Family first, mission always

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Brent Brockinton
  • 6th Reconnaissance Squadron
The 6th Reconnaissance Squadron is the world's only active duty formal training unit for the MQ-1B Predator. We have trained more than 680 pilots and sensor operators since the unit moved to Holloman in 2009. Our production of qualified Predator aircrew members has grown 240 percent in the last three years as remotely piloted aircraft continue to be one of the most highly-demanded assets in the War on Terror. We take pride in training the world's best operators who will have a direct impact down range just weeks after graduating from our program. We train first-term Airmen, previously-qualified instructor pilots with thousands of combat hours in other airframes, and everyone in between. Our graduates use the skills gained at Holloman to go on to bases around the world and engage in around-the-clock operations against our enemies.

Our permanent-party instructors are all experienced aircrew who have flown hundreds to thousands of hours of combat support operations from deployed and stateside locations. We, like most members of the Holloman family, are no strangers to extended time away from home, grueling shift work, and missed holidays. After years of such service, we have come to embrace our squadron's vision: Family First. We know the work we do could never happen without support at home. We also know the great sacrifices our family members go through on our behalf as we focus on the mission. While our family should always be first on our priority lists, there are times when the needs of the Air Force have been put above theirs. While we all take pride in always accomplishing our mission, I hope we take every opportunity to strengthen our families as much as we do our units. The time we spend with them reminds us of what's most important and gives us the emotional, mental, and spiritual strength to continue our important work.

So as we begin this summer season with the long Memorial Day weekend, I hope we take the opportunity to put our family first and enjoy our time together. Whether it's taking a long-overdue vacation, spending some time outdoors with the kids, or just enjoying the company of the most important people in our lives, our family needs us just as much as our unit does. Every mission on base has its own set of unique challenges, but we all share the need to put Family First!