Journey toward excellence: mission support group aligns strategically

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Mark Vardaro
  • 507th Air Refueling Wing Performance Planning Office

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Fourteen leaders from the 507th Mission Support Group held a ground-breaking and comprehensive three-day strategic alignment event Nov. 1-3, 2022, ultimately creating a new vision statement and identifying four goals and priorities to guide the group for the next 3 to 5 years.

The new vision, “Excellence is our standard,” will be executed by implementing four goals and priorities: training, annual manning, financial planning, and controlling processes through measures and metrics, according to 507th MSG commander, Col. Tanaka Dunn.

“Gathering outside of our primary work centers on days separate from the surge of a UTA weekend set the conditions for us to collectively focus our efforts as commanders and senior enlisted leaders,” said Dunn, regarding the event being held away from the 507th ARW campus at Tinker Federal Credit Union. “Together, we were able to identify what is most important to us as well as establish a course of action to help guide our next steps.”

507th MSG deputy group commander, Lt. Col. Joseph Wilson, reflected on the experience and said the real work starts now that the alignment event is complete.

“This event, led by Mrs. Colleen Skaggs and Lt. Col. Mark Vardaro, guided our team with both efficiency and effectiveness,” Wilson said. “It offered group and squadron command teams a chance to define priorities in alignment with the Chief of Air Force Reserve’s tasking order and to deliberately plan toward our desired end states. Everything we accomplished during this offsite will help us maintain course and improve day-by-day along the way”.

507th ARW Vice Commander, Col. Matthew Ghormley, provided command-level insight over the event, and explained the challenges and complexities of holding an event of this scale.

“Organizing and executing a strategic off-site event is a hefty lift for any organization,” Ghormley said. “For a support group, which is made up of so many sub-organizations with diverse roles, this task is even more challenging.”

The four priorities identified during the event mirror, reinforce and set in order the group’s goals. In addition to the group plans, the event participants developed strategic plans for the five subordinate squadrons: 72nd Aerial Port Squadron, 507th Civil Engineering Squadron, 507th Force Support Squadron, 507th Logistics Readiness Squadron, and the 507th Security Forces Squadron.

“I applaud the MSG for taking the time to promote collaboration and communication,” Ghormley said. “In this day and age, 'information is a gift'. I don't believe you can over communicate. Developing a strategic plan provides every member of the organization with a road map and each understands 'how' and 'why' using the strategic plan as a guide.”

In the months ahead, the group plans to move their “Journey Toward Excellence” forward by holding various events to help ensure they stay the course as well as continue to develop courageous leaders that will ensure the 507th MSG achieves its vision.