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Are you ready?

Col. Jay Pittman, Jr., is the commander of the 302nd Airlift Wing, Air Force Reserve. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Col. Jay Pittman, is the commander of the 302nd Airlift Wing, Air Force Reserve. (U.S. Air Force photo)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- A major focus for our Wing in 2011 will be the preparation and planning for the Wing's Operational Readiness Inspection scheduled for October 2012. The ORI is conducted to evaluate and measure the ability of units with a wartime, contingency or force sustainment mission to perform an operations plan and assigned tasks. It will test our ability to deploy a large portion of the wing (about 400 members) into a chemical threat, wartime environment and effectively operate. The ORI will help us to answer the question, "Are we ready?"

While October 2012 seems like a long time away, in "Air Force Reserve time," from this April, the ORI is only 18 Unit Training Assemblies away. For those who will be deeply involved, the ORI will be here before we know it.

To prepare for the ORI the Wing will follow a preparation regimen which will include exercises, station training, Operational Readiness Training Programs or ORTPs, and an Operational Readiness Exercise. It is important we make the most of these opportunities as they will help us fine tune our skills and build a team that will succeed.

I have great confidence in this Wing's ability to achieve. I've seen our members rise to the occasion and succeed in many challenges ranging from individual and unit deployments to our ability to provide critical airlift support at a moment's notice.

Let's continue to work together, prepare and be able to show our Air Mobility Command inspectors the high level of professionalism and outstanding abilities of this Wing.

And finally, when our operation tempo increases it becomes even more important to remember your Reserve triad - or the balance between your family, civilian employer and Reserve commitment. Continue to communicate with your civilian employer and family about your role in the Reserve - whether you are part of the ORI or not. Their support of your Reserve career is critical, recognized and appreciated.