By Col. Andrew Cernicky , 47th Mission Support Group commander
/ Published July 09, 2008
LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Isn't Laughlin the best base you have ever been assigned? Answers I have received varied widely from a simple yes or no to everything in between. I've heard, "No, I like being close to the ocean." Others have said, "It's okay, but there's not much to do," even though available activities from A to Z exist without long lines, slow-moving traffic or endless waiting! The most surprising response I've heard is, "It's my first base, so I don't know yet." By default then, would it not be the best? Perhaps my favorite answer is, "I did not desire coming here, but after a short time, I realized that it is in fact absolutely the best. I do not want to serve anywhere else!" With unstoppable attitudes like this, Team XL can accomplish anything!
Many have certainly had some degree of trepidation coming to Southwest Texas but for me, I could not get here fast enough! I rushed here, without breaking the speed limit of course, to join, what I thought and now know, the best people in the world, focused and united, performing the best mission in the entire U.S. Air Force!
One of the best ways to capture the excitement of serving here is to attend a retreat, graduation ceremony or graduation dinner. The 47th Flying Training Wing hosts them every three weeks and plenty of space is available for you. They represent the culmination of our mission accomplishment. During these events for two graduating classes, I could barely keep my emotions in check. Listening to the National Anthem, speeches, presentations, watching the precision performances of the honor guard and the T-1, T-6 and T-38 formation flight easily swells one with intense pride. Moreover, interacting with and observing the emotional reactions and appreciation of the graduates, their visiting family and guests will positively stir your patriotism and faith in our nation. Our graduations energize! Get energized by taking part in them!
No matter where we work or what we do at Laughlin, we all have been given an amazingly immense opportunity to participate in this mission, that is, to help produce the world's best-trained pilots through teamwork and innovation. As vital contributors, our attitude impacts all assigned here. Our behavior, whether positive, neutral or negative, will shape not only our Laughlin and surrounding Del Rio communities, but also their histories. Our way of thinking and approaches to daily duty builds foundations and will ultimately form the fabric ingrained in every student pilot. Graduate pilots depart Laughlin not only with their new silver wings, but also with their experiences shaped by us, propelling them onward to follow-on training, and for many, shortly thereafter, to combat. The success of our mission depends on our attitudes.
Observe our efforts; attend a graduation ceremony! Get charged up to champion our mission then watch your reaction the next time family or friend asks you how your service at Laughlin is going. I guarantee your answer will put less significance on our geography, climate or proximity to the ocean but rather put more emphasis on your pride and conviction being part of the AF's best base Laughlin AFB, producing the world's best trained pilots!