Putting the “combat” in Combat Airlift

Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. -- We're wrapping up another phenomenal ROCKEX this week. Once again, I am extremely proud of your performance. We still have areas we can improve on before the next ORI, but with each exercise, we're demonstrating our abilities and showing great improvements.

Exercises aren't fun. We have all been through them, and they can be uncomfortable and tiring. But they're vital. I believe it is always important to practice harder than you play. To this note, we aim to throw more scenarios at you during an exercise than you should ever see while you're in a contingency environment.

If you enter a situation prepared for every conceivable scenario, you're ready for anything. We practice our golf games to make them better. We spend time in the batting cages to become better baseball players. Anyone who has children has heard the alphabet sung to infinity in their homes as their little ones practice - again and again - to become proficient. Preparing for war takes just as much practice as any of the hobbies we enjoy.

I think it safe to say that no one in our armed forces relishes the thought of going to war. But the reality is we are a nation currently fighting a war on more than one front. Winning the Global War on Terrorism begins at home, with the right people, training and equipment. As your commander, it is my sworn duty to protect you. The best way for me to do this is to ensure that each and every one of you is prepared to do your duty and defend your nation.

I feel a strong sense of pride across this base every day. I am proud to call you my fellow Airmen. You truly put the "combat" in Combat Airlift!