Commander’s Corner: Thank you volunteers; stay safe Kirtland

  • Published
  • By Col. Robert E. Suminsby Jr.
  • 377th Air Base Wing Commander
I'd like to start this week's commander's corner by extending my appreciation to the 70+ volunteers who graciously gave up their Saturday evening to pay tribute to one of our local heroes.

Last week, the Tuskegee Airmen were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in Washington, D.C. This medal is the highest civilian award that can be bestowed by the U.S. Congress and was long overdue. Robert Lawrence, one of the three Tuskegee Airmen who live in New Mexico, returned home Saturday to a very warm welcome from members of Kirtland AFB and several local organizations.

Mr. Lawrence was greatly appreciative and humbled at the sight of so many military members and civilians who came out to show pride in our military heritage.

Thank you again for making the event a memorable experience for all.

Last week also marked the first birthday for the Nuclear Weapons Center. In merely one year, the men and women of the NWC have gone above and beyond to prove their credibility as the Air Force's Nuclear Center of Excellence. Be sure to check out the one-year feature article on the NWC's milestones and accomplishments in this week's Nucleus on page 12.

For those of you who haven't noticed the warm weather moving in, I think it is safe to say Albuquerque's snow days are behind us. However, just because we no longer have to worry about tire chains and icy roads doesn't mean safety and ORM practices are any less important during the spring and summer months.

As days start getting longer and it gets easier to overestimate the number of things we can accomplish in one day, it's important to plan carefully (and realistically), remain flexible and expect the unexpected. There's no time better than the present to start thinking about your summer activities and assessing any risks you could encounter. By planning ahead, we can do a much better job of anticipating any challenges we might face as we try to balance Air Force, personal and family priorities. If you want to take leave this summer, guess what? Lot's of other people in your organization want to do the same, so get your request in early.

Additionally, spring in New Mexico also tends to produce rapidly changing and often unpredictable weather patterns that can catch even the most prepared person off guard. Take the time now to sit down with your family members and plan for inclement weather such as tornados and thunderstorms. Being prepared can often make the difference in a life or death situation.