Mueller reiterates Keesler's core mission, values

  • Published
  • By By Brig. Gen. Andrew Mueller
  • 81st Training Wing commander
As I depart this team on Friday, I leave with a clear understanding of the continued importance of what Keesler's men and women do for the future of the mission of our Air Force. Developing combat power for air, space and cyberspace is as important today as developing aviation and engine mechanics was in 1941, when the City of Biloxi donated the land to create Army Air Corps Field No. 8.

Since 1941, more than 2 million students have graduated from technical training courses taught at Keesler, earning initial qualifications in a variety of skill sets. Seventy years later, Team Keesler is still recognized for excellence. Keesler's mission today is a proud reflection of this 70 years of heritage embodied in three overarching themes:


Without a doubt, training is the foundation of Keesler's mission. Today, Team Keesler provides more than 400 courses in 39 specialties. This includes training to qualify every cyberspace operator and air traffic controllers in the Air Force, along with weather courses for Sailors, Marines and Airmen and graduate level education in medical and dental residencies.


From providing state-of-the art medical care to the full spectrum of Airmen who use the Keesler Hospital to watching over families of deployed Airmen through Keesler's award-winning Airman and Family Readiness Center, taking care of our Airmen is a key component of our mission. Caring extends into promoting professional development of our Airmen through Airman Leadership School, Mathies NCO Academy and Community College of the Air Force. Caring also extends into ensuring our base facilities are the best they can be.
Rated as Air Education and Training Command's most outstanding base in 2011 and earning the command's nomination for the 2012 Commander-in-Chief's Annual Award for Installation Excellence certainly demonstrates Keesler's excellence in caring.


Bringing new technology and subjects into Keesler's classrooms is a mainstay of our training mission. Most recently, the 81st Training Group transformed the entire communications and information technology curriculum into the only undergraduate cyber training program in the Department of Defense, bringing the newest cyberspace domain into the technical training arena. This innovation places Keesler at the forefront of training for in the most modern warfighting systems in cyberspace.

However, beyond training, caring and innovating, Keesler's team has an even more important mission. Every day, Keesler is home to about 3,000 of the newest Airmen in the Air Force. Each and every day, we set the example for these Airmen to emulate as they strive for a successful career in the Air Force. Good or bad, YOU set the example for our future Air Force. The impressions we leave on our Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines are lasting impressions that can provide a solid foundation for their future success.

The task of setting a solid foundation for our warriors is extremely important, anchored in our vision of the Air Force of the future. To be clear - the impressions and training you are instilling in these Airmen today will remain throughout their careers, and if they all serve for 30 years, your impressions will last until the year 2042 and beyond!

Your challenge is you have only one chance to get it right. Once an Airman graduates, your impact on their success and the overall success of the mission is cast. Good or bad, the basis for their actions in their gaining unit and their impression of their contribution to the mission is set. When it comes to training, there are no "recalls" or "do-overs." Therefore, it is imperative we get it right the first time.

There are many pieces to "getting it right," but these are three keys which I still feel are essential to sustaining an environment that provides a solid foundation for success for every Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine who enters Keesler's gates.


Simply put, let how you accomplish your job be the positive example for others to follow. Challenge yourself to be an expert in your career field and maintain this expertise. Follow the established processes and procedures to ensure unit compliance with existing directives. Do not accept lapses in our Air Force standards.


Construction, demolition, remodeling, detours, continued budget cuts, severe weather and, no doubt, tropical storms are all in your future. Despite the inconvenience and hardships these events can create, do not let them become an excuse for cutting corners, a reason for inaction, or worse, lapses in professional judgment. Instead, maintain our mission focus and work together as a team to overcome each and every obstacle.


Each of you should be extremely proud of what you do here at Keesler. Everyone has a role in ensuring our mission success and we cannot do the mission without you on the team. Take ownership of what you do. Be proud of what you do and do not be afraid to share that pride with others.

To be members of Team Keesler for the past two years has been a very rewarding experience for the Mueller family. We leave with hundreds of memories of outstanding Airmen doing great things to better our mission, our base, our community and our Air Force. In addition, the support we received from local community was incredibly gracious and unmatched in any of our previous assignments. When people ask us where we are from, be certain will smile and proudly say, "Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Mississippi!"