Bolling ready for showtime

  • Published
  • By Col. Bruce W. Deane
  • AFDW chief of staff and acting director of logistics
We have successfully navigated the reactivation of the Air Force District of Washington and our various homeland-defense organizations and roles to the point where we can say with strong confidence: We are ready for the events ahead.

Starting today, Secretary of the Air Force Dr. James G. Roche starts his last week at the helm. His farewell festivities are meshed into the final tunings for President Bush's second inaugural Thursday. While it will be a week full of activities to celebrate his second term in office, it will also be a week to once more "what if" all the counter-terrorism measures our country has learned since September 11.

This will be the first inaugural conducted in the post-September 11 world. Everyone is familiar with the outward ceremonial and public affairs aspects. Likewise, many have become accustomed to the behind-the-scenes preparations and security activities that will ensure this inaugural is as safe, secure and dignified as all the previous ones.

The last year was "full of clinics and test events" for the National Capital Region to fine-tune the art of interagency coordination to support major events like this, which are common to the D.C. area. With your great help and initiative, we have perfected our trade.

Again breaking new ground, this inaugural will be the first test of sustained operations over a 10-day period for Joint Task Force-NCR, its components and interagency organizations. The new animal on the block, AFDW, will likewise begin flexing its joint muscles in support of this event and the follow-on State of the Union Address Feb 2. So folks, we are going to be coming and going -- executing one and quickly planning another one. That's the battle rhythm in the NCR.

Please take this time up front to review the battle space ahead. Talk with your families about what you will be doing and not doing, think operational security. Adjust plans accordingly to handle pop-up contingencies in the office like people out sick, weather delays, traffic congestion, etc.

We need to plan now and prepare, because once the starter gun sounds, too many balls are going to be up in the air. We don't want any of them falling through the cracks.

For those thinking about driving around the city during the inaugural, adjust your times and ideas. Being the first inaugural post-September 11, areas will be tightly controlled for access.

Amidst it all, don't forget to take care of yourself and those in the trenches with you. Rest when you can, exercise, stay fortified, spend time with family -- don't forget them -- review the plan, be safe, don't press the weather or fatigue, and execute to the letter.

Overall, teamwork is paramount, as well as a sense of urgency and attention to detail. We are representing the entire Air Force, continental United States, overseas and deployed, to the world -- all of us. So pitch in and pick up the slack for all those going forward as cordon members, marching units, drivers, food-service support, security teams and snow-removal details. I know we'll shine as always. This is definitely a total-team effort.

We have worked months to get here. It's showtime!