Bird's Eye View: Edwards represented at Junior Miss Antelope Valley Pageant

  • Published
  • By Col. H. Brent Baker Sr.
  • 95th Air Base Wing commander
This past Saturday, Robyle and I had the opportunity to attend the Junior Miss Antelope Valley Pageant in Palmdale. I was invited at the request of Staff Sgt. Jeanetta Racy, whose daughter, A'Lexis Price, was representing Edwards after being selected as the Junior Miss Edwards in 2006.

A'Lexis, who is a seventh-grader at Edwards Middle School, represented the base well giving a speech about what makes a great leader and answering five different judges' questions.

While A'Lexis didn't win the Junior Miss Antelope Valley crown, she is a fantastic ambassador and I'm proud of her accomplishments, not only here at Edwards, but as a volunteer at the Saint Joseph's Manor in Lancaster.

Slow down! The barrier's already broken

I understand we all work and live where man first broke the speed of sound in the skies over our heads, thus giving birth to modern aviation.

While I love to come to work here everyday because of the wonderful mission we perform, I am sorry to say that I see a few people daily attempting to break the sound barrier every time they get in their cars.

Case in point: last week, I was driving my car on Rosamond Boulevard. Unfortunately, I had an unpleasant surprise when a driver decided that I was going too slowly, i.e., the speed limit, and zoomed right past me near at near "lift-off" speeds.

I'm not sure everyone knows this, but Edwards has the fastest speed limits on any Defense Department military installation.

Granted, I understand people are anxious to get to work, or dare I say, leave this wonderful base, but we need everyone to obey the posted speed limits. They are there for a reason -- your safety and the safety of others.

Budget concerns continue

As you know, 2006 was a tough budgetary year and 2007 will prove to be even tougher. Each year the Air Force designates funds into three main categories: operation accounts that enable bases to function and complete its missions; investment accounts that buy and replace equipment; and people accounts that pay for training and taking care of Airmen.

When I first took command last year, the base was faced with shortfalls in the fiscal 2007 budget. Now that we're a third of the way through the fiscal year, the outlook continues to look bleak with no help on the horizon in regards to the fiscal 2008 budget.

The Air Force is in the process of balancing its personnel force, while at the same time reconstituting its hardware and fighting the Global War on Terror. Besides force shaping initiatives enacted in 2006, the Air Force also recently instituted military permanent change of stations restrictions as well.

As Lt. Gen. Roger A. Brady, Air Force deputy chief of staff for manpower and personnel said last year, the Air Force's operations tempo is unlikely to change, and performing the mission with fewer people means things must be done differently.

I challenge each and every one of you to continue thinking in terms of lean and work smarter as we weather this budgetary storm together and make our Air Force even better.