By Brig. Gen. (S) Wayne Schatz
314th Airlift Wing Commander
Last Friday ended yet another long week of exercise activities on The Rock, and I have to say, I could not have been more impressed. This is the first exercise I have taken part in since my return to Little Rock Air Force Base. And just as I expected, everyone gave it their all.
This week, Airmen across the base faced some tough challenges.
First, they encountered the heat. Central Arkansas experienced highs surpassing 105 degrees each day for the duration of the exercise. Added to this was the strain many units were already under with many of their members deployed in the fight on the Global War on Terror.
Lastly are the families. In order for our Airmen to perform well at work, someone needs to be taking care of things on the homefront.
The sacrifices our family members make in order to ensure we are prepared for any call to duty should never go unnoticed or unappreciated.
August’s ROCKEX is one of many to come as Team Little Rock gears up for the Operational Readiness Exercises slated for next April.
All three Little Rock Units — the 314th Airlift Wing, the 463rd Airlift Group and the 189th Airlift Wing — will test their readiness levels at different times during that month.
And I fully expect that each unit will show their respective higher headquarters that Little Rock AFB is more ready than ever to meet any challenges thrown our way.
Until then, I urge every one of you to uphold the vigilance you displayed this week.
Every one of us needs to practice like we’ll play. This means that we can’t only demonstrate our readiness during exercises.
We need to eat, breathe and sleep preparedness because history has shown time and again that we are often called to arms when we least expect it.
Again, I want to thank each and every one of you for your hard work last week. I am continually amazed by the caliber of people I am honored to serve with. You all make Team Little Rock an outstanding place to live, work and play!