It's game time!

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Scott Thatcher
  • 350th Air Refueling Squadron commander
Thursday night following the Airman Leadership School graduation, I was driving home, but this was not a normal drive home for me. I had a feeling of nervousness, excitement, anticipation, and pride. Why was I feeling this way?

I felt this way because the next day was the kick-off for Operations Readiness Exercise 11-01. This is our first big step toward the Operational Readiness Inspection scheduled for October.

By the time you are reading this, ORE 11-01 is in the history books. Hopefully, it is well documented for all to learn and apply in the days, weeks and months ahead.

For those of you that got to participate, I hope you got a good feel for the magnitude of the entire operation. Team McConnell and the Air Force dedicate a lot of time and money to exercises and inspections.

Exercises and inspections are an essential part of who we are as the United States Military. First, we need to prove to ourselves that we are ready to execute the mission whenever and wherever needed. Second, we need to prove to our leaders that we have the proper resources and skills to meet the required objectives. And finally, it supports deterrence.

What makes our enemies think twice about attacking the United States, or its friends and allies, is knowing that we are capable of defending ourselves against attack and striking back.

Exercising allows us to identify the right number of people and resources for specific tasks, so that we don't apply too few people or resources in one area and too many people or resources in another. It also allows us to practice and adjust our organizational structures while practicing leadership and communication.

Throughout my career in the Air Force two quotes have resonated with me every time I go into a training exercise. The first quote is:

"On the fields of friendly strife, are sown the seeds that on other days and other fields will bear the fruits of victory." - Gen. Douglas MacArthur


"There would be no advantage gained by sewing a field of wheat if the harvest did not return more than was sewn." - Napoleon Hill

Team McConnell; it's game time!