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Taking care of our people and our home

  • Published
  • By Lieutenant Col. Brian Hastings
  • 51st Operations Support Squadron commander

One of the most difficult tasks we have as military professionals is to reinforce in our Airmen that Osan is our home, and the people on the installation are our family. Even though Osan is treated as a deployed-in-place location and a remote, as Airmen we all have a responsibility to be good wingmen, to take care of our facilities and the installation, as well as making Osan a better place for the Airmen who will follow.

Being stationed at Osan is not a lease with an option to buy situation. We all need to act as if we own Osan Air Base, because we do. It is where we live, it is where we work, it is where some of us are raising children and it is our neighborhood. If our Airmen treat Osan as a remote location or worse, as a deployed location, the atmosphere becomes one of just buying time and leaving after one year. We cannot continue perpetuating that attitude. The perception that we have been here 55 years, one year at a time, is detrimental to our mission.

Be a part of the solution, not the problem. Things are changing at Osan, on the peninsula, and in our Air Force. The Chief of Staff of the Air Force has stated that the Air Force is leveraging our infrastructure for recapitalization of the force. We as an Air Force have accepted risk in our facilities to pay for future capabilities. What that means for us is that we have to take care of what we have; it may be all we get with shrinking budgets. Therefore, we all need to be part of the solution. If there is a deficiency on base, a facility that needs upkeep or some area that requires attention, it is your responsibility as an Airman to bring it to your chain of command's attention. If you walk past it and do nothing, you have just become part of the problem. If the problem can be corrected on the spot - picking up garbage on the ground is a good example - this is even better. Take care of your workspace and our home.

The Golden Rule. Sometimes common courtesy is not so common. It is amazing what we can accomplish when we treat others the way we want to be treated. Simple greetings, military bearing and a customer service attitude help strengthen our relationships and mission effectiveness. Good attitudes are infectious and make Osan a great place to work. The operations tempo here is hectic, but we all deserve to be treated with respect. I believe that strengthening lower-level relationships in any organization influences how the organization functions, internally as well as externally, with other organizations in a positive way.

Mission First. The ultimate goal of the 51st Fighter Wing is to accomplish our mission. We need to be "Ready to Fight Tonight." Treating Osan like our home, being aware of our environment, being proactive to fix deficiencies, using the Golden Rule and being good wingmen/flight leads will make Osan a great assignment for our Airmen. If we take care of our Osan family and our facilities, we will create a positive professional environment that creates great organizations and enhances mission accomplishment.