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Teamwork in action preps MacDill for NORI/ORI

  • Published
  • By Col. Lenny Richoux
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Commander
In spite of the August heat, Operational Readiness Inspection players put forth a tremendous effort during our most recent mobility exercise. This MOBEX was arguably the most successful and efficient to date.

My personal gratitude goes to our Exercises and Plans team, headed up by Lt. Col. Tom Emmolo and Mr. Dave Cresswell, and to our installation deployment officer, 1st Lt Rachael Mooney. I also appreciate the hard work of the 927th Air Refueling Wing and the 6th Air Mobility Wing Logistics Readiness Squadron. Thanks for a job well done, yet again!

As well, I'd like to mention some other top performers from that weekend. Thanks to logisticians leading the construction of each deployer's mobility bag; Master Sgt. Dynell Trudell, Tech. Sgt. Stephanie Stevenslampkin and Mr. Ed Hernandez, our augmentees working vehicle-driver duty and the cargo yard and also the specialists on the personnel deployment function line. Great work!

Finally, thanks are due to the crew of the C-17 loaned to us by Charleston Air Force Base. Having the aircraft here for the weekend provided an invaluable training opportunity in preparation for our January inspection.

Awhile back, I visited Col. Dennis Beatty's 6th Medical Group and their new, state-of-the-art clinic. The facility, just over a year old, is quite impressive, but as you'd expect, the Airmen working there are even more impressive. Having completed my own personal check-ups and medical appointments since arriving, I'm proud to say that I've seen nothing but professionalism and expertise from our medical team.

Of all of the deployed stories I've heard thus far, it's safe to say that Staff Sgt. Steve McIntyre's deployed experience is probably the most poignant. Deployed to Talil Air Base, Iraq earlier this year, Sergeant McIntyre served as the NCOIC of Outreach and Prevention for the 732nd Combat Stress Control unit. His mission, making mental health assistance available to servicemembers in Southern Iraq, showed him the very personal side of war.

As the "unofficial morale booster" for Talil Air Base, Sergeant McIntyre and a team of 27 mental health professionals ensured that morale and mental and emotional well-being were needs that deployers did not have to search for, unlike a soft bed, some relief in the shade or a strong internet connection. For Sergeant McIntyre, the underlying theme for each day was building relationships with troops, asking them how they feel, listening and then acting, when necessary.

One memory that stays with Sergeant McIntyre is the bond that he built with a soldier experiencing some marital discord while deployed. Like Sergeant McIntyre mentions, the soldier was in a "bad place" mentally and had voiced some suicidal thoughts. Two key factors, however, I believe kept the worst from happening: Sergeant McIntyre's presence and the individual's willingness to ask for help. The soldier received the proper guidance and care from a mental health professional and moved past that "bad place" in life. Think about that... asking for help when it's needed most, can save a life. Even in war.

No matter what the situation or how troubling it is, we can all learn from Airmen like Sergeant McIntyre and that soldier. Listening to or helping a teammate in need may take a lot of patience and caring. Always remember, though, that asking for help takes a lot of courage, too.