By Col. Daniel Lasica, 20th Fighter Wing
/ Published January 17, 2018
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- During a recent Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD) mission with the 79th Fighter Squadron Tigers, the flight lead’s overall objective for the mission - written on the top of his briefing boards - was to “Win.” We also see the word Win in our Commander’s Intent when we say that we must Win the Current Fight and be Ready to Win the Next Fight.
We hear our Airmen talk about winning all the time. Even our Wing’s moto, “Victory by Valor,” inspires us to Win! But, what does it mean to Win?
At the tactical level, it means lethally executing our SEAD and Attack airpower missions in accordance with the Joint Force Commander’s Intent and to bring all our Airmen home safely to their families and friends.
The Tigers Won last year during their combat deployment, the Gamblers are currently Winning on their combat deployment, and we have hundreds of our Agile Combat Support Airmen on the way to combat to Win the Current Fight.
In order to Win at the tactical level as described above it requires Winning every day, by every Airman in our wing, whether you are an officer, enlisted, or a civilian. Winning every day requires many important components. Among the most vital are:
- A clear sense of purpose about why we exist as an Air Force, as a wing, and why our squadrons exist. It also requires that every Airman understand our vision, where we are going, our mission, and what we do. A wise man once taught me that “the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” Our wing’s main thing, our task, is to prepare, deploy, employ, and sustain SEAD and Attack Airpower and to deliberately develop combat ready Airmen and leaders. Leaders then, throughout our wing, must prioritize effectively, stay focused, and connect all our Airmen with our purpose, our vision, and our mission so that we are Winning every day.
- Every Airman must deliberately and relentlessly work to be their very best every day. This includes improving our Airman-Warrior skill sets and being the master of our craft, whatever our Air Force Specialty Code may be. As Coach John Wooden, winner of ten national basketball titles at the University of California, Los Angeles, often said, “Make every day your masterpiece.”
- We all must selflessly serve as team players and understand our share of the task with humility, as well as understand our teammates share of the task. Alignment to ensure every Airmen is rowing in the same direction and rowing hard is critical.
- We must all understand when it is time to lead and when it is time to follow, and then have the courage to lead and follow without fear.
So I ask every Shaw Weasel, are you Winning? Are we Winning?