Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Success in 2011: Thanks to all of you

Released by 442nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Col. Eric Overturf (left) his daughters and his wife, Karla (second from left.) Overturf is the commander of the 442nd Fighter Wing, an A-10 Thunderbolt II Air Force Reserve unit at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. (U.S. Air Force/courtesy photo)

Note: They are posing in front of A-10C 122. A hi-res picture is currently not available.

by Col. Eric S. Overturf
442nd Fighter Wing commander

11/28/2011 - WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Congratulations on wrapping up an incredibly successful year of unprecedented mission accomplishment for the 442nd Fighter Wing.

We started 2011 with an ambitious set of goals to pursue along with our mission to Train and Deploy Ready Reservists, and we achieved all of them while providing outstanding Reserve Airmen to support combatant commander tasking around the world.

We supported AEF deployments with more than 100 reservists including a full mobilization of the 442nd Civil Engineers Squadron for service in Afghanistan.

We won the ORI, and we successfully integrated geographically separated units at Barksdale, Moody and Davis-Monthan Air Force Bases into our wing procedures and

We are off to a great start preparing for our process inspections next year under the leadership of Maj. Cathy Roberts and the combined unit inspection steering group, and we continued to develop and care for Airmen and their families through education, training, promotions, career enhancement and family oriented events like our wing family day and the Yellow Ribbon program.

We faced many challenges this year, and we still have plenty of things to work on next year, but there is no doubt that 2011 was a tremendous success for the 442nd Fighter Wing thanks to YOU.

Our focus for the remainder of 2011 will be on safely and successfully deploying more than 300 of our operations and maintenance personnel to provide combat air power in Operation Enduring Freedom. Some of our 442nd Airmen will be among the thousands of American servicemen and women who will spend Christmas overseas this year, so please keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

We are putting together a team of key spouses (including my wife Karla) who call the families of deployed Airmen to see how they are doing and provide advice on resources that are available to help them. Our key spouse team is looking for friendly, outgoing volunteers to join them, so if you're interested, please call Master Sgt. Nicole Willeford (660) 687-6415. To find out more about the key spouse program, you may attend the training session Dec. 4.

Next year we are beginning a new era for the Mohawk by moving to an online version posted on the 442nd Fighter Wing website. I have to admit I'm going to miss the printed magazine, but the online Mohawk will allow us to provide more up-to-date information and save more than $4,500 every month in printing and shipping costs. You'll still get the same great stories, pictures and unit information, and you can even print a hard copy if you're one of the old timers like me who likes the printed version better than a computer screen.

For those of us who are fortunate enough to be home over the holidays, I encourage you to take some well-earned time off to slow down, relax, and enjoy the spirit of the season with your families and friends. Whether you are lighting candles, opening packages or singing carols, the common themes of peace, hope and joy are shared around the world as we celebrate our past while looking forward to a bright future.

For me, this is also a time to think about what I want to do next year, and how I need to rebalance my priorities and actions to get there. A plan that includes personal and professional development on the job, strong family connections, leisure activities, and regular exercise is a proven recipe for a healthy, happy lifestyle. I hope the Air Force Reserve is a part of that plan for you. Please include the 442nd Fighter Wing in your thoughts and let us know what we can do to help you achieve your goals.

Thanks for all the amazing things you did in 2011, and here's to even greater things in 2012!


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