It Could Happen Tomorrow, Are You Ready?

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. David Duhadway
  • 349th Air Refueling Squadron commander
December 6, 1941, the day before the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor, was probably an average Saturday night across the United States.

There were certainly rumors of trouble elsewhere in the world, but back at home, we didn't think too much about those problems overseas.

September 10, 2001 was much the same, with Middle Eastern "hot spots" in the press, occasionally, but thoughts of domestic terrorism far from the minds of people living and working in New York City, or serving at the Pentagon. We all know how those two "tomorrows" turned out, and on both days, many were unprepared to deal with the attack on our homeland, and the protracted wars that followed.

Although the Global War on Terrorism is certainly still in progress, it's tempting to think that another surprise attack on American soil will not happen. Nevertheless, it's very likely that someday, somewhere, we will be attacked again, and Airmen will be called on to respond. So, how can we prepare for such an event? The answer lies in our commitment to readiness and the personal preparedness of every Airman.

Next year, Team McConnell will be evaluated during many upcoming inspections, all primarily focused on readiness. We will test our ability to quickly recall our people, prepare them and deploy them forward as quickly as possible. We will hone and display our skills at opening a new airbase in a hostile environment. We will prove we can survive and operate in any condition, and under any sort of threat. We had to do all these same things during World War II, as well as during the aftermath of Sept. 11, establishing footholds for air power in foreign lands. The end result of these efforts was providing American air power capability anywhere in the world in minimum time.

So what can you do to be ready for that inevitable tomorrow? You need to be physically prepared, through your commitment to fitness and good dietary habits. You need to be mentally prepared, knowing your job inside and out and committing to advanced educational opportunities. And, you need to be spiritually prepared, through self-examination and contemplation, along with honest discussions at home about what it means to be an American Airman. These practical steps, combined with a positive attitude, a proactive mindset and a professional approach to everything you do, will enable you to be ready for anything tomorrow may bring