Always ready

  • Published
  • By Maj. Jason Harris
  • 22nd Security Forces Squadron commander
It is an honor to command the 22nd Security Forces Squadron and be a member of Team McConnell.

I took command in July and already I am amazed with how well we have integrated a Total Force team of active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian "Defenders," all working diligently to defend the force and provide Superior Warfighter Support.

Our civilian Defenders along with Air Force Reserve component-volunteers are absolutely essential to the continuity by providing uninterrupted Superior Warfighter Support, while our Defenders continue to protect, defend and fight downrange.

As the new commander of the 22nd SFS, I want to let you know how proud my family and I are to be here serving at McConnell. I also want to share how McConnell's Defenders will continue to execute the wing's priorities. By focusing on Ready Airman and Families and Ready Base, we will lock-in Ready Mobility to provide the best possible Superior Warfighter Support.

Our new squadron motto is "Always Ready." At one of my first commanders' calls, I asked an Airman what it means to be ready. 

"To be ready means to make sure you are current in all your requirements, whether it be medical, dental, PT, EPRs, etc., so that you are ready to execute the mission whether it be home station or deployed at all times," she said.

I couldn't agree more with her statement, but how do McConnell's Airmen do it?

Ready Airman and Families
One way we ready our Airmen is by developing and caring for Airmen and their families. This is absolutely essential to providing Superior Warfighter Support since Airmen must be ready to execute the mission at all times.

There are many base agencies and services to help me develop and care for my Airmen and their families. I provide robust squadron training and fitness programs to develop Defenders both mentally and physically for home station and deployed missions -- the foundation of a ready Airmen.

At the same time we have a strong key spouse's program to help Defenders take care of one another and their families. Taking care of military families and keeping Defenders both mentally and physically ready will allow them to focus on the mission at hand, providing Superior Warfighter Support.

Ready Base
The members of the 22nd SFS, along with all McConnell Airmen, provide a large amount of support for Air Force global missions by keeping weapons systems secure and available through integrated base defense.

Integrated defense of our weapons systems actually starts outside our perimeter, by gaining the trust and support of local law enforcement agencies and sharing of intelligence. At McConnell, we enforce Col. Jamie Crowhurst's, 22nd Air Refueling Wing commander, entry control standards, vet all visitors and contractors and search all large vehicles prior to allowing access onto the installation.

At McConnell, members will often see 22nd SFS Defenders enforcing traffic control laws and providing response to many different types of scenarios including more than 40 alarmed facilities.

Our Defenders, are in place as a last line of defense for those weapons systems, ensuring security and availability. These Defenders also train and equip augmentees for rapid recall during emergencies such as increased force protection conditions.
The 22nd SFS, and all McConnell Airmen, help maintain the security of our installation, controlled and restricted areas, allowing for a secure environment to launch, generate and recover our weapons systems--i.e. Superior Warfighter Support.

Ready Mobility
Ready Mobility is the why we are here. Taking care of 22nd SFS Defenders and their families, while maintaining a secure environment to generate McConnell's weapons systems, allows for execution of directed missions.

Based on the reason and circumstances surrounding the need to execute nuclear or conventional missions, it's quite possible we'll recall base augmentees that are trained and ready to help protect, defend and fight ensuring successful execution of the mission -- i.e. providing Superior Warfighter Support.

So how do your Airmen support the wing's priorities? The men and women of the 22nd SFS must be "Always ready!"

Thanks to Capt. Kelli Green for her assistance in writing this article.