• Published
  • By Col. Mark White
  • 22nd Mission Support Group commander
In 1984, when I arrived for my first assignment at Hanscom, Mass., the very first question I was asked was "sir, are you on mobility?" I had no idea what that meant. Later, I learned that being on mobility meant I had to keep a duffle bag full of uniforms, underwear, toothpaste and shaving cream in my closet to be ready to mobilize to Korea in case the Cold War ever turned into a real shooting war. Little did I know, 24 years later I'd still be on mobility.

Today we call it readiness. Two weeks ago, I was privileged to mobilize with members of this wing as well as McConnell's Guard and Reserve partners to test our readiness. Our deployment to Volk Field, Wis. was a great event and proved that those of us who mobilized were ready to fight in a traditional cold war scenario. Only a few hundred Airmen from the 22 ARW went to Volk Field. My question to those that did not go is: are you ready?

If called on to mobilize, are you physically and medically ready to wear 50 pounds of chemical ensemble and individual protective equipment day after day? Can you reach the highest mission oriented protective posture in less than two minutes? Are you ready, qualified and trained to risk your life defending your work center or the base? Do you feel confident you could continue operating your mission in a contaminated environment? All these skills were tested at Volk Field, but not everyone in our wing will go through this preparation.

Not all of us are preparing for the Operational Readiness Inspection in June, but we all need to be ready to perform these wartime skills. Whether it's updating our shot records, qualifying on our primary weapon or getting into better shape physically, we all have the obligation to be ready to deploy when and wherever we're called on. Now I know what it truly means to be on mobility. It means I'm ready to fight when my nation calls. I hope you're ready because if you're in the Air Force you're always on mobility.