How you fit in

Spouses and children of the 31st Munitions Squadron gather to build mock munitions during a family open house event at Aviano Air Base, Italy on Sept. 9, 2016. The family members learned about munition equipment and received a tour of the squadron facilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cory W. Bush)

Spouses and children of the 31st Munitions Squadron gather to build mock munitions during a family open house event at Aviano Air Base, Italy on Sept. 9, 2016. The family members learned about munition equipment and received a tour of the squadron facilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cory W. Bush)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- The 31st Fighter Wing’s mission is to Deter Aggression, Defend U.S. and NATO interests, and Develop Aviano and every Airman should know how they fit into the mission and why their efforts matter. Furthermore, all Airmen should have an elevator speech when asked, “how do you tie into the wing’s mission?” or “what do you do for the Air Force?”

Here’s mine.

I’m a 31st Munitions Squadron Hellhound. We are the keepers and providers of safe, secure, and effective “Kinetic Energy…Yowza (KEY)!”

By the way, kinetic energy is bombtastic and fires me up!

The Air Force’s ability to deliver a variety of KEY options Deters Aggression by infiltrating the minds and decision making of would-be adversaries.

Why does it matter?

History shows us that world powers have used military might to impose their will on other nations for eons. Then in 1945, it stopped. Wars between world powers became too risky, like going all in on a Texas Hold ‘em bluff, except the psychological effect is a trillion times higher. The addition of high-end KEY applications, a.k.a. dangerous toys, in 1945 increased reservations of going to war so much so that world powers have since chosen to avoid military conflicts with one another for fear of national suicide. In other words, the work of the men and women in the 31st MUNS preserves peace by Deterring Aggression every single day…so sleep well tonight.

When deterrence fails, there are a variety of KEY available to Defend U.S. and NATO interests by blowing things up and taking out bad guys.

Why does it matter? Options.

When a crisis occurs, the President looks to his staff for options to control or neutralize the crisis. One of those options is conventional military power. Precision KEY can be employed with very little to no collateral damage; a critical component of strikes in a world filled with political tensions and 24-hour news coverage. In the past year we have seen multiple situations arise that required short notice alerts and deployments for Team Aviano and the Hellhounds dominated by providing the KEY and delivery means to Defend.

The KEY business requires leaders at all levels, therefore, Developing Team Aviano leaders is our focus. Whether leading a technical operation, munition build, pylon inspection or a squadron party, Hellhounds are out front kicking butt.

Why do you matter?

The 18-year-old Airmen today are our Air Force senior leaders and deciders of tomorrow. Deliberate effort is needed to develop Airmen into leaders…you can’t just take a pill and be a leader. The great Vince Lombardi once said, “There is no room for second place. It is and always has been an American zeal to be first in anything we do, and to win, and to win, and to win!” Developing leaders today minimizes the risk of taking second place in a war, a.k.a. losing.

Knowing how you fit into the Wing’s mission and why your efforts matter equates to job satisfaction. Talk to your peers, supervisors, or anyone in a leadership position to find out how you fit into the mission and why it matters. Afterwards, develop your elevator speech so you can explain it in layman’s terms to the simplest of cavemen like me. Finally, share it with everyone up and down the chain of command in an effort to make them all better than you. Making others better than you is the KEY ingredient needed to win, and to win, and to win!