Mission Supports Freedom
By Col. Guy Parker, 17th Mission Support Group
/ Published July 30, 2009
GOODFELLOW AFB, Texas --
Forty two days ago I became a member of Team Goodfellow. In that time, it became abundantly clear that every member of this base enthusiastically supports an extremely important and vital joint-training mission, preparing our warriors for today's fight by providing initial and advanced training to Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in intelligence, fire fighting and Special Instruments Training. I also noticed many members of Team Goodfellow do not understand and need to be reminded how important their day-to-day job is in supporting our nation's freedom, which is near and dear to every American's heart.
Former President Ronald Reagan once said, "Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom, and then lost it, have never known it again."
It is easy to understand why many don't understand how their job supports the 17th Training Wing's mission because if you are not from the intelligence training world, you probably only understand a portion of our wing's training mission.
In my informal polling, I found out that most servicemembers know we train multiservice firefighters and some even know we have a big oval track where the Department of Transportation tests tires. However, if you ask questions about the wing's intelligence training from someone other than one of our intelligence students, most end up pretty much speechless.
Even if you are inquisitive and do some research on the wing's training mission terms, e.g., Signals Intelligence, Crypto-Logic Analysis, Electronic Signals, Airborne Crypto-Logic Linguist Analysis, Intelligence Applications and Operations, it is still hard to really grasp or explain what they mean.
It is no wonder many can lose sight of how important it is to really know how their day-to-day efforts fit into supporting a mission that is hard to fully understand.
The answer is simple. No matter your duty title, whether you are active duty, National Guard, Reserves or a civilian employee, your duty is to support the 17 TRW mission.
Our mission is to produce the world's finest firefighters, intelligence specialists, and special instruments specialists.
By dutifully carrying out our daily mission we collectively support the most realistic and relevant training for our next generation of warriors, who will be ready to fight and defend our nation's freedom.
Everyone needs to understand their job is an integral part of this great team we call the U.S. Armed Forces. Do your job to the best of your ability and the team will never fail. You are important to the success of our military and our nation. We depend on you, don't ever doubt or forget it!
Thank you to every member of Team Goodfellow for being professionals and serving our country. Special thanks, to everyone now serving in the military and to those of you who previously served in the Profession of Arms. A small percentage of our population choose to serve, which requires them to put service before self and pledge to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, with the possibility of having to lay down their life for that very cause.
We are an all volunteer force, a key ingredient that makes us stronger and more powerful than any military in the world. Fortunately, our forefathers set the right example and we keep producing military men and women of great character and courage who are willing to embrace the warrior mantle, exude physical and moral courage, and are motivated to answer the question "who shall go?" with conviction... "I am here, send me!"
So, the next time you hear me yell out to the proud members of the 17th Mission Support Group, "Mission Supports" and you hear an enthusiastic response, "FREEDOM!" you should get the same chill running down your spine as I do because you know Team Goodfellow is doing its' part to make sure the citizens of our great country never lose their most precious commodity...Freedom!