Are you prepared?

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Joseph Thompson
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing superintendent, exercise and evaluations
I remember as a scout our motto was "Be prepared." What did this actually mean to a young man 12 or 13 years old? Prepared for what?

As I grew older I learned we must be prepared for life's challenges. That could be mean many different things from repairing a flat tire or taking a test, to preparing for life after school. In the military, we are faced with being prepared for much more. Are we ready to deploy at moments notice? Are we prepared to survive after a chemical attack? What actions would you take during a natural disaster like a tornado or hurricane? Do you know what actions to take in the event of a fire? Are you ready, willing, and able to do what's necessary in any situation that comes along?

To better prepare for a multitude of events there is no substitute for education and training. It is not every day we experience a fire, tornado or chemical attack. Being ready for the challenge begins with you. Are you mentally prepared? Are you physically fit? Are you confident in your abilities to respond to an emergency? These are important questions we all need to ask ourselves.

If you haven't heard, the wing will have an Operational Readiness Inspection in June 2008. During this inspection, we will be evaluated on our ability to react to different scenarios. To help prepare for the inspection, the wing will be challenged with a host of exercises over the next 15 months. They will include tornado drills, major accident response exercises and scenarios that test our ability to survive and operate after an attack. We need to take each of these events seriously, and use the results to improve our state of readiness. Each of us plays a key role as a war fighter.

One of our top priorities is to help the United States win the war against terrorism and ensure we are prepared for the next war. In addition, we all must prepare ourselves to be ready for tomorrow's threat or next challenge ... whatever that may be.

So I ask; are you prepared?