Words of encouragement for CCE preparation

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Jake Porter
  • 341st Missile Maintenance Squadron commander
As we move deeper into the month of August, hundreds of professionals across this wing will continue to "ramp up" their preparation for the upcoming 20th Air Force Combat Capability Evaluation. This grueling evaluation will measure every aspect of the combat capability security forces, operations, and maintenance "bring to the table" on any given day. Make no mistake, that capability is awesome. But you might ask why we need an outside agency to come into our own backyard to test or evaluate our capability. The answer lies in the fact that our capability is what makes this wing so valuable to the national defense.

A little background is in order here. 

Years ago, before I entered the Air Force, I stumbled across a passage so powerful to me that, to this day, I often consider it when faced with the sometimes daunting challenges in our business; the business of nuclear deterrence. By necessity, it is demanding ... our standard is perfection. We secure, operate and maintain the most powerful weapon system known to mankind. While the quote's authenticity has been called into question, to me, its message is spot on.

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." --George Orwell

This quote holds the kernel of truth that drives home the importance of what each and every one of us does, day in and day out. When laid against our wing's mission statement, "The mission of the 341st Missile Wing is to defend America with combat-ready Airman and nuclear forces," the link is clear. That is to say, the citizens of this great country can sleep peacefully because this wing stands ever ready, fully confident in its combat capability. The deterrence this wing's combat capability provides, quite simply put, grants us the freedoms we enjoy, and sometimes take for granted, and allows our conventional forces to operate under its protection. 

When it comes to providing nuclear deterrent, you and I know this is the best dang missile wing in 20th Air Force. 

So how do we prove it, not only to our peers in Wyoming and North Dakota, but to our allies and adversaries alike? Only when our awesome capability is exercised, evaluated, and put on display, does it have its intended impact. That's where inspections and evaluations come in. 

In a few short weeks, the men and women of 20th Air Force will be here to put us through our paces ... to "dig deep," so to speak. They will dig into every nook and cranny of what we do. It's then that our day-to-day readiness will be validated. The hard work that each and every one of you do, each and every day, will be validated by impartial observers.
When they write their report and present their out-brief, you and I will feel the quiet satisfaction of knowing we've allowed our friends, neighbors, and loved ones to "sleep peaceably in their beds at night." 

As we draw nearer to our "visitors," let's keep our shoulders squared, our legs churning, and continue to maintain the absolute highest standards that we expect of each other all the time. Our freedom, our country and our oath demand nothing less of us. 

I could not be more proud to be part of this team, and I look forward to seeing your hard work confirmed and put on display in early September.