What's it all about, Altus?

  • Published
  • By Donald G. Stone
  • 97th Maintenance Directorate
Using the lead off line from the theme song written by Burt Bacharach for the 1966 movie "Alfie" and performed by the British singer Celia Black and others , I thought I'd share my thoughts on why we're all here - work-wise, that is.

For me personally, whether it was when I worked in the Mission Support Group for 10 and a half months when first assigned to Altus AFB in early July 2011 or with the A-Team as I do now, it's clear "what it's all about". It's all about training the pilots, loadmasters, and boom operators on our assigned C-17 Globemaster IIIs and KC-135 Stratotankers. Without that mission, we wouldn't be here. I wouldn't have a job here at Altus. It is the reason for the base when you peel back the onion.

I'm not suggesting that our Operations brethren in the flying squadrons should be considered more important than Force Support Squadron or Civil Engineering folks at all, but rather that we all have a role in attaining the results needed by the Air Force - trained, mission-ready C-17 and KC-135 crewmember 'production'. We in aircraft maintenance understand that. Whether we work out in the elements as a crew chief on the flightline, in one of the back shops repairing components, or on the aircraft themselves in the Inspection Flight.

The folks in FSS's Solar Inn Dining Hall preparing meals every day to include flight meals for the flyers understand that. Just as I know the "Dirt Boys" in CE understand it as well. Our Security Forces Defenders know. Our base infrastructure and support system is here to make our tasked flying mission happen. The folks in building 52 working in Finance know that as do the folks in Military and Civilian Personnel. The communication squadron's Airmen know why they're here as well.

As the 97th Air Mobility Wing moves forward into 2013, let's strive to remember what it's all about, Altus - to do our part in training the nation's and our ally's aircrews. I know I surely will. I also encourage you to reflect on "what it's all about", work-wise, for you.