Excellence in all you (Team Sheppard) do!

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Richard Devereaux
  • 82nd Training Wing commander
Sometimes we get so focused on our jobs it's easy to lose sight of all the activities whirling around us. 

Besides churning out hundreds of tech training graduates each week, along with the 80th's crop of new pilots almost every month, there are many, many other activities that add to the richness of our mission. I'd like to highlight just a few of the events over the last 10 days or so that reinforce the importance of Team Sheppard and the GREAT things our people do every day.

Last Monday-Wednesday we hosted an AETC "Inns of Excellence" Team who inspected our lodging operation as we competed for best in AETC. This was a big deal when you consider our base has over 1,500 lodging rooms--1,500 opportunities to make a great first impression for our visitors! Lodging director Phil Pence and team did an awesome job . . . we're anxiously awaiting the results.

Also on Monday, we held our first-ever Annual Tech Training Awards luncheon at the club and handed out lots of wing-level awards to our top instructors and support personnel. CMSgt Larry Brown, 82 TRG, and SMSgt Todd Connolly, 365 TRS, did an awesome job pulling this together. The event reminded me that we're not only the biggest tech training operation in AETC but that we're the best--Technically the Best at producing trained, motivated, and ready graduates for our Air Force!

Later that same day . . . our International Military Student Office (IMSO) helped host our first International Military Student Reception at the Sheppard Club. This event was attended by nearly every international student currently going through tech training at Sheppard--31 students from 19 countries. Our IMSO director, Debbie Moss, did an outstanding job making a "fantastic first impression" on these trainees. The event reminded us all how important it is that we not only teach our international students but work hard to develop relationships with them that will help us better work together in this long international fight against terrorism.

The next day, Tuesday, Maj Holly Ginn and Maj Mimi Cannonier (383 TRS) led an AF Assistance Fund "Basket Auction" that raised over $5,700 for the AF Assistance Fund. It was a great event with lots of creative basket bundles donated by nearly every unit on the base. This event pushed Team Sheppard to 178% of our AFAF goal. Our overall campaign, led by Maj Dee Ann Mejia, has raised more total contributions than any other single base in the United States Air Force! That speaks volumes about Team Sheppard's generosity.

Last Thursday our Services Squadron hosted an Honor Guard Appreciation lunch and picnic at the Hospital picnic area. The event featured the world-famous Anheuser-Bush Clydesdales and included a free lunch provided by the Texas Roadhouse. Services did an awesome job pulling this event together to honor our Honor Guard men and women, led by MSgt Welton Glover, who constantly support on- and off-base ceremonies, including funerals for our fallen comrades--381 funerals last year in fact!

Finally, this week, the 80th is hosting its annual Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) Steering Committee meeting and 25th Anniversary. The week is packed with substantive meetings and social gatherings and includes representatives from nearly every one of the 13-member nations. Both the 80th and the 82d have come together to make this historic week a big success. The ENJJPT mission is a Sheppard trademark and represents the absolute gold standard of international cooperation among air forces. I know Col "Squint" Kendall, 80 FTW/CC, is very proud of his team and what they've produced this week, and every week. There is no better pilot training operation on the planet than the 80th Flying Training Wing!

So what's the common theme in this typical Team Sheppard week? It's excellence, excellence in all YOU do. Thanks Team Sheppard for all you do to keep our base a world-class, excellent installation that is building tomorrow's Air Force today!