Wing historian tracks a wide range of events

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

History is made every day. The decisions and events that happen not only affect the present, they become the past and influence the future.

To make informed decisions, leaders look at examples in history.

“Recording our challenges today allows our leaders to learn from our mistakes and avoid repeating them,” explained Stephen Ove, the historian assigned to the 6th Air Mobility Wing. “Every unit needs to remember what they did yesterday to know what they need to do today. The history program does the same thing strategically--across decades and generations.”

 To provide sound history, historians must record a wide range of events.

“We keep every kind of record that people might call the Air Force and expect us to know; for example, the people who have visited us, the places we've deployed, the things we've airlifted,” said Ove.

The historical records must be recorded in detail to provide proper information.

According to Air Force Instruction 84-101, Historical Products, Services, and Requirements, “Accurate and timely historical reporting provides decision-makers with information they can use to improve the combat capability of the United States Air Force and the Department of Defense.”

Historians have detailed instructions on what to keep; so Ove travels to each squadron, including geographically separated units, at least annually to collect records.

"Every year we submit hundreds of documents to the Air Force Historical Research Agency,” said Ove. “It takes months to track down the Airmen who created these records, and months more to express their work in a way people will understand in the future."

The history he records now will be the present day Airmen’s legacy.

“Faithfulness to a proud heritage is more than just a line in the Airmen's Creed to me--it is more even than my profession,” said Ove. “Our time is just a paragraph in an incredible story. We should all try to make understanding our past a part of our everyday lives.”