Teamwork: the heart of air refueling

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Stan Lawrie
  • 384th Air Refueling Squadron
Congratulations, Team McConnell, on your selection as Air Mobility Command's winner and one of two Air Force finalists in the Installation Excellence Award for 2012!

This amazing accomplishment speaks volumes of the pride, partnership and Teamwork which are the hallmark of McConnell and our surrounding communities. What really makes the men and women of McConnell remarkable is your ability to stand shoulder to shoulder and unite for a common purpose. Your desire to be a part of something bigger than yourselves is a testament to your dedication in pursuit of excellence! Working together for a common purpose is the essence of teamwork, and a critical foundation for setting and achieving goals. Attitude is everything!

As an air refueling squadron commander, I am familiar with seeing excellence in action. As the only super-tanker wing, our collective ability to provide fuel to the fight is essential to executing our nation's objectives through the projection of air power. The 384th Air Refueling Squadron is one of five total force squadrons stationed at McConnell. In fact, the refueling assets at McConnell make up the largest Air Refueling Wing in the world. Our ability to provide global reach, global power, and global vigilance through aerial refueling, are critical to accomplishing Air Mobility Command's objectives of providing global mobility with right effects, at the right place and right time.

The effect we provide is manifested in several ways. Whether it is the life saved through aero-medical evacuation, the close air support of troops on the ground in Afghanistan, the extended surveillance time of a reconnaissance aircraft, or the remote village resupplied by airdrop; the men and women providing aerial refueling are truly making a difference.

However, when the last pound of fuel has been passed, and the receiver aircraft drops from view of the boom operator, it will not be just the crew, but the team of professionals who have worked tirelessly at their niche responsibilities who will have accomplished a tremendous feat.

Without cooks in the dining facility, the crew would not have the nourishment to complete the mission. Without medical technicians protecting the human weapon system, we would not be healthy enough to venture into foreign lands. Without crew chiefs ensuring the air worthiness of an aging fleet, we would not have the ability to meet our receivers. And without finance experts, we would not be able to settle our debts.

The heroes behind the scenes have always been the joining threads that have enabled the success of men and women on the front line. Gen. George C. Marshall once said, "There is no limit to the good you can do if you don't care who gets the credit."

The entire tanker mission is one of support. Our ability to work together as Team McConnell provides the synergy that makes the 22nd Air Refueling Wing a major player in military operations that span the globe. McConnell's winning attitude is remarkable, for after all... Attitude is EVERYTHING!