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Get ready, stay ready — more than a mantra

By Col. Gregory Gilmour, commander | 315th Airlift Wing | June 14, 2018

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. —

We’ve all heard it a million times over. “Get ready, stay ready.” The beauty of it all is that our military exists in a global climate where it’s incumbent upon us to always be in a constant state of the latter. The Airmen to the right and left of us need it, but more importantly, our nation depends on it.

Here at the 315th Airlift Wing, we’re tasked with providing and delivering combat-ready C-17 airlift, expeditionary combat support, and aeromedical evacuation anytime, anywhere. It’s what makes us the Air Force Reserve Command’s wing of choice. But we can’t be in the position to bring global air power and global dominance by just going through the motions.

Our wing recently completed its Unit Effectiveness Inspection, where we got the chance to put on display what we bring to the fight, day in and day out.

We performed at a high level, receiving an overall effective rating, with several areas receiving highly effective ratings. This is a testament to the very readiness we’ve directed so much heart and soul toward. To think that it all came together in just a few weeks or months couldn’t be further from the truth.

The sum of the parts really equals the whole. From Airman to officer, and everything in between, we have always done our best to make a commitment to solid performance the norm. Consistency from top to bottom is woven into the fabric of the 315th, where each office, flight, squadron and group pushes to meet and exceed expectations. When this happens on a consistent basis, getting ready for UEIs isn’t considered a recurring process the wing has to spin up for every two to three years. High-level performance becomes second nature. It becomes baseline.

In coordination with each unit, our wing Inspector General for Inspections office has helped make the prolonged success we’ve experienced our second nature. The early mornings and late evenings they’ve worked over the years shows with each inspection cycle. They’ve spent hours upon hours providing critical support to our units via unit inspections and providing important feedback, ensuring that we have what’s needed to make our ready state always our current state.

I’ll lay down a challenge to every Airman. At the most basic levels, make sure you’re ready. Follow regulations, never cut corners, ask questions, and trust your training. On a higher level, effectively manage resources, improve your unit, lead your people, and execute the mission.

If we all take this approach and follow sound wisdom, we will all have gotten ready so we can stay ready. Remember — it’s more than just a mantra.