Andersen: One Team

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. David Duncan, 36th Operations Group Superintendant
  • 36th Operations Group

Team - my favorite word! As I sit here and contemplate what little nugget of wisdom this chief can share with Team Andersen, I can't help but think of the pride I have for being part of this great team. My fellow members of the Total Force understand there is so much more to our Air Force than just flying planes. Don't get me wrong, the end result of much of our daily toil is to Fly, Fight and Win-- that is certain. But I wonder if today's military members, civilians or contractors really understand or value their part of the mission?

Andersen, like many other bases, has a "Sortie Board," depicting the number of sorties the local flying units have amassed over the past month or quarter. As many people drive by these boards, they might say to themselves, "Well look, that unit has 30 sorties, good for them." It is good for them, but it is also good for us. Since joining the Operations Group in June, it has quickly become evident to me how many people are involved in getting just one plane off the ground. The problem is, many of us don't realize we are just as valuable a member of the team as the aircrews that fly the missions. Projecting our team spirit is where Andersen really shines.

The members of your mighty Mission Support Group are tasked to maintain base operating support functions to include Force Support, Logistics Readiness, Security Forces, Civil Engineers, Contracting and Communications. As with any strong bridge, if the support is weak, the bridge will fail. Let us not forget the great professionals from your Maintenance Group who are tasked with keeping the fleet ready at all times. Local sortie rates indicate the members of the Maintenance Squadron, Munitions Squadron and Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron are maintaining our fleet in record-breaking ways. The diverse mission sets of the Wing Staff Agencies and how they orchestrate their pieces of the puzzle into an amazing team to support everything we do is truly awe inspiring.

Next time you are walking the halls of your Medical Group, consider the many different ways these teammates contribute to the total success of our mission by keeping all of us ready to fight-- it is really quite humbling. The medical professionals on base perform many vital, yet behind-the-scenes activities to ensure the health of the force. Speaking of behind-the-scenes, have you had the chance to visit and tour Northwest Field to see what your Contingency Response Group brings to the fight? They train hard to keep themselves ready to be Pacific Air Forces 911 force. Their team of professionals encompasses just about every air force specialty code the Air Force has to offer, and they are vectored and ready to move out. In fact, many Horsemen of the 554 REDHORSE Squadron are doing just that-- downrange-- as you read this.

I'm pretty sure I would get beat up if I didn't mention the hard working team of your Operations Group. Many people think of aircrews when they think of operations. They are important, they are the brave men and women who go out and do things many people couldn't even fathom, but they would be sitting on the ground if it weren't for the rest of the OG team doing their thing. From Airfield Managers to (everyone's favorite team) the Weather desk, to the Air Traffic Controllers, Records Managers and Aircrew Flight Equipment, every single player on Team OG's bench is just as valuable as the next and nothing flies if they don't show up to work.

Andersen is very unique in that we have a large deployed population. First, you notice the tanker fleet that rotates out constantly from the various Air National Guard units in the states. Many of these dedicated teammates take time out of their civilian lives to come and help us get our mission accomplished. Once they hit the ground, they begin dragging jets all over the Pacific-- very impressive work. Of course, our deployed members supporting the Expeditionary Bomber Squadrons and the Expeditionary Fighter Squadrons are truly members of Team Andersen. It amazes me to see how quickly these professionals arrive, assimilate and begin producing Air Power. They know they have work to do and they don't screw around getting to it.

Please don't fail to consider the many tenant units we share our base with. Opposite corners of our airfield are occupied by two of the busiest units on base. Our brothers and sisters in arms over at the Navy's HSC-25 have a very diverse mission and are a key part of the success of Team Andersen. Who wouldn't be proud to be a member of the Air Mobility Squadron? Very seldom can one look and see an empty ramp at the top of the hill, that's because these members of our team push hard every single day to keep the passengers and cargo headed in the right direction. Have you had the opportunity to see the Global Hawk fly yet? That's right-- Team Andersen supports that mission too. Many of you might not know we also have space operations attached to Andersen. Don't forget our battle buddies from the Army or the devil dogs from the Marines who often visit and share our base and airfield. What about our Department of Defense Education Activity schools and our partners at the Army and Air Force Exchange Services and the Defense Commissary Agency?They too, help take care of our families so we can concentrate on projecting Pacific Air Power daily. To our partners from all of the tenant units and detachments-- we understand you serve two masters here at Andersen, and I want to thank you all for being a part of our team.

Perhaps the most valuable members of Team Andersen are our families. We ask so much of them all the time. They don't always understand the things we have to do, but they are always there supporting us and making us as good as we are. I hope each of you takes the time often to thank your families (whether here on Guam or elsewhere) for all the loving support they provide to us.

So next time you drive past the Sortie Board, take pride in knowing those numbers on that board belong to each and every one of us at Andersen Air Force Base and the many valuable members of Team Andersen. In the end, this board is not a reflection of what the flying units do; rather it is a reflection of what we all accomplish on a daily basis to employ, deploy, integrate and enable air and space forces from the most forward U.S. sovereign Air Force Base in the Pacific. We should all take a ton of pride in knowing we are on a winning team - I know I do!