Practice makes perfect

  • Published
  • By Maj. John Hancock
  • 384th Air Refeuling Wing
"I guarantee that a nuclear weapon will be exploded on the territory of the US in the next 10 years if more is not done to prevent it," said Gen. Charles Horner, former U.S. Commander of Allied Forces, Gulf War.

"There are still thousands of warheads loaded on operational systems and standing on high states of alert on virtually hair-trigger posture. And, you have to ask yourself: Why is that? Who is the enemy? What is the threat?" said Gen. Lee Butler, former commander in chief, U.S. Strategic Air Command, 1991-1992.

These quotes bring up a scary thought. Since the end of the Cold War, our focus has not been centered on the possible threat of nuclear annihilation. Before 9/11, most people thought an attack on our soil was very unlikely. However, the threat of nuclear war is not as distant as some might think. This is why the United States Air Force is constantly training and preparing for any type of contingency.

The Air Force continues to prepare for the worst. We use exercises and inspections to test ourselves and make sure we are prepared and capable of accomplishing the mission if we are called to do so. Here at McConnell, we constantly challenge ourselves with exercises and training in preparation for our upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection occurring in June. These exercises not only help us to prepare for the ORI, but also to make sure our folks are honing their processes and skills for real-world contingencies.

The ORI is designed to validate how effectively, efficiently and safely the 22nd Air Refueling Wing executes its assigned wartime and contingency missions, as well as how it complies with laws, instructions and regulations. The amount of effort we expect our folks to put forth is tremendous, but hard work results in better outcomes. The preparation we do, creates the excellence we need to remain the number one Air Force in the world. Our folks are doing a great job getting ready for the upcoming ORI, but we have a long way to go and a lot more work ahead of us. That is why from now until June, we will be practicing our skills in preparations for the upcoming inspection.