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Mission, Vision & Commander's sight picture

  • Published
  • By Col. J. Scot Heathman
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing commander

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Showcase Wing! I want to begin by saying "Thank you" for making my transition into the 375th Air Mobility Wing a memorable one. I deliberately spent my first 90 days getting to know you, our organization and our installation. Based on what you've shown me, what I've heard and what I've learned, I developed the "Commander's Sight Picture." This is a simple visual that highlights our new Mission, Vision and our Priorities for the next couple of years. The changes are subtle, but were done deliberately and with care as to capture the areas that should remain at the forefront of our Showcase Wing.

Members of the 375 AMW are not just “enabling” but “executing” the mission each and every day. This is at the heart of the subtle change I made to our previous mission statement. Your daily execution efforts deserve much attention as well as the direct and positive impact you make across the mobility enterprise. Whether we are leading or supporting others, our mission and our wing remains laser focused on “executing” rapid global mobility “with help from above—second to none.”

We are here to ensure all our Airmen are highly developed—personally and professional. You are the ultimate weapon system, and we must ensure our work environment enables you to achieve your goals which allows you to operate at peak performance. If we get that right, we’ll be “ready” to take on tomorrow’s challenges should our nation call. Our vision also highlights a shift in culture, creating highly innovative and resilient Airmen. This statement encompasses my priority areas into a simple, repeatable phrase that every Airmen should know and understand.

As I’ve watched, listened, and learned about the 375th AMW, I adapted my initial priorities from what I originally carried into the organization. The priorities depicted on my “sight picture” are key lines of effort to focus on over the next few years. They are nested within our Mission and Vision statement and have not changed too much from previous products I’ve shared. What we do, each and every day, should be grounded in one of these priorities. If not, we need to seriously question whether it’s important to continue doing it or refocus our efforts. These priorities should serve as navigational aids for what we value.

    From targeted professional development opportunities, to training, to talent management—there are many ways we will develop and grow our Airmen. Priority No. 1 is to prepare our Airmen, not just for the mission of the day, but for the challenges they’ll face tomorrow and into the future. Equipping our Airmen with personal and professional development is essential toward achieving success across all other priorities.
    Being “Battle Ready” is about Comprehensive Airmen Fitness. Are you mentally, physically, socially and spiritually fit should you get tapped on the shoulder and be asked to enter the arena? Are you organized, trained and equipped to head out the door tonight? Our nation is counting on us being “Battle Ready” and ensuring we can win our nation’s wars. We will seek and exploit all opportunities to improve our personal and professional readiness, and it starts with you!
    “In case of an emergency, put on your own oxygen mask first and the help those around you.” I know you’ve heard this during an airline safety brief. This may seem counterintuitive, but we’re in big trouble if our own house isn’t in order. We must possess a high level of self-awareness to better understand our strengths and weaknesses before we can effectively support others. Equipped with self-awareness and a focus on caring for self, we can then shift toward caring for one another, both at work and at home. When we care, we increase connectedness vs. incentivizing isolation. Connectedness and inclusion is one of the most important characteristics of a resilient workforce. We will find ways to bake caring and connectedness into our wing culture, and units should strive to support activities and opportunities that bring us together.
    Developing a culture of Innovation is ripe for a high return on investment. I’ve seen firsthand the gifts, creativity, strengths and superpowers our Airmen bring to the table. The challenge for leadership is creating the best environment to unleash this potential. Challenge your members to identify problems and processes that are no longer helpful, that slow us down or prevent us from working smarter and faster. Promote an innovative culture that is grounded in trust, one where we are willing to listen “to the crazy ones … who see things differently and think they can change the world” to paraphrase Steve Jobs. We must aggressively listen to ideas from each other and be willing to take some risk or even fail in order to learn. From an organizational standpoint, we will use our Spark Cell “Elev-8 Scott,” to educate and incubate ideas from cradle to grave. Additionally, we’ll develop and expand key partnership with various innovation hubs across the region to inspire and aid our innovative culture. It’s time we unleash the innovative spirit resident within the 375th AMW and Team Scott.
    First impressions are everything, and they set the initial conditions for an organizations reputation. How we interact and provide service and support to others are measured in numerous ways: via body language, actions, deeds and execution. You represent the very best our nation has to offer, and I expect us to hold each other to the highest standards and exceed everyone’s expectations when it comes to customer service. The ‘Golden Rule’ should always apply ... treat others how you would like to be treated. Always remember, people are watching the way we deliver customer service and the manner in which we provide it. I ask that you analyze, discuss, and look for new ways to improve during those rare times when we fail to deliver or when we desire to change processes and procedures for the better. We will continue to emphasize the importance of excellent customer service and explore best practices from organizations, both on and off base, to improve our level of support.
    If there’s one thing that really sets Scott Air Force Base apart from all other installations, it’s the extraordinary relationship we have with our community partners. Our local communities are selfless and committed when it comes to showing their enduring support for our installation and our members. Their efforts not only improve the quality of life on base, but also send a positive message to our members and families that they are welcomed, loved and appreciated. In turn, the amount of selfless service and volunteer hours our Airmen give back to the local community projects and programs in is truly staggering. Our relationship is simply symbiotic—we rely on them and they rely on us. I need your help and support in maintaining and fostering this incredible relationship. Additionally, I encourage you to share your talents, expertise, knowledge, experience, and selflessness with our community partners. Our community partners are extremely proud of the freedom you provide and truly enjoy spending time with you all.

I encourage every Airman to be familiar with this product as I will use it to remain laser focused on how we "Execute Rapid Global Mobility." It also serves as a personal reminder to ensure I do not drift from the priorities I've laid out before you. Please hold me accountable and I will do the same for you. I look forward to serving you and your families in the coming years and getting after what we value most. How do we execute rapid global mobility? "With Help From Above..Second to None."  Thank you for your investment in me and my family over the past 90 days and for your continued selfless service to the 375th AMW and Team Scott.