FRONT & CENTER: Recognizing 'Family Day,' deployers

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

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

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- While July concluded the Air Force's "Year of the Air Force Family," the 302nd closed out YoAFF with its annual August UTA Family Day picnic. I would like to thank everyone who brought their families and friends to Family Day this year.

The attendance was outstanding, and I am pleased so many of you were able to show your appreciation to your families for their support of your Reserve careers. Of course, an event of that magnitude takes many to plan, prepare and execute. I would like to thank Senior Master Sgt. Terry Brassard, our Services Flight superintendent for leading the effort as well as everyone who served on the Family Day Committee.

Hopefully your families also took part in the outstanding "Herc Adventure Tour" which gave hundreds of children the opportunity to tour a C-130 as well as learn about the AF Reserve deployment process, equipment and careers in the Wing. From multiple accounts, this event was the highlight of the day for many of our youngsters. This event, co-sponsored by the Maintenance Group and the Wing's Human Resources Development Council, was only a success because of their tireless efforts.

Thank you again to everyone who made this one of the wing's most successful Family Days. While it's only feasible to host one Family Day a year, keep in mind the programs and events the Peterson Airman and Family Readiness Center has available to you and your family year round. More information is available on their website at www.21svs.com.

As we move into the fall, the Wing's operational tempo has increased and the focus on readiness is sharper than ever. Our Active Duty partners in the 52nd Airlift Squadron deployed nearly a dozen members in late August. Shortly after, both the 302nd Operations and Maintenance Groups deployed approximately 150 members, which you can read more about on page 9. If that isn't enough, members from both the 39th Aerial Port Squadron and 34th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron are preparing to deploy this winter.

While these members deploy to the Middle East, at home our preparations for the Wing's 2012 Operational Readiness Inspection continue. As always, your readiness is vital to the Wing's success in fulfilling its mission of training, equipping and employing forces worldwide when called upon.

I can't say it enough, but thank you for your continued work and efforts to ensure we are always ready to go when that time comes.