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News > Commentary - 325th Fighter Group "Checkertail Clan"
325th Fighter Group "Checkertail Clan"

Posted 4/18/2011   Updated 5/17/2011 Email story   Print story


Commentary by Col. Paul Skala
325th Medical Group commander

4/18/2011 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- As Airmen of the 325th Fighter Wing, we are privileged to serve in a warfighting unit with a proud and distinguished heritage of excellence. Our wing's lineage traces back to the 325th Fighter Group which was activated at Mitchell Field, N.Y. on August 3, 1942.

The Airmen of the 325th FG were exceptionally well-trained, disciplined, and razor-focused in delivering war-winning combat power to defeat the World War II Axis alliance across North Africa, Italy, France, Germany, and Eastern Europe. Excellence was the only acceptable outcome for the 325th FG as they destroyed 537 enemy aircraft in aerial combat, 350 enemy aircraft on the ground, were awarded two Distinguished Unit citations and had 27 aces recognized during two years of combat. Their motto, "Locare et Liquidare", meaning Locate and Liquidate, brilliantly described the Checkertails' mission focus and correspondingly exceptional results. Our nation and professionals of the 325th FW owe a debt of gratitude to the Airmen of the 325th FG for establishing the Checkertail standard of excellence.

Understanding our remarkable heritage and the tremendous sacrifices of those Airmen who preceded us, is step one to perpetuating the Checkertail legacy of excellence. The next step is to have a positive attitude, enthusiastically embrace the standard of excellence, and measure ourselves against that standard every day. Achieving excellence requires not only doing the right things correctly, but also not tolerating illegal, unethical, or immoral conduct which jeopardizes our credibility and mission accomplishment.

As a compliance-driven organization, the pursuit of excellence also mandates that we remain in lock-step with Air Force standards, technical orders, regulations, and instructions. These standards were established to maximize mission effectiveness, maintain good order and discipline, and facilitate a safe environment for our Airmen and community. Ultimately, all Checkertail Airmen share a joint responsibility for ensuring our team remains in compliance with Air Force standards.

Over the last year, the 325th FW has revalidated its reputation for delivering excellent mission-winning results. In June of 2010, our wing earned an "Outstanding" rating on the Command Cyber Readiness Inspection. Last month, the Checkertail Medics were rated "Excellent" by the Air Force Inspector General with a score of 90 out of 100 and were granted "Full 3-Year Accreditation" by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Healthcare. The outcome of these evaluations were the direct result of Airmen who were all-in committed, well trained, detail oriented, and extremely responsive throughout the inspections.

Headquarters Air Force and Major Command level inspections are excellent opportunities to measure units' compliance with Air Force standards. The upcoming June 6-11 Compliance Inspection (CI) represents another significant opportunity for the 325th FW to again deliver mission-winning results with an "Outstanding" rating. Based upon the phenomenal quality of our Airmen and our 69 years of sustained excellence from WWII to present day, I predict we will perform extremely well. In summary, we owe it to ourselves and our heroic Checkertail heritage to deliver no less than excellence. Locate and Liquidate!!

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