22 FSS: Excellence starts here

  • Published
  • By Maj Colin R. Huckins
  • 22nd Force Support Squadron Commander
Can you smell what the FSS is cooking!? It's not only the delicious beef and peppers Airman 1st Class Michael Mozingo, 22nd Force Support Squadron foodservice apprentice, prepares at the Dining Facility or Deb's famous turkey melt. It's a delicious smorgasbord of programs, helping agencies, activities, vacations, entertainment, education and support in general served up by a team dedicated to the squadron mantra, "Excellence Starts Here."

One look around the squadron and you'll see energetic, friendly faces ready to meet any need. This squadron is constantly moving forward, improving service to customers from the newest airman entering our First Term Airmen Center program to those getting ready to retire and continuing after their service is complete.

With mergers, transformation and consolidation, the squadron has arguably become one of the most diverse squadrons at McConnell Air Force Base. Comprised of more than 300 civilian and military warriors in five flights and operating 27 different activities, the squadron is involved in almost every facet of the wing's mission. Even with such complexity, it's easy to narrow the squadron's focus to just one word: people.

Every member of the 22nd FSS is committed to that purpose: taking care of people. Whether it be to Airmen themselves or their families, ensuring their Ready Mobility, or taking care of our more than 30 facilities to ensure Ready Base, it's easy to see how every member fits into these priorities with people at the center of each.

I once heard former Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. John Jumper talk about what makes us the most powerful Air Force in the world. He said it's not our technology or our facilities that make us the best, but our people and, specifically, our enlisted force and their families.

The FSS is proud to have such a large part in taking care of people, because no other mission gets done without prepared and ready Airmen.

Ready Mobility is at the core of what we do. While we don't generate aircraft directly, we make sure those who fix, fly and support them are able to do so. The physical nourishment of the wing's Airmen through our eating establishments is the easiest adage. The committed Chisholm Trail Dining Facility team not only prepares meals for service at the DFAC, but they also make ground and flight meals daily to keep flight line operations running around the clock.

Equally important are preparation for deployments and reintegration. Since July 2009, McConnell has filled more than 1,200 deployment taskings. Teaming with our 22nd Logistics Readiness Squadron partners, the 22nd FSS installation personnel readiness shop ensures every tasked Airman meets all the requirements for the deployment before publishing orders for each. This task is a key component that guarantees McConnell Airmen sent to downrange commanders are prepared to take the fight to the enemy as soon as their boots hit the ground.

Equally comfortable in Ready Mobility or Ready Airmen is fitness. Not only does it help us mentally cope with deployments, the physical demands placed on our bodies in austere environments requires us to be fit and always ready for what may come. The Fitness Center is a team totally at your disposal to aid in workout programs, personal training, and guarantee world-class equipment and facilities to keep our warriors combat ready.

Key to every warrior's ability to focus on the demanding mission at hand is the knowledge their career is being cared for and our families are supported and cared about when we're gone. The manpower and personnel flight has the stick on taking care of careers, both military and civilian, and goes at great length to assist dependents in their absence with ID cards, permanent change of station preparation, or whatever the need.

The Airman and Family Readiness Center is also a focal point for such wing resources. They manage numerous programs like the newcomer's/sponsorship programs that welcome new personnel to Team McConnell, the key spouse program that ensures family readiness and connects families to their units and leadership, personal financial management counseling that provides individual counseling from basic budgeting to retirement planning.

The children of our warriors are also provided the very best care available through our Child Development Center, School Age Program, and Youth Center activities. The 22nd FSS Airmen that run these operations go through rigorous inspections and accreditations to guarantee our children receive the care they deserve. Working hand-in-hand with these activities are our Military Family Life Consultants who offer anonymous, free counseling to adults and children.

If you're looking for something to do and a way to get engaged with the McConnell community, there's no better place to start than the 22nd FSS. If you want paintball, we've got it, if you want to take college classes, we've got 'em, if you need to reenlist, we can take care of it at the MPS, if you're dog has fleas, we've even got a vet clinic.

The greatest thing about all of these services is by supporting them our community is supporting itself. The more we use our programs, the more we can expand our services and offer even more to our community.

In order to keep the level of excellence in our programs and support, making Ready Base is essential to our success. Thanks to the great support we get from our other 22nd Mission Support Group partners, our activities continue to take it to the next level.