Sharing responsibility as a Wing
By Lt. Col. William Cannon, 45 SFS Commander
/ Published July 17, 2009
Patrick AFB, Fla. -- It certainly comes as no news to anyone that the Inspector General will be visiting Patrick AFB in the near future. With that in mind, the wing is currently in a sprint to ensure we put our best foot forward during the upcoming inspection. An essential portion of that preparation involves exercises. These recent base-wide exercises have undoubtedly affected many of you. They will continue to frequently occur because they are essential in guaranteeing response forces such as Security Forces, Fire Department and Explosive Ordinance Disposal personnel have adequate opportunities to hone critical skill sets.
Unfortunately, many people develop an attitude of indifference towards these exercises and lament them as nothing more than a hassle in their already demanding day. There is no question that at times, these exercises can be burdensome. However, the wing as a whole must strive to approach them with a positive mind-set. As part of this, individuals must be willing to act as team players. This requires participation from not only the response forces on scene, but from the base populace as a whole.
Each of you plays a vital role in ensuring a satisfactory and safe outcome during real world events, inspection scenarios, and exercise situations. The familiar adage is that ³every Airmen is a sensor², and that could not be more true. Everyone must remain vigilant and aware of his or her surroundings, and the exercises directed from the wing help us to sharpen our senses.
Should you see a suspicious package or an individual engaging in questionable conduct, rather than nonchalantly thinking it is just an exercise and security forces will handle it, you need to take responsibility.
The training the wing is conducting will not reap benefits unless everyone approaches it with the correct mentality. Personnel should treat these scenarios much the same way they would real-world events. We all have a day-to-day responsibility to alert competent authorities of behavior outside the norm, and this holds true during exercises.
In addition to acting as a sensor, some of you may be required to play a role in blocking traffic or maintaining a cordon. Should an SF member pull your identification card and instruct you to assist, you are accountable to perform those duties to the best of your ability.
Teamwork and a positive demeanor will go a long way towards the success of this wing.