Busy week for wing as inspection nears

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Another busy week is behind us as we work our way toward the upcoming operational readiness and unit compliance inspections. In about two weeks, we will begin these intensive inspections and I am confident that our warriors will "wow" the AFSPC IG team with our outstanding Airmen and our crisp processes and products. 

Also this week, Chief Omdal and I were TDY to Cape Cod, Mass., to visit with the men and women of the 6th Space Warning Squadron. This trip helps to reminds us of just how far-reaching and diverse the 21st Space Wing is, providing flawless missile warning and space situational awareness from 39 units and 27 locations around the world. 

The chief and I had the opportunity to meet with the members of the 6th SWS to discuss current initiatives such as upgrading our Missile Warning Operations Center with classified computers, developing new mission software to allow our Pave PAWS radar to track smaller objects in low-Earth orbit, and quality of life initiatives like constructing a new cardio room to support our Fit-to-Fight program at Cape Cod Air Force Station. We also held a Commander's Call to discuss the upcoming ORI and UCI. 

Last Friday, the annual Air Force Ball was held at the Broadmoor Resort. The event was hosted by the Lance P. Sijan Chapter of the Air Force Association, and the theme was "Send me first - A proud American Airman." My thanks to the Lance P. Sijan Chapter for making the evening special. 

General C. Robert Kehler, Air Force Space Command commander, was the senior honored guest and Airman Candace Philippo, 21st Force Support Squadron, was the honored junior guest. Airman Philippo has been a proud Airman since Aug. 26. She did a great job representing all Airmen and especially the Airmen of our wing. They helped wrap up the evening by cutting the celebration cake. 

During the Ball, we also enjoyed the company of retired Col. Bill Baugh and his wife Mary. Colonel Baugh was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War, spending six years in the infamous Hanoi Hilton, as did the AFA chapter namesake, Capt. Lance Sijan. 

More than 700 guests enjoyed great food, great company and a great performance by Tops in Blue, which treated everyone to a spectacular show featuring talented musicians, singers and dancers. The performances by Tops in Blue always make any event special. My heartiest thanks go out to them for a fantastic evening of music and singing. 

On a different topic, it is a long-standing Air Force tradition to honor enlisted members upon their selection for promotion to the grade of master sergeant by formally celebrating their induction into the "top three" or senior enlisted cadre. We held a senior noncommissioned officer induction ceremony on Thursday for nine well-deserving, newly promoted master sergeants or master sergeant selects. Congratulations to the following senior NCOs who recently received certificates to mark their official induction as senior noncommissioned officers. 

Tech. Sgt. Anthony Abler, Vosler NCO Academy; Tech. Sgt. Bruce Clark, 50th Security Forces Squadron (Schriever); Master Sgt. Robert Cawley, 21st Security Forces Squadron; Tech. Sgt. Paul Dalton, 76th Space Control Squadron; Tech. Sgt. Eric Doolittle, 21st Operations Support Squadron; Tech. Sgt. Derinda Johnson, 4th Manpower Requirements Squadrons (Buckley AFB); Master Sgt. Steven Livziey, 50th SFS (Schriever); Tech. Sgt. Christopher Terrio, 76th Space Control Squadron; and Tech. Sgt. Lyn Witte, 21st OSS. 

We also celebrated four Airmen from the 21st who recently completed the seven-week senior noncommissioned officer academy course at Maxwell AFB, Ala. The mission of the academy is to provide SNCOs with the tools to more effectively lead others - to better lead the force - in an ever-changing military environment. At the academy they learn current and highly effective military education in areas of advanced leadership and management to prepare them for greater responsibility. We're very proud of our graduates; they are: Senior Master Sgt. Eric Gonzales, 21st Logistics Readiness Squadron; Master Sgt. Mark Bronson, 21st Medical Support Squadron; Master Sgt. Mark Canfield, 21st Comptroller Squadron; and Master Sgt. Bruce Bernard, 821st Support Squadron at Thule Air Base, Greenland. Congratulations to them all, and a special congratulation goes to Sergeant Bronson, who was also named the class' distinguished graduate. Well done. 

It has been a very exciting and busy week. Keep working hard and stay focused.