From the Top: A Word From Those Who Lead Published Aug. 8, 2006 By Brig. Gen. Robert Yates 31st Fighter Wing commander Aviano Air Base, Italy -- World's Finest warriors - As we approach the end of another full and satisfying week here on the World's Finest ranch, let's take pause to look at the many events going on in and around our Aviano community in the upcoming weeks. Some are sports-related, some have an Italian theme and there's also the upcoming change in the way our civilian personnel system works.First, the town of Aviano declared Saturday, as "United Sports Day." It is a prelude to the Aviano Folklore Festival, Wednesday through Aug. 16 . United Sports Day consists of a thrilling soccer game between our local Italian community and the Aviano Air Base soccer team. In fact, I will be playing on the American side,so if you want to see something unique, come on out. Although we were victorious last year, I have a feeling our fellow Italian sports enthusiasts will be inspired by their recent World Cup win and will be planning on repeating their country's success on the field tomorrow. I invite everyone to come out and cheer us on beginning at 5:30 p.m. Following the soccer game, there will be American music, barbecue food and pasta for a small fee. The event takes place near the Padre Marco Chapel on the way to Castello di Aviano. Hope to see y'all there.And speaking of fun, the Aviano Folklore Festival kicks up its heels, beginning Wednesay, in front of the "Posta" Hotel in Aviano. Dance teams from around the world will be performing and believe me, it's a sight not to be missed. The complete schedule of events will be distributed to all units so everyone has a chance to pick the best time to go experience this event. I attended last year, intend to do so again this year, and highly recommend it.Another big event I'm excited about is the upcoming Aviano Summer Sports Classic Softball Tournament. As you all know, we had to cancel last week due to inclement weather; we re-scheduled the event for Aug. 11. Because of the great response - 18 teams and more than 240 participants - we moved up the schedule a bit. Opening ceremonies will be held at the Freedom Park softball fields at 5 p.m. and we'll play immediately following. We'll get the brackets out early next week; if you have any questions about signing up or brackets, call the Dragon Fitness Center staff at Ext. 7459.On a business note, we're getting closer to launching the January 2007 kickoff of the new National Security Personnel System. This system creates a new framework of rules, regulations and processes for current general schedule employees. To prepare our local GS employees, supervisors and commanders, I will be hosting a "Spread the Word" briefing at 1 p.m., Monday, at the mass briefing facility. The briefing is a great opportunity to discuss how this new system will enhance our government's efficiency and effectiveness. Senior civilian personnel officials have created a first-class website that covers frequently asked questions, a conversion tool, pay tables and training and resources - http://www.cpms.osd.mil/nsps. Access this site to learn more about this exciting landmark reform that will revitalize the role of civilians in the Department of Defense. Finally, I want to wish a fond farewell to Col. Steven Schrader and family, and a warm welcome to our new vice wing commander - Col. Monty Brock, his wife Tina and their daughters Hannah, Marcie and Madeline. We're gonna miss the Schrader family very much, but are excited as well about the arrival of the Brock Family. They're a great family, anxious to join the team, and we look forward to having them amongst us for a long, long time! Welcome! This weekend, remember your role in the W.A.R. Against Risk - that's to apply the word "Piano" to all you do. Slow down on the roads, reduce risk in all you do, eliminate it if you can. Enjoy your families and friends, enjoy the cool weather we expect this weekend and I'll see y'all back at the World's Finest ranch bright and early Monday morning!