Col Guemmer sets tone for next year’s challenges

  • Published
  • By Col. Paul H. Guemmer
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander
Team Fairchild, we've had an extremely busy time since I took command of the 92 Air Refueling Wing in July. Between all the inspections, high-profile visits, major events and, of course, our rigorous deployment schedule, everyone has worked especially hard to get where we are today.

With the end of the year upon us, it's a good time to reflect on our successes for the year and take a breather. So let me just take this opportunity to say thank you for all you've done to keep the installation running and making the mission happen.

When we come back from the winter break, we'll have new challenges before us. So it'll be time to step up once again, Team Fairchild.


This year, every Airman of the 92nd and 141st Air Refueling Wings - officer, enlisted and civilian - have demonstrated that this partnership works. We'll continue to look at areas where we can pool resources where it makes sense. In every place where we work together with our Air National Guard brethren we're more successful than either unit would be on its own.

In February, our runway will shut down for much-needed repairs. We are working on a 50-year-old flight line that has reached its limit. The runway shutdown will mean running some operations out of Spokane International Airport, but the majority of our planes will relocate to an airfield in Moses Lake. Mission planning, scheduling, back shop maintenance and mission support elements will remain at Fairchild.

We have worked hard on the runway closure plan to make sure we've lined up the appropriate resources to sustain our aging aircraft so everyone can do their jobs. If there's something you need, tell your supervisor. Let's identify shortfalls early so we can correct them and set ourselves up for success.

We'll begin prepositioning a lot of the equipment we'll need at the satellite locations in the coming weeks. It's not lost on me how difficult it will be to operate from three different locations. But we have to make sure we're still able to meet our national-level strategic requirements. We'll of course still fly normal training sorties as well as support the homeland defense mission.

Some things we can plan for, but we're going to have to be extremely flexible over the next year. I want to hear your ideas on how we can effectively get the job done, so please pass those along through your chain of command. Also keep in mind that safety is paramount, so if you see things being done in a way they shouldn't, by all means, speak up!


We can't get the mission done if we don't have faith in our wingmen. Air Mobility Command leaders have developed several initiatives to help us do just that.

Comprehensive Airman Fitness is a model to help us build stronger team members and wingmen. The concept is built on four pillars:

- Social Health
- Physical Health
- Spiritual Health
- Mental Health

We want Airmen and their families to keep in mind the four pillars and balance their lives accordingly. We have several resources available to help us, primarily the Airman and Family Readiness Center and the base chapel staff.

The goal is to minimize the impact on all our families and be responsive to each other's needs. Running operations from Moses Lake is going to mean more time away from family. The best thing we can do is educate Airmen and their families about the resources available.


There's no doubt the next year is going to be challenging and stressful.

When you're not working, take some time to enjoy what the Inland Northwest has to offer. We're fortunate to live in a community that opens its arms to Fairchild. So whether it's enjoying the outdoors or having a quiet night at home, take some time for yourselves.

When you are working, remember the importance of what you do. Everyone at this base is a vital member of Team Fairchild. Never forget that what you do has a direct impact on mission accomplishment.

Make no mistake, our geographically separated operations plan will have to go through some testing as well, so be prepared for us to exercise that capability. Our readiness requirements don't go away just because our runway is closed.

The recent 'Excellent' on our compliance inspection has positioned us to continue our achievements through the New Year and beyond. We can do this, Team Fairchild, but it's going to take all of us giving our absolute best effort. Your spirit of professionalism and perseverance reflects the best of our society and contributes to the success of our great Nation.

Let me close by saying how much I appreciate what you have done this year to make Fairchild Air Force Base successful and I want to say a sincere "Thank You" for your commitment and dedication throughout the year.
Cyndi and I send our best wishes to you and your loved ones in this season of hope and joy. May you all have a safe and happy holiday season.
Tanker Pride!