Safety, risks, thanks, appreciation and encouragement

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., -- Every time a 9th Reconnaissance Wing aircraft roars, whines, or buzzes into the skies above Beale Air Force Base, I am reminded how great it is to be a part of this fantastic team of professionals. I like to think of this team as one great big family, and if you work at, live at, or support Team Beale and the 9th RW's worldwide mission in any way, you are automatically part of the Beale family. Our servicemen and women, civilian personnel, and contactors perform the multitude of tasks required to provide the very best intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance so our nation's leaders remain fully apprised of significant world events and exceptionally vigilant to emerging threats. 9th RW personnel and aircraft are deployed all over the globe, performing our mission around-the-clock each and every day, and it is truly an honor to serve alongside so many enthusiastic and talented Airmen. Over the past couple of months I have been afforded the tremendous opportunity to experience first-hand how vital each career field is to ensuring our mission success. Today, I would like to share a few thoughts about the role we all have in taking the best care of all the Airmen who take the best care of the mission.
One of the greatest features of being a part of this great big family, much like our real families, is together we are capable of accomplishing just about anything we set our minds to. At home, we have a responsibility to take care of family members by protecting them, encouraging them to strive for their goals and congratulating them upon success. Our Beale family accomplishes great things and it benefits when we apply those same principals here as well.

Each member of Beale is important to the mission, and are also important to protect. We can easily get hooked on success because of all the great things we do, but at times it is all too easy to become so focused on accomplishing tasks that we overlook the fact that the risks are increasing. If we are regularly looking out for one another, we are far more likely to notice if someone is taking on additional risk. So, if we speak up when we have a concern, and tell them why the concern exists, it may very well prevent a mishap or unintended consequence from occurring in the first place. A person might only become aware a greater risk exists if someone else points it out. If we freely accept the responsibility that we have to look out for each other, our Beale family will become better protected and our mission will continue to run smoothly.

Many of our Beale family members are looking to move up within the military or move on to accomplish other goals they have set for themselves. Encouraging and supporting them in achieving their goals is also an essential part of strengthening our team and it inspires others to put fourth their best effort when they see their counterparts successfully achieve their goals.

For me, the best part of being a member of the Beale family is getting the opportunity to say thank you to someone for a job well done, and to recognize them when they have gone above and beyond what is normally expected. I've noticed how much Airmen enjoy talking about their specific career fields if asked, it's a great way to learn about the finer points of the job and it shows them that someone cares about them and the jobs they do. A simple thank you goes a long way in showing others how much we appreciate the job they do. We have so many great ways of recognizing superior performance: we can write a letter of appreciation, present a coin or an award, or just give a firm handshake and a sincere thank you. If we regularly take the opportunity to say thank you, explain how their duties help the mission succeed, and recognize our top performers, it greatly benefits our Beale family.

I have enjoyed taking this opportunity to share some thoughts on how to improve our safety by helping each other see risks, and how vital it is to give thanks, convey appreciation, and provide encouragement to all the members of our great big Beale family. My Thanks to you all.