A Note to the Weather Warriors |
Commentary by Brig. Gen. Lawrence A. Stutzriem
Air Force Director of Weather
10/8/2006 - Washington D.C. -- You get it! We're Airmen and warriors first. I must say I'm extremely impressed with the way weather Airmen identify a problem and work to fix it at a full sprint. In my 4 months as Director of Weather, I've found that, far from having to jump in and direct a solution, I have to jump out of the way so you don't run me over!
When more than 40 of our AEF deployments were extended to 179 days, I was very concerned. But as it turns out, you were already on it! Before I said a word, weather folks at AFWA, the MAJCOMs, and individuals all the way down to the flight/detachment level were already working the problem. With lots of hard work at every level of our functional community, you took a hard look at each of our "non-deployable" manpower positions and asked yourselves if the mission would truly fail if certain individuals deployed.
The results speak for themselves. We made more than half of our formerly "non-deployable" positions available to the AEF. All 179-day tours have been rolled back to 120 days. You have all shown you have a warrior mentality, dedicated to bringing your expertise to the fight, be it from a forward-deployed base or via reachback from home station. Superb job!
Of course, our Army and Special Operations Forces support folks still routinely deploy on 179-day tours or longer. There will still be times when we will have to send people to far away places for six months, or even a year. But I give you my word that my staff and I will do our utmost to keep the deployment load fair. You deserve no less. You have shown yourselves to be Airmen and warriors first, as it should be.
Keep up your mach,