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Airmen, families critical to Wing success

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam - -- Since I arrived at Andersen Air Force Base last June, I have witnessed the transformation of this Wing in remarkable ways. I have seen Airmen and their families rise to the task again and again as we ensure our ability to provide stability and security in the Asia-Pacific Region.

My foremost task at the 36th Wing is to guarantee a force that is fit to fight: each Airman fully qualified and confident in the role they play in our mission; each family member secure in the knowledge that their loved one has been given the tools they need to succeed.

In the months I have spent here, I have come to expect nothing but the best from each member of Team Andersen. We have faced challenges with fortitude and dedication, never accepting failure as an option. We must continue to strive for more, perfecting our skills and preparing to tackle whatever comes our way.

In the upcoming months, we will conduct a series of training events providing the 36th Wing the opportunity to do just that. Specifically, we will participate in a week-long operational readiness exercise starting Feb. 28, 2011.

During this time, the knowledge of Airmen and family members alike will be put to the test. These training opportunities will allow us to evaluate the health of our entire team in a variety of scenarios, helping us to streamline our processes and fortify our defenses.

Family members will be expected to react appropriately to alarm signals, giant voice messages, and natural disaster conditions. Members of Team Andersen may experience delays during this time. I thank you, in advance, for your patience and understanding. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect, and we practice so that in the event of a real-world situation, we can save lives. Knowing what to do ahead of time can be the most effective defense in a time of emergency.

So it is with great appreciation and sincerity that I request your support and cooperation in the coming months. A team is only as strong as its weakest member. It is my belief that we can all be strong.

The responsibility of safeguarding our nation may fall on the shoulders of men and women in uniform, but each member of the Team Andersen family has the opportunity to better equip themselves, and each other, to support and defend.