'Excellent': 4th Fighter Wing celebrates top marks on Operational Readiness Inspection
By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on March 12, 2013 1:46 PM
Photo courtesy of Airman 1st Class Aubrey White
4th Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron Tech. Sgt. Michael Maldonado mans a defense force posture during a mock small-arms fire attack at a simulated deployed location on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base on Friday.
Their base under attack, airmen stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base still had to generate combat-ready aircraft.
They had to react, quickly, to a shooter opening fire inside the installation's gates.
They had to not only survive, but rise above the many threats thrown at them by an Air Combat Command inspection team.
That was the test that pushed members of the 4th Fighter Wing to the brink last week.
So when their commander, Col. Jeannie Leavitt, interrupted the massive barbecue unfolding at Debden Park Monday afternoon to say a few words, she was visibly proud of all they accomplished during Operational Readiness Inspection CORONET WHITE.
The men and women she is charged with leading had met the challenge -- passing a no-fail exam with flying colors.
"What a phenomenal day. We've got beautiful weather. We got an excellent rating on our inspection. And we've got free food," she said. "That's pretty cool."
Inspectors awarded the wing an 'Excellent' for their performance during an inspection designed to test its ability to go to -- and perform seamlessly at -- war.
"What does an excellent mean? Well, to get a satisfactory is very hard. It is very challenging. You have to meet very high standards to get a satisfactory on a readiness inspection," Leavitt said. "Well, we exceeded that."
And they did it after months of exercises -- after a grueling series of seemingly non-stop days on the job.
So their commander praised their hard work and commitment to the mission.
"Each and every one of you should be very proud. Our airmen performed phenomenally. This is just a wonderful day," she said. "It was a lot of work -- a lot of work. And it all paid off."
And she thanked those in uniform -- and the men, women and children who stand behind them -- for making it possible.
"This was a huge effort -- a huge undertaking," Leavitt said. "The bottom line is that we are mission ready. We are ready to employ dominant Strike Eagle air power any time, any place, so whenever, wherever we're called upon to do so, we will meet ... the tasking. So I just, more than anything, want to say thank you."