Generally speaking, Power loves his commanding role

Generally speaking, Power loves his commanding role Brigadier General Gregory Power by David Lias Brigadier General Gregory H. Power, commander of the 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, loves the challenges of executing worldwide reconnaissance, command and control, presidential support, treaty verifications and airlift missions.

Surprisingly, there's another facet to his work that he enjoys even more, however.

"It's things like this, where I get away from my desk and away from paperwork and away from e-mail, and go out and talk to area communities," he said, shortly before addressing the Vermillion Rotary Club's Tuesday luncheon at the Silver Dollar Restaurant.

He added that he also enjoys being a part of the 7,000 people who work for him at Offutt Air Force Base.

"I'm able to influence both their personal and professional lives," he said. "I think taking care of people in that regard is really one of the most enjoyable parts of the position I'm in right now."

The strength, and in some cases, lack of strength, of the U.S. military, was one of the issues of the 2000 presidential race. Power said spokesmen from both parties made valid claims.

"The Democrats will tell you that we are the strongest military in the world, and you know what, they're right," he said. "Anyone who messes with the United States is in for big trouble.

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"The Republicans will say we need more money, the forces are running down, our equipment is old, and you know what? They're right, too. We have B-52 bombers based in North Dakota that are 40 years old. We're hanging in there, we're maintaining them, they're safe to fly, but we're getting to a point in time where we may need more resources."

It will depend, he said, on the role the United States wants its military to fulfill.

"If you just want us to fight the nation's wars, that's one thing," he said. "But if you want us to fight the nation's wars, and also do humanitarian relief, and do other missions, then we need to be given the resources to do that."

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