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With all we do, don’t forget ‘Family Readiness’

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Right now, we have have the potential to have, starting with tonight, three launches in the next eight days. To say we're "busy" would be the understatement of the year.

I know how hard you have been working to make these happen, then re-configure the range and make it happen again. And again. And safely.

This kind of work doesn't happen by accident. You can do this because you are trained and prepared to do the job.

Many of you will also be participating in a realistic, week-long training exercise at Malabar most of next week. You will be tested both physically and mentally. We do this to get you in a high state of readiness. Being confident - and trained - in your warfighter capabilities is a great force multiplier. Nothing takes the place of being prepared.

And now I have another question for you to consider. How is your "family readiness plan" coming along? If you were to get the call to deploy, would they know where to turn for help? Would they be prepared?

I firmly believe it is just as important for family members to be as ready, prepared and informed for a deployment as any Airman, whether it is for training or an actual real-world assignment.

In addition to all the actions an Airman must take to ensure their "family readiness plan" is on the right track, like wills, powers of attorney, home and vehicle maintenance and bill paying, probably the most important thing they can do is provide their families with accurate information. Do not allow them to rely on speculation, guesses or passed-around-the-unit whispers from the rumor mill.

If they have questions or concerns, get them answered and taken care of properly. Don't leave any loose ends lying around, they will be sure to trip someone up.

And make sure they know they are not alone. They are members of the Air Force Family, and we will always be there for them. We have many outstanding agencies standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week ready to step in and help. Tell them to use us. We like the work.

So please, take some time and make sure things are squared away on the home front. You won't be sorry, and neither will your family members. I don't want to hear you are "too busy" to take care of them. Because we all know there's no substitute for being prepared.

Thanks again for all you do.