Visit was a victory for Team Sheppard

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Richard Devereaux
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs
Last Thursday and Friday, Col Dave Petersen, 80 FTW/CC, and I hosted a 2-day visit by our AETC Commander, Gen Looney, his Command Chief, CMSgt Luzader, and their spouses. The visit took an incredible amount of planning and preparation by both wings, covering every aspect of their itineraries to include tours, meals, briefings, commander's calls, etc. The capstone event was a themed dinner Thursday night at the Sheppard Club attended by about 150 people including several of downtown's civic leaders.

So, how did the visit go? In my view, it was a tremendous victory! In fact, I can't imagine the 2 days going any better! Team Sheppard performed even better than the Dallas Cowboys did during their victory over the Green Bay Packers last week! The base looked great, the tours and briefings were exceptional, and the Looneys and Luzaders, were in their words, "blown away" by the hospitality, professionalism, and enthusiasm of our Sheppard people. You made all your leaders very, very proud!

Why do we invest so much time ensuring these high-level visits go so well? First, it's simply the right thing to do. When our 4-star boss takes two days out of his schedule to come see us, it's appropriate that we ensure his visit is as productive and enjoyable as possible. Second, successful visits often lead to increased resources and support for our base. Gen Looney has always been a strong advocate for Sheppard's missions and people. I assure you that with the success of this recent visit, there is no danger that support will wane in any way. Finally, planning and executing these visits provide valuable team-building and leadership opportunities for those involved. This visit had the look and feel of a military operation, and honed the skills of our team that pulled it off.

I want to thank those who did such an EXCEPTIONAL job in leading this effort. I wish I had the space to list everyone, but let me name a few. Maj Minh Do (82 MSG), 82 TRW visit chief; his assistant, Maj Michelle Gonzales (82 MDOS); Lt Col Taz Washington (80 FTW); Capt Melissa Pyatkov (82 SVS)--dinner OPR; Mr. Terry Lowery--Sheppard Club manager who pulled off three incredible meals; and our tireless Protocol staff led by Capt Zoe Waleed --- all did an exceptional job. But most of all, I want to thank all of you for doing your part to ensure our base and facilities looked great and that we made a "fantastic first, and perhaps final, impression" of Sheppard on our 4-star boss.

As we look ahead to next week, remember that Monday, 10 Dec, is Wingman Day for the 82 TRW. The day will involve commanders' calls and small group discussions reinforcing the Wingman concept. As Airmen, our responsibility to each other is just as important as our individual performance. Keep your "radar" on and continually assess the needs of those around you. Whether you're in the workplace, in a bar downtown, in the air, or on the battlefield, never leave a Wingman behind.

Thanks, Team Sheppard for your tireless support of our mission and unwavering commitment to your fellow Wingmen!