Leaving "The Rock" better than we found it

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- In my 25 years of active-duty service to our nation, I've had the privilege to serve alongside some of our most influential Airmen and leaders. I've had the opportunity to experience Air Force missions throughout the continental United States as well as several continents and countries. 

What I have come to realize is one very important theme -- pride in ownership and leaving something better than you found it is what makes us the best at what we do. 

We have an awesome responsibility as public servants to preserve and enhance those areas and mission sets entrusted to us by the American people. Our nation has been at war since 1990, and in today's climate of fiscal constraint, we must continue to do our part in maintaining our facilities, aircraft and weapons systems so that we can continue to react with the lethality needed to achieve victory. We must also be ready to carry out humanitarian missions for those who don't have the means to help themselves. 

Our Air Force Core Value of Excellence in All We Do provides the motivation to aggressively implement policies to ensure the best possible cradle-to-grave management of resources. You can't walk 100 feet on Little Rock Air Force Base without seeing an improvement to a facility, infrastructure or aircraft. Each example is a testament to our Airmen and their commitment to excellence. 

I had the privilege last week to watch our contracting and comptroller teams work end of year closeout. They completed a truly arduous and amazing task when I think about all that is involved in improving the quality of life, infrastructure and mission readiness for our base. Many of you had a hand in making this year a successful one in the preservation of material resource excellence. I didn't see residual funds being used to purchase "nice-to-have" items. Instead, I saw investments that will enable our Air Force and Combat Airlift for years to come. 

There's still much work to be done, but I am confident that the professionals of Team Little Rock will continue to take pride in ownership while we are here to ensure we leave "The Rock" better than we found it.