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Teamwork, Flexibility, Enthusiasm

  • Published
  • By Col. Craig Berlette
  • 43rd Airlift Wing
In his commentary on June 5, Col. John Gordy showcased the truly impressive array of individual, team and organizational awards earned by the 43rd Airlift Wing in the past year. 

Frankly I've never seen anything like it. Your collective accomplishments are truly staggering. Based on 13 months of observation, I believe it's safe to say the Wing's success can be distilled down to three fundamental skills and abilities: teamwork, flexibility and enthusiasm. 

Whatever the tasking or project, the men and women of the 43rd AW pull together and produce nothing short of world-class results. 

Recent examples include the Air Force Cross Ceremony, the Endurance Relay, the Vice President's visit, the 6S Spring Cleaning Event and, most recently, the memorial service for Senior Airman Ashton Goodman. 

That short list doesn't even take into account all the teaming required to execute Team Pope's incredibly diverse day-to-day mission. I've been equally impressed with the ability of individuals and organizations to "adjust fire" and quickly accommodate shifting priorities. 

That uncommon capability to surge resources and quickly respond to emergent requirements is truly something special. 

Make no mistake, it is enthusiasm which is the keystone trait of the 43rd AW's Airmen (And that's "airmen" with a capital "A"). 

Whether it's executing the mission, hosting base-wide morale events or supporting countless community service initiatives, you've always come through and done it with the utmost professionalism. 

You've mastered the ability to use enthusiasm as the tinder and kindling needed to fuel success. For as Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." 

Teamwork, flexibility and enthusiasm will be even more important in the months ahead as the Wing continues to tackle an array of BRAC-driven initiatives.
As Col. John McDonald points out, "It's BRAC with a big R. We're realigning, not closing."
The end result will be the inactivation of the 43rd AW and the stand-up of the 43rd Airlift Group. 

We recently took another big step towards realignment when the 43rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron transitioned from the 43rd Maintenance Group to the 43rd Operations Group. 

While we don't have an exact date for the inactivation of the 43rd AW, we know it must occur by September 2011. 

Many more changes will be coming our way in the next 12 to 24 months, including the transformation of the Medical Group into a Medical Squadron and the critical task of transferring support functions and facilities to the Army. 

We will also be downsizing and inactivating squadrons, and crafting the comprehensive support agreements required to codify Pope Army Airfield's new operating relationships.
It's safe to assume all that change will be accompanied by a good measure of uncertainty. More than ever, we'll all need to take measure of what "got us to the dance": teamwork, flexibility and enthusiasm. 

It's an incredibly exciting and challenging time to be a part of the 43rd AW and Team Pope as a whole. 

As I begin my new duties as the 43rd AW Vice Commander, I've got to say how proud I am to be part of your team. 

I look forward to the opportunity to serve with you in the days ahead. Keep charging!