Friday Night - Come Celebrate the Best!

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Richard Devereaux
  • 82nd Training Wing commander
Friday evening is our 82nd Training Wing Annual Awards Banquet in hangar 1045. And if you don't have your tickets yet, it's not too late to sign up. 

The evening promises to be a great one--great music provided by the Army Band at Fort Sill, Okla., a great steak and chicken dinner provided by Texas Roadhouse, a great speech provided by Maj. Gen. Loren Reno, former commander of the 82nd Training Group and current commander of ALC at Tinker, and finally--and most important of all--a great opportunity to recognize the best and the brightest of the 82nd TRW . . . all this for only $20 a person. 

If you missed our Sheppard 60th Anniversary Ball, don't make the same mistake again. Please come out Friday night and help cheer on our winners. 

We certainly have cause to celebrate 2007 in the 82nd TRW. Here's my recap:

We're still "Technically the Best" at our Tech Training mission
Last year, we produced over 77,000 graduates from initial skills, advanced, and on-line courses here at Sheppard and our 61 detachments and operating locations. That's 54 percent of all Air Force tech training graduates! And more than 95 percent of our operational customers tell us they are highly satisfied with the quality of our graduates. 

Besides that, last year the 372nd Training Squadron was rated the Best Training Squadron in the Air Force and the 882nd Training Support Squadron won the Best Training Support Squadron in the AF. 

Despite these accolades, we're not resting on our laurels. Instead, our wing is aggressively improving the quality of our training through injecting more technology and innovation into our classrooms, laboratories, and flight lines. One of our brightest accomplishments of 2007 was the opening of our F-22 Raptor Maintenance Training Facility, where this month we are training crew chiefs and specialists in the Air Force's only 5th generation training complex.

We've provided "Fantastic First Impressions" for our trainees, newcomers, families, and community partners 
No doubt, we are a first-impression base and wing for our Air Force as affirmed by the huge training pipeline that flows through here. During their stay, our trainees were fed physically by the best Food Service operation and Medical Treatment Facility in Air Education and Training Command, fed intellectually by the best library, and spiritually by the best chapel program in AETC. 

We broke ground on 200+ brand new family housing units in our Wherry Housing area and cut the ribbon on a new dormitory, Cunningham Hall. This past year, we worked hard to stand up a Warrior Weekend Challenge program that provides our Airmen with alternative, constructive, team-building activities on the weekends. 

We also enhanced the positive first impression of our base and people through a number of world-class events including the Hotter'N Hell Hundred, the Birthday Ball and parade celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the AF, the Heritage-to-Horizons Air Show, and countless other events. All of these reflected favorably on our base, our Air Force, and our community.

Finally, we sustained a "Safe, Secure, Supportive" environment for our people
We took good care of our people last year. We stressed safety constantly, with our Safety office winning the Best Ground Safety program in AETC. We went 143 days without a DUI--the longest streak I've seen at any DoD installation in my 30-year career. 

We maintained the security of our base and people with the help of our award winning 82nd Security Forces Squadron--named the best in the USAF. And we are embarking on a project to transform our installation gates to further enhance our security. 

Finally, Sheppard is a place where people are treated with dignity and respect, fostered by our Equal Opportunity Office which was named best in AETC for 2007. 

In short, our wing's performance in 2007 was none other than stellar. That means the product we produced will ensure the AF remains in good hands for the near term. 

We've got a lot to be proud of--please come out and celebrate our year on Friday night!