Commander thanks his Airmen for being combat ready!

  • Published
  • By Col Patrick Doherty
  • 4 FW/CC
I would like to take this opportunity to personally extend a big CONGRATULATIONS to everyone in the 4th Fighter Wing for the huge victory achieved during the Phase I Operational Readiness Inspection last week. Your victory is very well deserved! My hat is off to every Airman and civilian who showed the inspectors that special caliber of a warrior with an extraordinary amount of courage, tenacity, and persistence in the face of adversity. These characteristics and traits are a trademark of this historic wing. You made us very proud! In fact, even the inspectors and the team chief noticed your positive, can-do attitudes. When the chips were down and the severe weather was punishing you, they decided to grade you on a category that is not written in the inspector's manual--it is called "having heart and perseverance," and you aced it like no other team they have seen before.

Those familiar with the inspection process and the recent focus on compliance throughout the Air Force over the last few years will tell you this was a Herculean effort. Described as the ultimate "white glove" inspection, the Phase I inspection leaves no stone unturned and no detail left unintended. That is no easy job when you are simultaneously engaged in the current fight with more than 700 Airmen and a fighter squadron deployed down range. The "come from behind" victory in the form of a satisfactory rating was truly one of the most impressive performances I've seen in my career.

With your backs against the wall because of a slow start, you fought every inch of the way to an outstanding deployment and an extraordinary regeneration at Base X with an incredibly strong finish! No other active duty fighter wing in Air Combat Command has done better in a Phase I over the last 5 years, and many have come up short. Your performance clearly met the demanding standards set by ACC and you were commended on your "compliance-oriented" maintenance culture and excellent performance in major areas of employment readiness.

We learned an incredible amount about the 4th FW team last week. In fact, we learned an enormous amount about our processes and ourselves during the last 8 months of preparation for the ORI. From my perspective, the 4th FW is an entirely different team that is light years ahead of where we were last spring. I see it in your eyes and in your steps - you are more combat ready and capable to fight. To reach our true potential, we must continue to focus our energy on improving the processes we do every day for this Nation.

During our most recent All Call, I talked to you about where our focus should be now that the inspection is complete. Historically, as we cross the finish line, we return to our comfort zone and previous habits. Now is the time to break this paradigm of just-in-time spin ups and continue moving on a positive track toward a daily, disciplined approach to life with an unwavering attention to detail, both on-duty and off-duty. We will use the experience and education gained from the ORI as a starting point to project our team forward and continue driving ourselves toward excellence, always learning and getting better. I'm counting on each of you to continue improving every facet of your game and always be ready to crush future challenges that come your way.

As the new USAF motto goes, "Aim, fight, and win!" You did all of that and more during the ORI and I am very proud to serve with each and every one of you.