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Team Pope Embodies "Total Force" Concept

  • Published
  • By Col. John Gordy
  • 43rd Airlift Wing Vice Commander
Our Air Force leadership - Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Norton Schwartz - has made a point recently to stress the importance of recognizing our service's Total Force concept. 

The Total Force team includes every one of us representing the Air Force and completing its mission every day: uniform-wearing Airmen, civilians and contractors. It's a concept we as Team Pope should find easy to grasp, not only when it comes to accomplishing the mission, but when we go above and beyond with events like the Endurance Relay. Despite our manning being reduced significantly from this time last year, we stepped up during the Endurance Relay to raise more than $13,000 for the Air Force Assistance Fund. 

That effort comes not only from the hundreds of Airmen who ran or competed in the Strong Airman competition, but from the army of volunteers who started building this event in December and kept it running smooth from start to finish. In true Total Force fashion, we had several winners from our warfighting partners, to include the 440th Airlift Wing and the 14th Air Support Operations Squadron. 

Secretary Donley has also emphasized how our Air Force has developed its abilities to combine with Joint and Interagency partners to deliver our air, space and cyberspace capabilities around the world. I'm sure that prior to your assignment to Pope you may have had some difficulty comprehending the nature of our relationship with our sister services, but not a day goes by here where we don't physically impact and deliver those capabilities Secretary Donley so often references. 

We will get a great view of that starting April 24 when we kick off another Joint Forcible Entry Exercise. Pope is the only base in the Air Force with the honor of gathering the global reach of Air Mobility Command and coordinating its partnership to execute vital Army training missions, and it takes a great deal of support from everyone on base to do so. We all know that Pope is home to Green Ramp and we see plenty of deployments and re-deployments each week, but it is events like JFEX that truly define our role at the tip of the spear. 

I'd also argue that Team Pope's Total Force includes our family members and local community, not just for the sacrifices they make but for the support they provide us. These people make up a large core of our volunteer community, and on Tuesday we will honor them with our annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. RSVPs for the event are due today to our Pope Volunteer Coordinator, Denni Renteria, so give her a call at 394-2538 or email her at to come out to Woodland Park 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to show your appreciation for all the wonderful folks who do so much to make our quality of life better. 

Total Force may be a newly-minted term for our entire Air Force, but Team Pope has been embodying this concept for decades and now more than ever, and I know you will continue to fulfill the Chief's vision of seamless integration among the active-duty, Guard and Reserve components of our Air Force while executing our unique and diverse mission. Thank you for what you and your families do every day. Have a great week, continue to focus on safety, look for new opportunities to be Airmen with impact and know that your Individual Actions Matter!