Team Fairchild: Out of Many, One

  • Published
  • By Col. Robert Thomas
  • 92nd Air Refeuling Wing commander
On the eve of our country's independence, I am reminded of the importance of unity in our military and nation. If you reach in your pocket and pull out any common coin, you will find the words "E. Pluribus Unum," Latin for "Out of many, one." Our nation was founded on the idea that free citizens pulling together towards a common goal would result in greater liberty and prosperity than any amount of subjugation and tyranny. It is imperative that we, as members of the profession of arms, remember this lesson. We hold the sacred trust to protect our countrymen; we can only accomplish this lofty goal by remembering where we came from and the critical need for unity as we face our many challenges. 

One of the steps to achieving this unity is through Total Force Integration. Our active duty members must strive to work seamlessly with our fellow Airmen, whether they're Reserve, Guard or civilian. This is especially important here at Fairchild; of the 4,700 personnel on base, more than 1,000 are members of the Air National Guard and almost 1,000 are civilian employees! The challenges our ever-evolving Air Force faces on a daily basis necessitate close cooperation with every member of our Total Force, and we are proud to help lead the way here at Fairchild. 

In our eagerness to incorporate TFI into our every day lives, we cannot overlook the importance of those closest to us. We should take the opportunity this Fourth of July to remember what being a good Wingman means. Never forget the importance of watching out for one another and for the families who so tirelessly stand behind us. No matter what happens to you, there is an entire base and indeed an entire Air Force ready to support you...all day, every day! If you, or your family, need anything at all, I encourage you to reach out to your First Sergeant, Commander, or fellow Airman working right beside you this very minute--I assure you, they are ready and want to help! 

Only by incorporating these values into our daily lives here on base can we accomplish our mission of protecting the nation. We can never forget we are a nation at war, and Fairchild is playing a vital role in this conflict. We must remain ever vigilant in our duties; the safety of everyone currently deployed depends on us. 

So this Independence Day, enjoy your time with your family and friends, but also reflect on what it means to be an Airman and a member of Team Fairchild. We are playing a vital role at a critical time in our nation's history. Almost 20% of our wing's manpower is forward deployed and in harm's way, wing aircrews are flying 60-80 combat missions every week, and those of you left temporarily at home are proving our combat readiness through a series of extremely tough inspections. All I can say is I could not be prouder of you and your family's service and sacrifices, while reminding you our great nation has never needed you, its Air Force and Airmen more!