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Success of 20th Bomb Squadron depends on others

By Lt. Col. Mark Maryak 20th Bomb Squadron Commander

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The 20th Bomb Squadron "Buccaneers" represent one of the many organizations in a very busy 2d Bomb Wing. Since our return from an Air Expeditionary Force deployment in May of '06, we have taken part in three major inspections along with several communications exercises and multiple engagements designed to train warriors from every branch of the armed services to join the Global War on Terrorism.
In each endeavor, the "Bucs" have been honored to be part of a very successful team. This team executed every task with a high degree of success, while overcoming significant challenges in terms of personnel and operations tempo. In every case, the bottom-line enabler has been the same. We find ourselves working among some of the most dedicated professionals to ever perform in any military organization.
First, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the 20th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. The Airmen working in that organization were able to put up phenomenal numbers during our OEF rotation and have maintained an exceptional level of performance ever since. From the officers in charge to the production supervisors and Airmen working on the line, the constant drive to succeed shows itself in everything they do. The 20th AMU has been the consistent factor leading to success in every challenge.
Second, as the commander of my organization, I have to recognize the level of effort demonstrated by all personnel in my unit. From the youngest Airman to the most senior officer, I have witnessed a drive toward excellence that rivals anything I've seen in nineteen years of active service. I simply lost count of the number of times I had to chase young lieutenants and Airmen out of the squadron late at night. Folks have remained laser-focused on achieving the very best results on every test, and the results bear out that their efforts were not in vain. I am confident that the 2d BW warfighting capabilities continue to be honed through every exercise we attack.
Finally, I have to recognize the agencies that work hard every day to make sure that the operators have the very best material available to handle these tough challenges. Whether it is the Operations Support Squadron, Logistics Readiness Squadron, or the Services Squadron, the folks making the mission happen have risen to the challenge and demonstrated an exceptional level of selfless professionalism. The "blue chip" organizations are really too numerous to count. As we have faced some tough tasks of establishing new priorities with respect to people and finances, organizations across the base have continued to succeed by exploring innovative approaches and new ways to achieve the mission in a "leaner" Air Force. Those of us who have been around long enough to witness "swings of the pendulum" know that this kind of dedication and mental agility is exactly what we'll need to succeed in the coming years.
As my turn to command the "Buccaneers" draws to a close, I will confidently inform my replacement that he will have every tool needed to accomplish the mission for the foreseeable future. Our OEF results bear that out and our inspection results bear that out. Most importantly though, you can see the pride and professionalism in actions on the flightline and behind the scenes that will continue to ensure success in organizations across Barksdale. We now find ourselves preparing for one more exercise and then a spin-up to head back "out the door" for another deployment. Drawing on experiences from the past year-and-a-half, I'm confident that we are postured for continued success.
I'd like to pass my thanks to the dedicated professionals across this installation that make that a reality.