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Challenge, innovation, leadership

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- These are challenging times for the U.S. Air Force and the United States. The mission is more difficult than ever, the Air Force is getting smaller, and we have fewer resources than any time in recent memory.  As Airmen, our response should be step up and lead in the same way Americans have been doing for over 200 years. 

In times like this, Americans turn to our strengths: innovation, ingenuity, and freedom. Now is no different.

Take a look at some historical examples starting with the birth of our country. In tough times our forefathers produced an experiment in democracy that is now the greatest country in the world.

In the 1930s, the United States was depressed and externally threatened but by the end of the 1940s we had transformed into the greatest superpower in history. During the Cold War, Nikita Khrushchev claimed the Soviet Union would bury the U.S. but we won the Cold War and the Space Race.

Even look at the military downsizing of the 1990s and then the subsequent response to 9/11 and it is obvious the United States produces greatness when challenged. 

What can Airmen do to meet our newest challenge? 

First, focus on the mission. The mission is our core and its accomplishment is the foundation of good morale.

Second, take stock of the resources we have. We may not have everything we want but we have enough to get the mission done. Rockets are launching, satellites are transmitting, planes are flying, targets are hit, and battles are won.

Third, work on tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). The best TTPs are devolved at the lowest level and a practiced and proven TTP can defeat superior firepower and technology.

Fourth, innovate. Our leadership's message is clear we need to fly, fight, and win...in air, space, and cyberspace. That is done through innovation, ingenuity, and the freedom to try, fail, and succeed.

Even though these are challenging times, at the end of the day we should be excited by the challenge handed to us. All we have to do is step up and lead.