Let’s make 2013 the year of innovation

  • Published
  • By Col. Brian Newberry
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Commander
Without a doubt, innovation is our Air Force's lifeblood.

It started with the origins of powered flight in 1903 when the first flight lasted 13 seconds. Not satisfied, the world's first Airmen, Orville and Wilbur Wright, tinkered with success and propelled their heavier-than-air machine to soar 59 seconds by day's end, quadrupling the first flight.

A century later, we have taken that nascent technology and transformed into our Air Force--from jets flying overhead troops 24/7 in Afghanistan - fueled by Fairchild tankers and crews - to constellations of Air Force satellites, eyes in the skies, never blinking from the ultimate high ground.

Since my arrival, I have witnessed your innovation first hand in every group from the Mission Support Group's novel "Glass House" one-stop deployment processing to Maintenance Group's critical multi-pod refueling system sustainment...from the Medical Group's satellite pharmacy renovation to the Operations Group polar flight success.

Every day, Fairchild Airmen take it to the next level to find creativity in every nook and cranny.

As complicated budget negotiations continue in Washington D.C., the clarion call to reduce costs while maintaining our dominance could not be louder. Our defense of freedom can give no quarter, particularly when our adversary remains dangerous and a threat.

It would be natural to rest on our laurels of 2012, which for Fairchild, are very robust.

But Airmen did not take flight from 13 seconds to 59 seconds in less than a day, or evolve the biplane to space flight, simply by relaxing.

As Airmen, we think in 3D. We are not two dimensional; we are driven to innovate. It is our way of life.

Steve Jobs, who pushed his Apple company to redefine the computer industry, led his company to develop a new iPhone yearly. He argued that "innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower."

As Airmen, we lead; we dominate space, and soar above the oceans and land masses answering the call of others so they may prevail.

We own the high ground.

To stand still, however, is to lose ground. As Airmen, when we stand still, we stall. Our nation, including our all-American community, needs us to fuel freedom better than we have done it before.

The good news is our track record of innovation, our legacy of excellence, is long and storied.

It extends back to our heritage beginnings with the 92nd Heavy Bombardment Group in World War II. "Fame's Favored Few," as they were called, had as their motto: "Higher, Stronger, Faster."

As we move into 2013, I charge Team Fairchild to continue being bold and innovative.

Our 18th Air Force commander, Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, incites us to find unique solutions to issues before they become problems.

"You not only hold the keys, but the responsibility, to build tomorrow's Air Force and posture it for success," he says.

The best news is I know we can do it. To paraphrase Helen Keller: My optimism from your past success gives me absolute faith in your achievement for 2013. Go Higher, Stronger, Faster Team Fairchild.

Aim High! Fly, Fight, Win.