Drive the mission forward


Since its beginning, Altus Air Force Base has been centered on training aircrews and preparing them for missions that can impact the global stage. Today is no different and to lead Altus AFB to success is U.S. Air Force Col. Eric Carney, 97th Air Mobility Wing commander.


Altus AFBs focus is training and deploying Airmen year-round. Every individual has their own mission they must complete so Altus AFB, as a whole, can do its part in supporting the U.S. Air Force, said Carney. “My priorities are the Air Force’s priorities. We need to stay focused on our jobs and understand how it fits in and have an emphasis on safety.”


To help accomplish these priorities, Carney shared his goals.


“I have two main goals, safety being first and foremost. Safety in mission execution is key in the Air Force,” said Carney. “The nature of our jobs can be dangerous. Every Airman raised their right hand and volunteered to be put in harm’s way. We do what’s asked of us and we do it well. It would be foolish not to stay safe. Whether it’s in a deployed location or here at home, we need to take the proper steps to complete each task as it’s meant to be.”


“Secondly, I want people to take pride in Altus and in their jobs that they are doing so well,” said Carney. “Everyone works hard and is vital to the mission and some people have thankless jobs. Take that time to reflect on what you’ve done and do every day and look to see how it makes up the ‘big picture’.”


To reach these goals and meet his priorities, Carney charged all Airmen here with a few tasks.


“I need every Airman of all ranks, to focus on compliance,” Carney said. “Our jobs are very specific at times and we must follow the proper ways laid out to accomplish the mission. That’s why we have regulations. They will help us be successful and keep everyone safe. Ideas to improve must go up the chain of command.”


Another key to success is staying true to the Wingman Concept, Carney stressed.


“We are unique. No one understands us like we do,” Carney stated. The expectation that Airmen watch out for each other on all levels and ranks does separate the USAF apart from other groups. So much depends on thousands of people working together as one team. The Wingman Concept helps eliminate mishaps or mistakes that would potentially disrupt the mission.  “I have all the confidence in the world in the Airmen currently stationed here. They have what it takes to get the job done. I want them to share that confidence.”


Keeping the mission moving forward is not just important, it is vital to protecting and caring for our nation and its allies.


 “Hardly anything gets done without the help of a C-17 [Globemaster III] or a KC-135 [Stratotanker],” said Carney. “We train them here and once they graduate, they’re doing real-world missions just a few weeks, maybe even days after. Soon we’ll be doing the same for the KC-46 [Pegasus]. Without the help of each person here, it wouldn’t be possible to produce the quality of Airmen we provide to the Air Force.”


As Carney settles in for the next two years, he looks forward to what the future has in store and sends a message to those that serve with him.


“I’d like to say thanks on behalf of myself and Col. Skipworth. Thank you to all the Airmen and civilians for making us feel at home. Thank you for doing the work and filling the mission set. You are vital to Altus AFB and to the Air Force. You show the importance Altus provides to the world.”