ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. --
The Commander's Action Line is a forum for the Ellsworth community to make suggestions or voice concerns about Ellsworth directly to Col. Mark Weatherington, 28th Bomb Wing commander.
I am emailing in regards to the constant changing ORE dates. I was wondering how the planning is that goes into this and why we are told to plan any sort of leave around these dates but this is becoming impossible with thrown in dates and dates that keep moving up a week or a week later.
Also, the bigger question I have is why did the ORE scheduled initially over Easter week get bumped back to March leaving us with 2 ORE's in March and absolutely none in April. We will be going a month with no exercises before what is the most important. I just am starting to become a little concerned as I have adjusted my leave many many times (let me also mention this has been planned and paid for since last July and now we are cancelling hotels, registration fees, event tickets, and yes money is coming out of our pocket ) and am just anticipating to change it again because minds cannot be made up and we are taking the consequences for it.
I understand this is the military and had I been told to adjust leave because of deployment reasons or if i scheduled it during the actual ORI, I could understand, but these are exercises that to me seem too mashed together and not equally spread out to give us the proper training we need.
I am sorry if I seem a little out of line because of my frustration, but I am just concerned that burnouts will happen and quite possibly ruin our goals in the ORI because of the always changing dates and other people like myself losing out on leave that might have been planned long ago, these same dates being mashed together so closely, and then the months break between our last ORE and the ORI. Can we finally have a set schedule and stick to it and are we fully aware of this huge gap of no exercises?
We try to set the schedule as far out as possible, but after the last ORE I felt we needed to add another exercise as our overall performance fell well short in several key areas. We also tried to best accommodate Spring Break for most of the local area schools.
It is impossible to develop a schedule that meets everyone's needs and also accounts for the other Air Force and wing level activities and commitments. While I understand your frustration, I thank you for your commitment to the team and your preparation for this important inspection. Every member of Team Ellsworth will likely work some long hours and possible weekends while we train and prepare; if you have an extreme hardship, please talk to your commander to resolve it. Squadron leadership must balance the desire to grant leave with the ability to effectively conduct the mission, and we all look forward to seeing the benefits of this hard work pay off in April.
I am confident that three weeks (not a month) between the final ORE and the ORI will allow the wing to implement best practices from previous OREs and take care of last minute preparations, while giving our Airmen an opportunity to catch their breath before we greet the ACC/IG team in late April.