A few good men and women
By Col. "Tip" Stinnette, 39th Air Base Wing Commander
/ Published November 27, 2006
INCIRLIK AB, Turkey --
On June 25, 1876, Gen. George Armstrong Custer received information that a significant number of Native Americans were gathering at Little Big Horn.
Without analyzing the facts, he decided to ride out with 250 men to "surround" about 3,000 Native Americans ... this was a serious mistake. As most scholars of the battle of Little Big Horn know, Gen. Custer made several mistakes on that fateful day. Clearly his tactical analysis of the situation was flawed.
Beyond that, his team was not up to the task ... from leadership to followership there was certainly enough blame to go around the 7th Cavalry on that day. The shear shame of that day, in military terms, was the 7th Cavalry had the resources to prevail both in terms of manpower and equipment but ultimately both were squandered through poor communication.
Small unit tactics are absolutely dependent upon leveraging communications to effectively deploy and employ the available resources. Our ability to communicate both laterally and vertically in emergency response situations is absolutely essential to mission success and the life blood of our joint operations. At Incirlik, we have the added challenge of figuring out how to effectively communicate across language and cultural barriers. Fortunately, we are the benefactors of a long and enduring relationship with our Turkish mission partners. The core of this relationship is our day to day interactions between counterparts, especially in security operations.
This issue of the Tip of the Sword features our Security Forces. What may in fact be missed however is the fact that our security here is so dependent on our ability to work and communicate with our host teammates.
The power and strength of Incirlik is not in its size but in its ability to effectively communicate between its elements to deploy and employ jointly. Effective joint communication is the DNA of our synergy or our ability to recalculate the math behind "one plus one" to make it equal three. The combination of the 10th Tanker Security Battalion and the 39th Security Forces Squadron makes an awesome force that Gen. Custer would have certainly been envious. Together they both ensure freedom's future.