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We’re All Personnelists at Heart

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

As Team Little Rock (TLR) welcomes 2018 with ambition, open arms and a fair amount of uncertainty, it is incumbent upon Commanders to stress the importance of putting “first things first” and effectively communicating our priorities as we brace for what 2018 has to offer. In the spirit of empowerment and transparency, as well as in an effort to revitalize our Air Force at the squadron level, TLR’s senior leaders have provided commanders decision making autonomy allowing us to deliberately make daily choices to better the lives of our Airmen and complete our mission: to Project and Sustain Agile Combat Airlift. We are empowered and expected to assess and take action to further the 19th Airlift Wing priorities and lines of effort. One of the 19th Airlift Wing’s priorities is Taking Care of Airmen, and this priority is one that, as the Force Support Squadron Commander, I take to heart.

Living in the customer service world, my squadron leadership team spends numerous hours focusing on our #1 priority—the men and women of Little Rock Air Force Base.  Fence line to fence line and cradle to grave, the FSS provides full spectrum support to military and civilian families through a variety of supporting facilities and programs.  While we hang our hat on taking care of Airmen day-in and out at our sustainment operations (i.e. our Hercules Dining Facility, Razorback Inn and the Fitness Center), we literally make our money by establishing relationships with Team Little Rock members throughout our Non-Appropriated Facilities such as Hangar 1080, Skills Center and our Outdoor Recreation.  By equipping Airmen and civilians with resiliency and family support, we strengthen our Airmen’s lethality when time comes to project agile combat airlift. 

As our Chief of Staff Gen David Goldfein has sought to empower squadrons and stress the importance of full spectrum readiness and training across the enterprise, it is our responsibility as leaders at each level to empower our unit members and to embolden a “back to the basics” culture focusing on readiness and training.  Subsequently, as our Airmen become continuously more proficient in the technical aspect of their job, they will be better able to execute commander’s intent at their respective level without having to ask for permission—thereby seeking proactive leadership and enacting the wing, MAJCOM, and AF level mission, vision, and priorities without  a second thought.  More importantly, by buying into our culture of taking care of Airmen, we will have embraced the spirit of true teamwork by virtue of building strong relationships not only within the Force Support Squadron, but across the base.

In our efforts to revitalize the squadron, the 19th FSS is beginning a series of transparent “traveling road shows” specifically geared-towards providing Team Little Rock units and organizations in-depth military and civilian personnelist knowledge spanning from cradle to grave.  We’ll educate commanders how to utilize personnelist databases such as myPers/BLSDM/MilPDS as well as educate units on how to become more lean and efficient through continuous process improvement.  Our marketing department will continue developing demographic-specific surveys so we can continue to learn more about our TLR family in hopes of becoming more effective as we transform and update aging facilities, such as the Bowling Center & Club, into places that allow us to strengthen the social pillar within the Comprehensive Airman Fitness Framework. .  Furthermore, we are extremely excited to break ground next fall with a brand-new 250 room and $55 million lodging facility adjacent to the Walter’s Community Support Center, allowing us to share what it means to be a member of Team Little Rock with visitors and newcomers.  Last and certainly not least, FSS is working to take $108K in Recharge for Resiliency (R4R) funding and increase programming for Airmen and their families, just in time for the summer!

While we are doing great things here at the FSS, at the end of the day, regardless of the uniform and proximity to the flight line or the capacity in which we project and sustain agile combat airlift, as Airmen and leaders, we are all inherently personnelists. We are charged with being responsible for taking care of the best our nation has to offer, America’s sons and daughters, both in and out of harm’s way, and I cannot be prouder of how our Airmen, at all levels of leadership, have taken this to heart and taken care of our Team Little Rock family.  So from our FSS family to yours, we are extremely excited to welcome 2018 and look forward to seeing each of you out and about, participating at one of our many upcoming events!