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Our mission is about trust

Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Brinkley, 19th Airlift Wing command chief

Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Brinkley, 19th Airlift Wing command chief

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- As I flew to Colorado Springs, Colo., the other day on my way to witness our base participate in the Air Mobility Command Airlift RODEO 2009 challenge, the concept of trust began to play out in my mind. Col. Greg Otey, 19th Airlift Wing commander, was piloting the aircraft that 35 of us were on and each one of us trusted him with our lives. 

Our nation goes about its business daily with a similar trust that our military will maintain our way of life for every citizen. The foundation for each unit in our organization is knowing the person next to you has taken their responsibilities and training seriously. In combat, trust is the lifeblood of a unit because no one has the luxury to second-guess their abilities or anyone on our team. If this trust is violated, then lives can be lost and the mission compromised. 

We establish and maintain trust through our Air Force core values and training on technical aspects of our mission. Whether it's delivering vital supplies to unclog choke points during combat operations or providing humanitarian airlift, those on the receiving end of our mission are trusting us to be at the right place at the right time. No unit can expect to maximize their abilities if trust in leadership, resources and opportunities aren't fully developed. 

As we continue to meet current and emerging missions, trust in our training and leadership will continue to be the glue that keeps our team together. As Colonel Otey landed the C-130, I was glad he took his training and core values seriously. All of us on the aircraft trusted him and the other crew members were totally focused on the task at hand. 

My challenge to each of you is to focus on what you are responsible for and honor the trust given to you by our nation by being the most polished professional possible. 

Combat Airlift!