Incredible teamwork characterizes assumption of command ceremony

PETERSON AFB, Colo. -- The 21st Space Wing was privileged to host Air Force Space Command's assumption of command ceremony for General C. Robert Kehler Oct. 24. As General Kehler said, it was a spectacular ceremony with the collective pride and talent of the entire base on full display.

What made the ceremony even more impressive was the incredible teamwork that went into its planning and execution. Members of the entire Team Peterson community, as well as those from Fort Carson and the Air Force Academy, worked together in perfect harmony to carry out an assumption of command that will be remembered for years to come.

Our wing liaison, Mr. Reggie Selby, working with AFSPC project leads, Col. Andre Shapell, Maj. Brent Bidus and Maj. Bob Roy, were critical in laying out the overall plan.

In addition, who could forget the support provided by the 16th Field Artillery Regiment's First Platoon at Fort Carson? The 19-gun salute, led by platoon leader 1st Lt. Zackary Szody, platoon sergeant Sgt. 1st Class Marlon Powe, and gunnery sergeant Staff Sgt. Michael Perkins was amazing.

How about the music provided by the U.S. Air Force Academy Band? Under the direction of commander and conductor, Lt. Col. Larry Lang, and drum major, Master Sgt. Karl Bradley, their contributions really added a touch of class. Mr. Fred Correll, the band's director of operations, was also instrumental; he secured their availability in spite of an extremely demanding road schedule.

As I've said before, our ability to function as a team - from our most junior enlisted member to the most senior officer - is what makes us the most respected air and space force in the world.

The teamwork exhibited in support of the assumption of command ceremony is a perfect illustration of that fact, particularly with respect to the 21st Space Wing. Our team provided yet another example of the wing's ability to deliver unsurpassed installation support and protection. The following is just a glimpse of the world-class support provided by the 21st:

21st Maintenance Group - 21st SCS project officers, 2nd Lts. Ashley Hardt and Paul Wilcox, ensured all communication requirements were met across the board. Their leadership and technical know-how were extremely important to the success of the ceremony.

In addition, Master Sgt. Robert Goble, Staff Sgt. Timothy Chatfield, Staff Sgt. Matthew Davis, and Staff Sgt. Daryl Williams each provided ancillary support with site surveys, emission security inspections, home comm installation, and on-call support, respectively. Flawless sound support was delivered by Mr. Ray George, Mr. Dave Grim, Mr. Gary Thomas and Mr. Gary Woods.

21st Medical Group - A team of medics, led by Capt. Cathy Ortega, provided the needed medical support leading up to and during the ceremony. Her team delivered medical treatment for six personnel during the assumption of command ceremony.

In addition, Flight Medicine took care of all inprocessing requirements for General Kehler and outprocessing actions for the outgoing AFSPC commander, General Chilton. I received numerous comments on the expeditiousness and professionalism in which all actions were conducted.

21st Mission Support Group - The wing's workhorse for the assumption of command, there are many people to thank including Lt. Cols. Isaac Davidson and Ed Baron for their overall leadership within 21st MSG.

Staff Sgt. Jill Colbert, 21st Security Forces Squadron, and her team of warriors ensured proper event security with bomb sweeps, traffic control, and escorts for distinguished visitors. Master Sgt. Joseph Barone and his K-9 units also provided outstanding assistance in support of overall security objectives.

Mr. Curtis Clayton and Ms. Joy McDonald from the 21st Services Squadron ensured the pre and post reception events were seamless. The lodging staff, led by Ms. Joey Sanchez, made an indelible impression by ensuring all room accommodations were top notch. Capt. Joseph Matthew and 2nd Lt. Stephen Klenke also assisted in this area by ensuring the distinguished visitor and Spanish House quarters were in typical tip-top shape.

Ms. Corinne Valdez and her transportation support team at 21st LRS went above and beyond to support the numerous requirements they were tasked with.

Ms. Nikki Graham from Tierra Vista Corporation and her crew, as well as Ms. Johnna Phillips, Ms. Donna Saldana, and Mr. Roger Weeres of the housing office provided outstanding support ensuring General Kehler's on-base quarters were ready to go. The partnership between Tierra Vista and housing continues to exceed all expectations.

The JPPSO support was phenomenal as well. Mr. Doug Stanford, Mr. Ron Parry and Tech. Sgt. Chris Gordon provided incredible service for both General Kehler's and General Chilton's household goods.

Finally, I must mention the superb efforts of Master Sgt. Dan Flores, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron, and Embassy Lawn and Landscaping services. Sergeant Flores coordinated all of the CE support for the assumption of command and also worked with Embassy in preparing the parade field for the ceremony. The entire area and grounds looked fantastic!

As you can tell from the many successes involved in preparing for the assumption of command ceremony, it was a total team effort. The display of leadership at all levels, in every organization, was a vital component of this success. Again, I am proud to have been associated with this unprecedented display of teamwork. I look forward to more collaborative efforts in the future.