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News > Commentary - Fostering “inside the wire” relationships
Fostering “inside the wire” relationships

Posted 1/12/2011   Updated 1/12/2011 Email story   Print story


Commentary by Col. Michael Hornitschek
Commander, 375th Air Mobility Wing

1/12/2011 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- As the installation and 375th Air Mobility Wing commander, my job is to "Enable Combat Power" by creating the conditions for everyone at Team Scott to be more successful with their missions. We do this by providing a robust infrastructure; award-winning service; a safe, healthy community and by providing a productive work environment.

Part of delivering a safe, healthy community involves fostering better community relationships. We normally interpret "community relationships" to mean the network and bond shared between the base and civic neighbors, which are very strong and healthy. We enjoy a tremendous amount of support from our community friends and partners, and we will keep working to maintain those strong ties. However, another aspect of having a safe, healthy community is to ensure we have good "inside the wire" relationships as well.

Drawing observations from both my first assignment here a decade ago and in my current position, I sense that while we have a good base atmosphere, with 31 very busy and focused tenant organizations, it is not a surprise that our folks tend to become a bit stove-piped with all they have to do. As the "Mayor of Scott AFB," it's my job to prevent that while simultaneously creating a stronger base community network that can provide the best care for our military members and their families.

To help us better connect as a base community, one of my New Year's resolutions is to enhance and expand beyond the many existing internal communication mechanisms we already have. In addition to our Facebook, Twitter, and website media, another way I will be engaging is through more direct e-mail messaging to the base. This comes in response to a recent survey we conducted on preferred communication methods for the larger base audience.

So, beginning today and in complement to our Command Post newspaper publication, we are initiating a weekly base e-mail bulletin for both official and unofficial news. It will be launched every Thursday and will be a concise, one-stop shopping for important events that have base-wide impact and attention. This will streamline some of the more routine Scott-All announcements, and still provide a quick look at what you need to know now. I am convinced the utility of this tool will expand rapidly as people become comfortable with it.

For the wing, these announcements should be filtered through the group execs who will then send them to Public Affairs. For our tenant partners and private organizations, please send your inputs directly to Public Affairs. As there are some specific guidelines on what we will publish, please consult with my PA team at 256-4241 if there are any questions or concerns.

As commander, I also chair the Community Action Information Board, whose purpose is to coordinate and guide base personnel support functions and activities. It is a powerful forum to turn the pulse of community into programs and processes that maximize individual and team success. It is also where Scott's Comprehensive Airmen Fitness programs are born and implemented. Mandated to occur quarterly, I've directed a six-week meeting schedule instead, and we will be looking to see how we can improve our internal relationships through these helping agencies as well.

I am in a unique position as one of the few who gets to see all of the amazing things that occur on Scott AFB. It's impressive, and I desire that more people have the opportunity to see these amazing things. Have you asked yourself "What goes on in there?" as you drive by a particular building? I hope to answer those questions through an initiative that I plan to launch this summer. The idea is to host an internal Scott AFB open house in which all organizations open their doors for one day to all base members to come visit and learn about their business. I think this could be a fantastic way to meet each other and learn about the valuable role you play in our nation's defense.

I am sure there are some more great ideas out there for fostering our internal relationships, and I look forward to hearing them. Please feel free to send me a note with your ideas and feedback. I am enthusiastic about what lies ahead for this coming year. With your help and participation, our internal and external community relations will become stronger than ever. Thanks for helping to make Scott AMC's showcase base!

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