UCI and LCAP: It's game time!

Col. Greg Otey, 19th Airlift Wing commander

Col. Greg Otey, 19th Airlift Wing commander

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- Black Knights, it's game time and we are playoff and Super Bowl ready! The inspection team from Air Mobility Command begins arriving this weekend to give us a Unit Compliance Inspection and Logistics Compliance Assessment Program.

You've spent months scouring checklists and reviewing processes, tightening up an already well-run wing capable of delivering Combat Airlift anywhere in the world, and your efforts haven't gone unnoticed.

I know, at times, it's been trying and perhaps even maddening, but you've pushed through it like the professional, competent Airmen you are. I've never been prouder than I am right now, because I know that once the UCI and LCAP are over, the inspectors are going to have a new appreciation for what the Black Knights bring to the fight.

Our mission is to deliver C-130 Combat Airlift. We're doing that, and we have a long, proven record of it. Just look at our operations in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Look at our long-term presence at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. You surged forward to extend a humanitarian hand to the people of Haiti after that country's devastating earthquake earlier this year. All while continuing to support war fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I'm confident when I say that we're the best C-130 airlift wing in the world. The reason I'm so confident is because of you and what you do on a daily basis to produce C-130 Combat Airlift--and we've got a trophy from the 2009 Air Mobility Command Rodeo that says so. We've also got some of the best maintenance personnel in the Air Force. We're picking up an award next week at the Pentagon that says the men and women of the 19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron are the best in the Air Force at what they do.

You see, you're already doing what you need to do. You're proving it on a daily basis. These inspections are going to validate how well we dot the "i's" and cross the "t's" and are in compliance with laws and directives. Undoubtedly, we will learn some lessons. It's difficult to do 100 percent of the job all the time when roughly 15 percent of our wing is deployed at any given time. But these are different times, and leaders find ways to adapt and overcome.

We've also got the best community support around the command. Our base's community council, which represents eight Central Arkansas cities, won the coveted Abilene Trophy. That doesn't happen overnight. This base has had a long, sustained level of support, but it's not just one way. They show their support because you are involved in your local communities, coaching ball teams, volunteering for community service projects and generally being good neighbors. It's your one-on-one interaction outside the fence that makes the difference.

It's also going to be your one-on-one interaction with inspectors that proves and shows your excellence. Pump your chests out, stand tall, and show them why we're the best C-130 airlift wing in the world. I am very proud to be your commander. BK 01 - Combat Airlift!