Meet every challenge
By Maj. John Khlor, 1st Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron Commander
/ Published November 10, 2015
HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. --
The 1st Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron proudly displays “Meet Every Challenge” on our squadron patch. We firmly believe in our ability to meet every challenge any time, any place. But if we can’t meet every demand does that mean we failed? The answer is no.
The first lesson in goal-setting is goals must be realistic. You also have to ask the right questions and understand the problem. Often, challenges can be better managed with proper planning and taking time to assess the real task. Poor planning or not focusing on the actual problem creates unnecessary obstacles to success.
There are no shortcuts in life and success comes through old-fashioned hard work and preparation. Preparation is hard, but necessary. Even the world’s best athletes work hard and prepare every day to hone their skills – that’s what makes them the best. You simply cannot show up on game day and expect to perform your best without having prepared consistently.
The challenge many logistics squadrons face is getting acceptance for established logistics processes from logistical planning and execution, to maintaining supply discipline and accountability for government owned property. By fiscal year 2017, the Air Force must meet the Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (FIAR) mandate from Congress. To meet this challenge, every unit must be able to show an audit trail of everything they own, where it is and its current status. This will require every Airman to understand logistics and apply supply discipline.
The FIAR, stringent deployment taskings and improving customer service are big challenges. Our biggest challenge, the one we must overcome in order to meet every challenge, is instilling in all Airmen why logistics is important and that we are all logisticians, regardless of where one works. We plan to meet this challenge through rigorous preparation. Our campaign consists of educating stakeholders on Logistics Truths, engraining core logistics beliefs in our logisticians and embracing training as the foundation to success.
There is a set of truths for special operations forces that everyone should know and honor for successful special operations. In similar fashion, the 1st SOLRS offers Logistics Truths, or those things we all must understand and honor for successful logistics operations. These truths include:
- Mobility readiness is the responsibility of every unit.
- Safe operations don’t slow the mission, safe operations sustain the mission.
- Timely logistics take time and time to plan.
- Everything can’t be the top priority.
- Communication must occur early and often.
As truths inform our customers, we in logistics have belief statements our unit must internalize for success. Our belief statements include:
- Safety first…on and off duty!
- People matter: Customers, co-workers and family…treat them right.
- Candid communication is essential for trust, honesty and improving.
- We all have a part in making the organization better.
- We must be our own toughest critic.
Training is the cornerstone of our campaign. The majority of our wing’s mission centers on training to ensure we get our mission right when down range. Training must be frequent, realistic and a priority. We must train with our wing partners to produce better logistics processes and logisticians base-wide.
Compromising safety with unnecessary risks, unfamiliarity with logistics directives and not maintaining supply discipline with established processes is not the way to meet every challenge. Taking time to prepare and adhering to Logistics Truths, honoring our belief statements and persistent training is the way. When we all work together as logisticians, we will meet every challenge.