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Opinion | The current most trusted, best leaders

Dear Fellow Alabamians,

The current most trusted, best leaders, exceptional managers, problems solvers; and prudent decisionmakers within our country, I have witnessed, are Gov. Kay Ivey, Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, Chief of Space Operations Gen. Jay Raymond, former President and Commander of Air University Lt. Gen. Anthony Cotton, and 42nd ABW Commander Col. Patrick Carley.

I was just thinking about some of our past and current, toughest challenges such as landing the F-35 aircraft in Montgomery, giving military families assigned at Maxwell-Gunter more education options; and the current Department of Defense issues, with privatized contractor Housing Offices.

The same names keep appearing on the list, who are out- thinking everyone else.

Here are some great examples. First, let’s talk about the little girl from Camden, Alabama; who grew up to be our Best Governor. Along, with the some of the reasons that our state’s Chief Executive, and our Air Force and our Space leaders are the best in the world.

Here are some key factors why they continue to be so highly effective. All of these leaders have earned and gained the trust of the world. Their core values such as honesty, integrity, trust, accountability and responsibility, are unwavering. Their North Stars and guidance systems are on course. Throughout their travels, they are seeking opportunities which are in the best interests of our world, country, state, counties and cities. None of these leaders are concerned about what they gain personally, or what’s in it for themselves. Because Governor Ivey, and our Air Force, and our Space Force leaders live these core values daily, no one else can do what they do.

Let me give you another great example of outstanding leadership and exceptional management from our Governor. She has travelled throughout the world to attract, retain and expand economic opportunities, jobs and business for our state. I have worked with her for years in an unofficial capacity.

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Governor Ivey, has conducted almost doctoral-level dissertation research, with significant factors and important figures; concerning the economic impact of our only state port in Mobile.  She has one of the best; International Trade, Global Economy and Ocean Shipping Port Contract initiatives, and blueprints on the planet.

However, just a few months ago many of the elected officials who are in the Gulf Coast region and surrounding areas, and some who like to grand stand, were boasting about they had stopped an initiative for the Mobile Bay toll bridge fees.

The Mobile Bay toll bridge fees and Mobile port are very important issues. However, the much larger issues are International Trade, Global Economy and Ocean Shipping Port Contracts. We can’t expect our governor to travel and do all of the work to attract business and industry.

Just to have more efficient and effective, other Southeastern states, and their city ports; pick off the business and industry that our state is generating. In other words, we must ensure other state’s and their ports are not benefitting from our state’s hard work, through imports and exports.

I highly recommend that the officials in the Mobile region set up a respectful meeting with our Governor with the proper decorum, to first listen. Prior to decision-making, ask yourselves, What’s best for our country, state, counties and cities. Think of our jobs, dollars, farmers, rail workers, truckers, storage facilities employees, suppliers, automotive industry workers, defense industries, aircraft makers, cruise lines, space entities, producers, who are importing and exporting coal, agriculture, grain, lumber and other products. Our only Mobile port has a huge economic impact on our Great State.

Again, Gov. Ivey is right and on target with her plans and initiatives, in which our state port in Mobile will be able to handle more Intercoastal waterway ship traffic within the bay; by off-loading and on-loading deep water vessels; faster than any other ports. Guess what will happen?  Alabama will be able to pick off vessel traffic from other Southeastern ports. Further, our state’s chief executive has intracoastal waterways in her awesome plans, for barges.

Here’s an unbelievable, but true story about Our awesome Air Force and Outstanding Space Force.

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On December 3, 2019 our Secretary of the Air Force and our Chief of Staff Air Force appeared before the United States House Armed Services Committee concerning Privatized Contractor Housing Offices.

Almost immediately, our top Air Force and Space Force leaders issued their directives and orders. The following are great examples of the effectiveness of seamless communications, awesome leadership and superior management. Everyone received their concise and clear orders, and they are moving out to successfully accomplish the mission.

Less than one week later on December 9, 2019 an updated very professional, informative, color flyer was distributed by the 42nd ABW command leadership, concerning Maxwell-Gunter AFB Family Housing Resident Representatives, and the Maxwell-Gunter AFB Community Advisory Board.

Additionally, I read an outstanding and very professional Memorandum, for Maxwell-Gunter Housing Residents, dated December 10, written by the 42nd ABW Commander Col. Patrick Carley. He addressed Leadership’s commitment to Quality On- Base Housing.

On January 14, 2020, the Honorable John W. Henderson, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for installations, Environment and Energy visited Maxwell-Gunter and was photographed speaking to resident representative Mary Lesinki. Mr. Henderson made very powerful statements by letting everyone know that all of our top Air Force Leadership have made Privatized Housing a top priority. He also toured some homes.

Further, Mr. Henderson stated that our Air Force has launched an improvement program for privatized housing, by working 51 initiatives across five lines of effort including Empower Residents, Improve Oversight, Integrate Leadership, Improve Communication, and Standardize Policy.

I’m being told, that Air Force and Space Force, solutions and remedies to these privatized housing issues; and blue prints are almost completed. Basic mop- up operations are beginning. Remember, it was only last month when Madam Secretary Barrett and Gen. Goldfein appeared before the House Armed Services Committee.

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These are living text book examples of outstanding leadership and exceptional management. We should emulate and follow Gov. Ivey, Secretary Barrett, Asst Secretary Henderson, Gen. Goldfein, Gen Raymond, Lt. Gen. Cotton and Col. Carley.

Governor Ivey is one of us. She is one of our wingmen.

Our Air Force and our Space Force are, ON Mission, ON Target, On Time and ON Always.

Glenn Henry is retired from the U.S. Air Force. He has been a high school teacher and university adjunct professor. He has earned numerous IT certifications. He is a Certified Professional Ethical Hacker. He lives in Montgomery with his wife Teresa.

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