Maintaining keen focus on Keesler’s mission

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Andrew Mueller
  • 81st Training Wing commander
Maintain your Mission Focus today to develop leaders for tomorrow's Air Force
Last week, the Air Force announced several reductions to the civilian workforce across the Air Force which included 68 permanent civilian manpower authorizations at Keesler AFB. As a result of this first round of reductions, several members of "Team Keesler" received approval for early separation or early retirement while other members will be repositioned into other vacant civilian positions.
These reductions are consistent with other measures taken at Keesler AFB to reduce the overall size of our workforce; contractor, civilian and active duty military. For example, in FY 2011 Keesler AFB reduced over thirty contractor positions. In addition, numerous non-commissioned officers were retired due to high-year tenure limitations and several officers were separated from active duty as a result of a reduction in force. Be certain, there is a high quality Airman directly impacted by each of these force reductions. Airmen who have served our country selflessly and Airmen who have made our Air Force and our base what it is today.
None of these reductions were made in hast and all were made with an eye on shaping the Air Force today to ensure the sustained excellence of the Air Force of tomorrow. The challenge for all of us on "Team Keesler" is to work to sustain this mission today while ensuring we build a base which will support this mission in the future in an environment of decreasing resources .
This is a tough challenge for sure - but one we must meet head on. And how well we do this will make a lasting impression on the Air Force for sure. After all, the Airmen training right here at Keesler AFB today will be the leaders of the Air Force in 2040! If we do not set the example of how to charge through change and uncertainty - how well are we preparing these leaders to meet the changes and uncertainty they are certain to face in the future?
Our nation continues to depend on the full spectrum of the workforce to operate and sustain a United States Air Force which is second to none. Therefore, as we work through the uncertainty generated by decreasing operating budgets and impacts of force reductions on our workforce, it is important to maintain a keen focus on our mission of "Training, Caring, and Innovating...Developing combat power for Air, Space and Cyberspace" to best prepare the Airman today, to lead the Air Force we are building for the future.