• Published
  • By Col. John S. Oates
  • 97 Operations Group Commander
Without a doubt the Mighty 97th Air Mobility Wing is a great example of a team. We are a professional organization of extremely well-trained individuals pooled together to execute our Wing missions. The word "team" typically brings about visions of professional or college sports like the Chicago Cubs or the Air Force Academy Football team. I believe the words "team" and "teamwork" apply in multiple areas outside of sports analogies.

Team success relies on several fundamental principles. Each individual player has to be the best possible at their specific job. Each individual also has to know when to do their job so as a whole the team performance is not subject to just "one person's performance", but instead it relies on everyone doing their job correctly in unison. I would like to share a few short examples of the teamwork I have witnessed here over the last year-and-a-half. They include: our Wing's Unit Compliance Inspection preparation over 1 year ago, the first responder's reaction to a recent medical issue concerning the 97 Operations Group Command Chief Master Sgt. and the consolidated efforts to meet our Wing's primary mission of forging the "world's best combat mobility aircrews."

In September of 2009 we hosted a Unit Compliance Inspection from Air Education and Training Command Headquarters. At that point in time these inspections occurred only once every 3 years. It had been a while since the last opportunity for the Mighty 97th to prove how well it does at executing our missions. A lot of work went into preparing for this Unit Compliance Inspection by all of the members of this Wing. The inspectors were here for more than 1 week and when they left we had an "Excellent" result to show for our efforts. Every single Airman in this Wing did their job to their best ability. Everyone did their job at the right time and in unison we showed AETC we excel at what we do here at Altus AFB. I know the same team effort will carry us to the August 2011 UCI in the same manner, with the same results.

On August 9, 2010 the 97 OG Superintendent suffered a massive heart attack at the Base gym. The quick reactions of our Wing first responders no doubt saved his life! Everyone present had a crucial role from the eyewitnesses next to him, to the fitness center staff, to the Emergency Medical Technicians from the fire department. In one great example of teamwork they each did their job well, in turn and the results speak for themselves.

Forging the world's best combat mobility aircrews is the primary mission of this Wing and that requires a huge team effort to accomplish. I dare say that it is the best example of Team Altus in action every day of the year. The 97 Medical Group keeps all of the team players healthy and able to perform their jobs. The 97 Mission Support Group supports, secures, provides the equipment, services the equipment and prepares the equipment for operations. The A-Team is the finest collection of maintainers on this planet and provides the best-kept aircraft to the effort. The 97 OG contributes the airspace, airport environment, controlling and instruction to the effort and as a team we are the undisputed world champions!

Sports teams are formed to win games. The 97 AMW is formed to execute our mission and we do that right. Thank you all for excelling at your important roles, I am extremely proud to be a member of this team.