21st SW executes flawless Guardian Challenge celebration

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Last week members of the 21st Space Wing stood tall and showed why they're the best of the best. 

The week started off supporting the Air Force Space Command commander's conference followed by Guardian Challenge. Both events required months of planning and allowed both AFSPC and wing personnel to work together for two highly successful events. 

For Guardian Challenge 2008, Gen. C. Robert Kehler, AFSPC commander, I and several other commanders had the privilege of greeting teams from across AFSPC as they converged here for the traditional Guardian Challenge event. I was impressed with the talent and spirit of people who arrived on our flight line. 

Congratulations are in order for Senior Airmen Jack Needham and Jeremiah Toney, technical controllers with the 21st Space Communications Squadron. Airmen Needham and Toney earned our wing the Guardian Challenge award for best Space Communications Team. The Airmen proved their ability in several areas of space-based communications expertise through a variety of crisis scenarios. If you happen to see these Airmen, be sure to congratulate them on their recent award. 

I would also like to recognize our other wing competitors, who did a superb job of representing our wing. Competing in the operations area from Cape Cod was 1st Lt. Lauren Hardy, Staff Sgt. Justin Phelps and Airman 1st Class Randy Foster. Also, representing RAF Fylingdales was Flight Lt. Matt Smith, Flight Sgt. Dave Pike, Sgt. Rob Halstead, Corporal Liam Bailey, and Senior Aircraftman Stu Curson. Competing in the security forces area was Tech. Sgt. Cesar Ochoa, Staff Sgt. Brian Marshall, Staff Sgt. Jordan Freeman, Airman Stacy John, Senior Airman Eric Frias and Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Turner. I am very proud of how you represented our wing. 

Our wing competition team lead, Maj. Rickey McCann was phenomenal in handling every aspect of team support for this year's competition. 

Especially noteworthy was the teamwork displayed by the AFSPC and wing leads. Col. Mike Morgan, competition commander, Maj. Clay Russ, competition project officer and Capt. Brian Fielden, deputy project officer worked closely with Al Strait and Reggie Selby, our wing POCs to ensure a flawless event. 

Events of this magnitude, which impacted every wing in AFSPC had a host of other key contributors. 2nd Lt. Josh Killian was on target in getting over 120 guests lined up for the GC golf tournament. 1st Lt. Amber Ortiz was key to ensuring nearly 600 guests enjoyed a wonderful meal and closing awards ceremony. Corinne Valdez and her team were flawless in all transportation requirements. Also, Joey Sanchez and her billeting team ensured the more than 400 competitors and guests were given the red carpet treatment. Chris Zenor and his supporting cast from Vandenberg AFB in California were pivotal in the score posting portion of the awards banquet. 

Finally, I want to highlight the great effort by our Club. The Club hosted the GC ice breaker, crud tournament, closing awards banquet and the AFSPC commander's conference closing dinner - all were first class events. The Club manager, Curtis Clayton and his team were on their "A" game and deserves a big thanks.
I could easily name another 20 outstanding personnel who stood tall in making significant contributions to the success of Guardian Challenge 2008. To everyone involved, let me simply say thank you. 

All of the 21st SW Airmen who participated in this year's Guardian Challenge competition showed extraordinary skill in their fields. I am incredibly proud of the men and women who represented the wing in this year's communications, security forces and space warning competitions. 

I give a final thank you to AFSPC and wing personnel for supporting both the Guardian Challenge competition and the AFSPC commanders' conference over the last few weeks. It is a pleasure to serve in your company.