Rebuilding means more than bricks, mortar, concrete

  • Published
  • By Col. Greg Touhill
  • 81st Training Wing commander
Our wing mission statement is "Rebuilding the Base, Renewing the Community, and Reloading the Air Force" and Keesler Air Force Base has made significant strides in each over the last several months. To many, the "Rebuilding the Base" portion is centered on the very visible daily sign of progress as we marvel at the rise of our new housing areas, we celebrate the openings of Sablich Center and the new shoppette and gas station, and we see the progress made on the new base exchange and commissary complex.

While the new construction is exciting, it doesn't encompass all the facets of this mission tenet. "Rebuilding the base" means a lot more than the construction projects in our community.

We need to be looking to rebuild our winning attitudes of customer service to be the best in the Air Force at what we do. We need to be rebuilding our procedures and checklists to eliminate waste and to be more efficient. We need to be rebuilding the courses we teach to make them operationally relevant and keep pace with modern technologies and tactics, techniques, and procedures. We need to rebuild our commitment to energy and environment conservation to ensure we are good stewards of our resources. Additionally, we need to rebuild our professionalism to ensure we all maintain the highest standards of military discipline and treat each other with dignity and respect.

Finally, we need to rebuild the most important part of our base, its people---ourselves. In this time of war, we need to make sure that we are fit...physically, mentally, and morally. Make time to make sure your body is in good shape by getting regular check-ups, taking time to exercise on a regular basis, and by eating the right things (and in the right quantities!)

In addition to preparing your body for the rigors of service, invest time in preparing your mind. Study your professional materials to be the best in your field. Read newspapers to maintain situational awareness of the world around you. Continue your education to broaden your horizons and sharpen your focus.

Finally, don't forget to rebuild your soul. Take time every day to evaluate yourself. Are you doing the right things in your life? Is your life balanced in the ways you want and need? Are you following a moral code that makes you proud? Now is a great day to start rebuilding!

Our base is much more than a collection of brick, mortar, and concrete. While it is exciting to watch the new buildings and homes rise up around us, the really exciting part of our rebuilding effort lies in ourselves and how we interact together. Let's continue to rebuild to make Keesler AFB and ourselves the best in the Air Force!