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New JBER commander talks with the Arctic Warrior
Air Force Col. Brian Duffy took command of 673d Air Base Wing and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson during a June 1 ceremony at Hangar 5. (file photo)
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New JBER commander talks with the Arctic Warrior

Posted 6/7/2012   Updated 6/7/2012 Email story   Print story


by PAO staff report

6/7/2012 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Air Force Col. Brian Duffy took command of 673d Air Base Wing and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson during a June 1 ceremony at Hangar 5. In this column, Duffy answers questions concerning his background and thoughts about taking

Q: Who is Col Brian Duffy? What is your background and experience?

A: For almost 23 years, I've had the opportunity to serve in a variety of organizations and locations across our Air Force and Department of Defense with a significant portion of that time working installation and installation support issues that affect our mission areas and families. Throughout that period, but honestly to a greater extent in the past seven years, that experience aperture opened wider to include a joint and international audience.

Q: What are guiding beliefs leading to your success?

A: We all come from varied backgrounds and have different elements that make us different, such as our uniforms, service culture, or governing regulations, etc. However, there are several things that are common to us all. First, an innate desire to serve and be part of something greater than ourselves. Second, is a voluntary declaration, materialized by the swearing or affirming of our oaths of office or enlistment in which we dedicate ourselves to support and defend a Constitution, born out of a desire to ensure all men and women were free to be whatever it is they chose to be.

Q: What is your roadmap to success?

A: I went to a small school in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and each day walked through our main arch into barracks under a statement which read "You May Be Whatever You Resolve to Be." Resolution is quite different than wishing, wanting, hoping, etc ... it requires focus, dedication, and plain hard work.

Q: What are your expectations?

A: I expect the men and women of the 673d Air Base Wing to do their best each day to accomplish their assigned missions, keeping an eye on the larger picture. Each of us should be able to link our daily activities to our five priorities ... preparing our warfighting capability, ensuring JBER is an able weapons systems that can support and project the mission sets which reside aboard her, supporting our deserving military families, developing our leaders of tomorrow, and pushing our joint base construct further to achieve optimal results in as many categories as possible.
I expect our military personnel, both officer and enlisted, to take care of their business with respect to physical fitness, professional military education, Community College of the Air Force, undergraduate and graduate degrees, as appropriate, and growing in your area of expertise.
For our civilians, you're our continuity ... you're in many cases our most experienced in your functional area. We need your help to provide instruction, guidance, and mentoring of our junior personnel so they're ready to take on their assigned missions when their turn comes to deploy - which in our business, is simply a matter of when, rather than if.
Additionally, I encourage our civilians to take on the challenge of equivalent and appropriate professional military education and developmental opportunities, where appropriate. That common experience brings us closer together as a community.

Q: What is your first impression of Alaska and JBER?

A: Alaska is an incredible part of our country and from the looks at JBER, both the installation itself and the men and women who live, work, and play here, it's obvious to me that there's been an incredible sense of teamwork to get us out of the joint base gates. My hat is off to all those who've been engaging 5-meter targets on a continuous basis to get us where we are now.

Q: What kind of opportunity do you think this is?

A: This is an incredible opportunity. When you merge elements of two world class organizations, U.S. Army Alaska and her subordinate formations along with the 3rd Wing, you have the best of both worlds coming out of the starting blocks. I look forward to understanding more about where we've been to help us better shape where we're going.

Q: What environment do you see us operating in?

A: Our fiscal environment is going to be very interesting in the years to come. Some have said our greatest national security issue is our nation's mounting debt. DoD has already been asked to play a major role in helping attack this challenge and I anticipate we may be asked for more. Working through those challenges as a team, we'll no doubt have to make some very tough decisions, but we'll do so in as transparent and collective means as possible.

Q: Do you have any parting thoughts for Arctic Warriors?

A: Two things. First, my college lacrosse coach had a saying that "little things lead to big things that score big goals that win big games." We've done an incredible job in getting JBER out of the gates and I look forward to helping us ensure our processes are sound and repeatable so they can not only weather time, but also potential changes in our fiscal environment.

Secondly, I look forward to being out in the work centers and having an opportunity to interact with not only the great men and women of the 673d Air Base Wing, but all our mission partners across JBER.

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