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Commentary | Feb. 4, 2010

Setting the gold standard in joint-basing

By Airman 1st Class Jason J. Brown 633d Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Joint-basing.

They are perhaps the two most spoken words at Langley and Fort Eustis in recent months. As the congressionally-directed Joint Base Langley-Eustis began its initial operational capability Jan. 29, the Air Force assumed installation support functions, serving Airmen and Soldiers at both locations.

Joint-basing will increase exposure to and awareness of each service's unique cultures and traditions, promoting operational cohesion both at home and while deployed. This tandem is a great vehicle for Airmen and Soldiers to learn more about each other and work together more effectively.

The Air Force's roots are in the Army, serving as the Army Air Corps from 1926 to 1942 and as the Army Air Forces until being independently established as the Air Force in 1947.

It is important for Airmen to know their roots and respect the customs and heritage of our Army brethren. As an old American proverb states, "you don't know where you're going until you know where you've been."

Airmen should take the time to brush up on their Army knowledge, learning rank insignia and force structure. We have been given the duty of leading this joint-basing initiative, and it is our responsibility to do it with our core values in mind.

It is important to continue our commitment to excellence as we are responsible for not only our own, but our colleagues at Fort Eustis. This is our opportunity to demonstrate our core competencies, taking charge and making the merger a success.

Remember, we are all serving our country with courage and honor. We may have different missions, but our goal is the same -- to defend this great nation. Team Langley needs to set the precedent for joint-basing, and the best way to begin is to understand the history and culture of the Soldiers we now support.

Take the time to visit Fort Eustis. Research the history of the Air Force and our roots in the Army. Learn the traditions, culture and legacy of the Army. By fully investing in this initiative, we not only prove our dedication and abilities to our colleagues, but continue Langley's tradition of excellence.