An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NEWS | April 14, 2011

From the Top - We’re in the Red Zone Now

By Colonel Kenneth Rizer 11th Wing/Joint Base Andrews commander

At the 11th Wing staff meeting this week, I chewed on folks for some basic blocking and tackling kinds of things: OPR/EPR timeliness, delinquent GTC cards, Air Force Assistance Fund participation, and most significantly, Compliance Inspection readiness. My tone and approach apparently caused a bit of a stir. In fact, one of my wingmen came by my house Wednesday night, "just to make sure you're ok, boss."

I'm fine, really. But I am concerned. With the Joint Service Open House just around the corner, and the Compliance Inspection following immediately in its wake, we're running out of time for what will be our wing's first major inspection since it stood up 5 years ago as the 316th Wing. We've made enormous progress in building our emergency management capability, reinvigorating our self-inspection program, and ensuring compliance with Air Force and joint guidance. Simultaneously with these efforts, we've completed a successful mission movement to become the "Chief's Own" 11th Wing with all of its added responsibilities, and we've raised the bar in every single one of our mission areas: Defending National Leaders, Deploying Combat Ready Airmen, Showcasing the United , Providing Presidential Support to Airmen/Sailors and their Families, and Fostering Joint Teamwork. I'm proud of our team's efforts in all these areas. My concern, however, comes from the urgency of the moment we find ourselves in.

Folks, we just entered the Red Zone and the game clock is counting down. We've spent countless hours, to include too many "CI Saturdays" to count, crafting a winning game plan, practicing, and refining our plays and processes. We've done all of this while still performing our critical day-to-day missions and dealing with the unique challenges that come from being a host wing with global responsibilities in the National Capital Region. There is no doubt we've put in lots of time to get to where we are, but now is the time that matters most. The goal line is within reach, and our efforts have put us within striking distance of winning. With all the time and energy invested thus far, we need a final push out of everyone to finish those tasks required to put the ball in the end zone.

Championship teams are the ones that finish strong. Many get close to winning, but fall just short due to lack of focus and execution in those most critical concluding moments of a close game. The championship teams are the ones that summon all of their energy at the key moment to win. Our hard work has put us in a position to win this inspection game, but now we need that little bit extra from everyone to achieve our goal.

We have squadrons and agencies that are "compliant" today--they need a sense of urgency to polish their processes to earn the recognition they deserve for their outstanding performers and benchmarked programs. We have squadrons and agencies that are in the "compliant with comments" zone--a final push will make all the difference in getting their programs up into the "compliant" zone where they belong. And finally, we have a small number of organizations that are hovering around the border of "compliant with comments" and "non-compliant"--the personnel in these organizations are the hardest working people in the wing right now, as they're striving to build and improve programs that needed attention.

When you look at how far we've come, how much effort we've put forth, it's nothing short of amazing. Achieving our goal of overall "compliant" with zero "non-compliant" areas will come down to every member of this team, from our youngest Airmen to our most seasoned civilians, giving their all in this final push.

Let's put the ball in the end zone.