Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Cascade Falcon IX (CFIX) part 1

Day is approaching. It's 0445 (4:45 a.m.) and most people prefer not to stir at such an hour. But stir these cadets do! Their minds are fairly spinning with excitement, whether they would admit it or not. Encampment at North Fort Lewis in Washington State is no small trial. Indeed, these cadet staff can expect to expend much more energy than the basic cadets in their charge. This particular morning also happens to mark the end of pre-encampment and the beginning of basic encampment--the day the basics arrive and the staff we are talking about start doing what they came to do.

A Flight Sergeant will now be stressing about what drill movements he must teach first and wondering whether his command voice is as effective as it sounds to his own ears. His Flight Commander will be going over his welcome speech and the policies he will emphasize in the barracks. The Squadron Commander in charge of him will continue to think long and hard about setting the tone in the squadron and making sure his staff members are working effectively toward the long-term goals of the unit. They have stiff competition from four other squadrons and heaven only knows who will come out on top or who will get saddled with an over-abundance of problem cadets.

Problem cadets are just that--a problem--but a problem to be dealt with and if it is not dealt with, then no one should be surprised when a flight loses its cohesion and motivation. It's a sad old story: one cadet won't buckle down and do his part--he loses all motivation and doesn't follow orders. The staff is baffled and doesn't know what to do. The problem lingers and the whole team starts to break down. No one feels like they are going anywhere or accomplishing anything important...

The above pitfall is just one thing one these cadet's minds. The past half-week of classes and bonding have been good them. They've learned what they should be and what they should do. Some are here to teach and literally rule the lives of the basics coming into their charge. Others are here to perform special tasks.

The Public Affairs staff are standing ready with the latest in media technology. They will spend the next week taking pictures, writing newsletters and creating a virtual history of the entire activity through the pictures and words they compose.

Logistics will be here to make this well oiled machine purr. They have the equipment the staff will need to pull this off. If they don't have it, they will get it. They will be the go-to group when something needs moving or an errand needs running.

There's other jobs too. Mess staff will feed everyone and Medical will patch them up. DDR, Flight Operations, Communications... They are all a part of support staff and they perform their tasks as selflessly as ever. These people have to be just as ready as the line staff (the instructors, sergeants, and commanders)--and so they are.

Yes, each cadet here is thinking and brooding over the upcoming events. Today they must make it work or they will have failed the basic cadets who are depending on them.

0500 hits, and the brooding is over. Some cadets fairly explode into action and each barracks becomes a noisy cavern of creaking racks (beds) and thumping feet. The First Sergeants have this one last morning to practice leading physical training (PT) and then they will lead the newly arrived basics in their morning dose of cobweb-clearing action. PT, then Formation, then Breakfast, then prep for the much anticipated hour of arrival. Cascade Falcon IX is underway and only time will tell what is in store for this dedicated crew of young people. They are towing the line now and there is no turning back.
<< Home 1 Comments:
Blogger Kristi said...

wow, what an operation this is! I think it would be fun to be on medical staff-that sounds like the best position :D

6:49 PM, September 10, 2004  

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