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Readiness is not just a weekend thing

  • Published
  • By Col. Melvin Giddings
  • 349th Maintenance Group commander
 You know all the high profile tests of our readiness - the last minute missions: Operation Neptune Falcon, Banner Express, C-5 Retrograde and any and all mobilizations of our troops.

The operations tempo shows no signs of slowing. These tests happen all the way down to the wing-wide Operational Readiness Exercises and inspections, but as commanders and individuals, I believe we need to strive for more.

What I am talking about is everyday readiness. The message we send our Airmen can be extrapolated across all facets of Airmanship and readiness. Let's break it down.

Fitness: Are you fit to fight? Do you have a fitness plan in place in your everyday life? A healthy lifestyle is a balance in your physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Do you know your fitness test date and are you prepared for it?

Training: Every unit training assembly our unit training managers update job training, ancillary training and proficiency in your Air Force specialty code. If you need to get computer-based training done, get it done. Know what you know and what you need to know.

Medical: Commanders are briefed frequently on medical statistics. These include dental, physicals, immunizations and medical profile reviews. There is constant visibility on medical readiness. At your sign-in, you may be required to get an immunization or provide evidence of a dental visit. Have copies of your necessary documentation.

Security clearance: Secret security clearances need to be renewed every 10 years. Do you have all the necessary information for the renewal? Addresses and references are difficult to recall after several years. If you have a Top Secret clearance the renewal time is much shorter and comes with several other requirements. Did you know if you hold a TS clearance, you are supposed to notify the wing before international travel? Know your security responsibilities.

Readiness folder review: Check in with your unit deployment manager. Any last minute documents should be accomplished now. Information on next-of-kin, addresses, phone numbers, beneficiaries and dog tags should be in your readiness folder.

Your readiness is high profile when short-notice taskings occur. There is very little time to react when the Air Force needs you. Your everyday readiness is the key to the wing's success.