Commentary: AFMC commander sets tone for Wingman Stand Down 2010

May 20 2010 - 9:25am

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Gen. Donald Hoffman, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, set the tone for the AFMC's observance of the Air Force-directed Wingman Stand Down by holding a Commander's Call here May 7.

The Commander's Call -- for all military and civilian headquarters AFMC personnel -- was held outside in Barnes Park, adjacent to the headquarters building. Approximately 1,500 were in attendance.

The general's focus was on the AFMC mission, but he kept safety and the Wingman Concept at the forefront by emphasizing them as crucial to that mission.

"In terms of how I organize my leadership priorities, the first one is to safely and professionally execute the mission," Hoffman said.

While AFMC's mission includes research, acquisition, testing and sustainment, the general noted that it's not good enough to just do the mission. It must be done safely so it can be done again tomorrow.

"Safety has to be embedded in what we do -- in peacetime, in wartime, all the time," he said.

Hoffman said his second priority is to "protect, conserve and consume resources as if they were your own," noting that part of personal and professional well-being comes from living responsibly and within established means.

"After all, the budgets aren't getting any bigger," he said.

The last priority Hoffman shared was to "positively motivate yourself and others to continued service in the Air Force."

According to the general, that includes being safe, looking forward to going to work and creating a climate that makes others look forward to going to work as well.

"Work is always work," he said, "but the attitude you have is the variable, and it's free. Thinking positively doesn't cost anything."

Hoffman ended his Commander's Call with a reminder to apply safety to all we do and take care of one another, saying that being a good Wingman is everyone's responsibility.

Participation in a half-day Wingman Stand Down 2010 is mandatory for all Air Force units in May.

In a jointly signed letter, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James A. Roy noted the reasons for the stand down.

"Sadly, 18 Airmen, eight guardsmen and Reservists, and three civilians, of all ranks and specialties, have taken their own lives so far this year," the senior leaders noted. "Additionally, approximately 50 Air Force members annually are killed in motor vehicle accidents."

The stand down is an opportunity for Airmen to discuss suicide prevention, learn about motor vehicle safety and improve wingman skills.

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