks could be done much more efficiently if certain processes were adjusted. Don't keep that inside. Be the professional to propose changes and you will be amazed at how your initiative really does make a difference.

Our mission tells us what we must do and our priorities shape how we use our resources. We also must be focused on the future and ready for changes ahead, supporting our vision of Mission Ready Airmen... Poised for the Future.

We must continually assess how expected changes in resources and challenges affect our current decisions. This further demands your individual scrutiny of assumptions and processes for which you are the expert. You have the best vantage point to guide our group to the future. Our new approach to inspection empowers you to organize your thoughts, assess our processes, and advocate for positive change.

Thank you for being successful in our mission. Thank you for efficiently using our resources by focusing on our priorities. And thank you in advance for your ideas and input which are so essential for our future success.