Year of the Airman here at the 908th Airlift Wing

  • Published
  • By Col. Craig W. Drescher
  • 908th Airlift Wing

As we start to bring Fiscal Year 2021 to a close, which ends on 30 September, we are in the process of planning for Fiscal Year 2022.  The second half of FY20 and all of FY21 have been dedicated to preparing our Airmen and the wing for the largest deployment in our illustrious history.  The wing has been absolutely superb as we faced an adversary like none we had ever faced before: COVID-19.  You adapted, improvised and overcame, developing tips, techniques and procedures to mitigate risks so we could prepare our wingmen for deployment.  Thank you for taking care of each other and ensuring our deploying Airmen were trained and ready to go.  You should be very proud of yourselves for this accomplishment. For years to come, you can reflect back on what you accomplished as a wing during the pandemic.

It was clear our top priorities the last eighteen months have been the health and well-being of our airmen and deployment preparation.  As we work to develop the FY22 Strategic Plan for the wing, I’ve decided it will be the Year of the Airman.  After ensuring the health and well-being of our Airmen and their families, we will dedicate our resources to developing the individual Airman.  For far too many Airmen, COVID and deployment preparations got in the way of personal, professional and career development. We are going to correct that in the new FY.

Part of the plan to focus on the Airmen will be putting the wing back on what has been our normal battle rhythm.  Unless circumstances dictate otherwise, we will have one UTA per month which will almost always be the first full weekend of the month.  Excusals and reschedules will be the rare exception, not the norm.  You will be able to plan on Fitness Assessments each month along with medical appointments, CBRNE classes and weapon qualifications.  We also will make time for mentoring and career development sessions along with new CDC testing procedures in our Wing Training Office.  We are going to focus our energy and resources on building skill levels, ensuring professional development and career progression (read more responsibility, additional promotions and more pay).

COVID continues to be an adversary that we battle in every element of our lives.  We are awaiting guidance from the AFRC Surgeon General on how we will implement mandatory COVID vaccinations.  Hopefully, by the time this reaches you we will have seen a reduction in cases so we can plan a couple of wing-wide celebrations in FY22 to increase the opportunities to enjoy the company of our fellow Airmen.  Our goal is to celebrate the accomplishments of the last year, observe our holidays and recognize the wing’s distinguished history.  It all starts with you, that’s why FY22 will be the Year of the Airman.