Teamwork equals success

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- "It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn't matter who gets the credit."

Teamwork: we all have a passion for what we do, but rarely do we have the capability to succeed alone. As you review your plan for next week, take some time to consider what you'll accomplish without any help.

Whatever you do, whether it's repairing aircraft, loading weapons, completing building repairs, processing enlisted performance reports and decorations or defending the base, you'll have to rely on the Iceman Team for support. If you don't, you're bound to find yourself out in the cold.

I found this thought very true as I look at my first month here in Alaska. The day I arrived began a series of in-processing tasks that leave you wondering how you were ever successful even though this is my 10th permanent change of station over the last 23 years.

You go through INTRO and complete everything from your base orientation with the mission support group to fitting a gas mask after your medical group orientation. You find housing through good sponsorship and the help of local agencies. You get re-imbursed for your travel with the help of finance.

You'll look around to find activities for your family or help getting settled and instantly find our services team there to help make a difference. All the while our teammates in the Operations Group and Maintenance Group are finding ways to launch aircraft while you're finding your feet. Teamwork...

Brig. Gen. Dave Scott made one point to me in the short time we have had together: "People first, mission always."

The words sometimes seem easy to say, but the execution is not always as easy. One of the first things I noticed, as I broke down his thoughts, is he didn't say, "My people first and my mission always."

Although each of us has a responsibility to the success of the mission, I find that working together as a greater team makes all the difference in the world. We have to trust that all the members of our team will execute their piece of the mission when called upon. I can safely say that in the short time I've been here, people are taking care of me so that I can help take care of the mission as well.

Despite some of the challenges you face day in and day out, I have clearly seen the success of the 354th Fighter Wing. Over the next year, we have a number of challenges that we have to meet head on to be successful ... to me there is no doubt that teamwork is the only way ahead.

Henry Ford once brought this all together in a simple statement: "Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success."

If you get a chance to look at your teammates across the wing, active-duty and guard Airmen, our civilians and the family members who keep us together, thank them for what they bring to the fight because without each other we are bound to fail.