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People are our No. 1 priority

  • Published
  • By Col. Timothy Zadalis
  • 43rd Airlift Wing Commander
Our Air Force is undergoing a significant transition under Program Budget Decision 720. This transition will require us to eliminate waste and improve the efficiency of our programs.

Through this process, we have to take care of our people in order to continue to provide the world's best combat airlift.

To take care of your people, you owe them four things. You owe them knowledge of the mission and what you expect them to do. You have to sit down with your Airmen and let them know exactly how they contribute to our wing being America's first call for combat airlift.

As supervisors and commanders, you must sit down with them and let them know what your expectations are. And, provide honest and sincere feedback so they can meet and exceed those expectations.

You owe them the right tools to train in the mission. Give your people everything they need to complete the mission. If there is something they need, fight for the equipment, resources and training so they can succeed.

You owe them the time to do the training. Even if it is not the convenient thing to do, or creates more work for others. In the end, you will contribute to our mission.

And finally you have to take care of their families, because when they are called upon to do it, they have to know their loved ones are well cared for back home.

If you achieve all four of those things, as far as I'm concerned, you better get out of the way because your people are going to accomplish the mission better than you could have imagined.

A lot of commanders try to say mission first, people always. I've never understood why people aren't first. As long as you give them those four basic things, they will have everything they need to excel and will make us all proud.

I want to thank Col. Warren Henderson for his outstanding contribution to Pope Air Force Base, the men and women of the 23rd Fighter Group and to our nation.

I would like to extend a warm welcome to Col. Hank Santicola, the new 23rd Fighter Group commander, and his wife Susan, to Team Pope.

Lastly, I would like to thank the Pope Special Activities Committee for their unwavering support of the men and women of Team Pope, because they truly are making a difference in the lives of our Airmen.

The PSAC Golf Tournament is today, so I encourage you to come out and support this event.