On 3 June I went through a Change of Command ceremony and took the guide-on (a flag that represents the unit) from my Group commander and officially assumed command of the 628th Force Support Squadron and Joint Base Charleston. It's hard to describe exactly what that means, but basically my unit provides everything from child care to recreation to food to fitness to education to human resources to family programs to training to lodging and more. All of it's done in the very public eye since we have activities all over the Air Base and the Weapons Station. It's actually kind of amazing and the team I have has stunned me with their capabilities every day over the last four weeks.
We are on what's called a "joint base" which means they took a Navy installation down the road and combined it with an Air Force base to try to reduce overhead support costs. I'm not necessarily convinced there has been much in the way of cost savings, but it sure has created an interesting environment of crossing two Service cultures and ways of doing business into one giant foundation of support for various types of customers.
Added to that, part of our unit is actually a business entity. It's hard to describe in civilian terms, but basically, we get part of our funding from "the government" (appropriated by Congress) and some of it we have to generate ourselves (non-appropriated). So, we have what is basically a bunch of small businesses with all the marketing, accounting, managing, and planning that goes into creating successful ventures. There are a ton of regulations and instructions that place some boundaries and limitations on what we can and can't do, so that's where my creative mind has been working a lot lately. I'm learning where the boundaries are and then how to push them! haaaaaaaaaaa We have a fantastic website so you can get some idea of the span of activities: Joint Base Charleston.
I've come home exhausted most evenings because I haven't had my brain this consistently engaged in a long time! But, it's a great exhaustion because I feel exhilarated by my people and excited about learning how to deal with challenges I've never even imagined. Some of those challenges seem absurd but some of them are cool...and all of them remind me that I am here to serve. And that's a good thing.
So, I'll see if I can find that camera that's still buried under stuff that's not quite put away in my newly rented house and shoot something awesome for week 27. :)
Thanks for sharing in my adventure!