Exercise prepares wing to ‘Save the Nation’

PETERSON AFB, Colo. -- I firmly believe the 21st Space Wing will be the unit that will have the "Strength and Preparedness to Save the Nation." On 16 May, we'll demonstrate our ability to be the unit that saves the nation by testing one of our core mission elements during our Condor Crest 04 Exercise. This wing exercise demonstrates our resolve to provide unsurpassed installation support and protection to Peterson Air Force Base, housing over 50 tenant units in addition to our 21st Space Wing members totaling more than 11,000 personnel. By exercising crisis preparedness, we better our capabilities to deter, prevent, respond and recover to a multitude of crisis response scenarios that our adversaries may wish to inflict upon us.

Colonel Ed Knowles and his Exercise Evaluation Team, work for months to design realistic and challenging scenarios. Executing these scenarios is the EET, a team of 100-plus exercise controllers and senior exercise directors from all disciplines in our wing. These men and women are some of the best in their respective career fields and are the backbone of our exercise program. The body of the inspection program lies with the rest of our wing warriors. From the newest Airman to me, we are the professionals who respond and recover during these crisis exercises. To do that effectively, it's important to remember our core values.

Integrity First: We need to do the right thing all of the time, every time. Taking shortcuts, creating unsafe conditions, and hiding known deficiencies are all items that will hurt the mission in the long run. It might get us through one inspection, but could cause catastrophic failure in the future when it may be real-world scenario.

Service Before Self: The one thing each Airman can control is their attitude. Nobody enjoys the long hours, interrupted schedules and the seeming backlog of "normal" work that's created from an exercise day. The true professionals and the Airmen I want on my team, push through and do their best. The exercise takes hours or maybe days and is ultimately preparing us to work a crisis, which may last days, weeks, or even months.

Excellence In All We Do: We must train not only in our primary duties but also in out additional duties. It is important that both aspects are taken seriously in order to prevent loss of life, resources, and/or mission capability. Work toward perfecting yourself and your subordinates. Take the necessary time to correct previous write-ups, anticipate and correct deficiencies before they have a mission impact and up-channel those concerns that can't be immediately corrected.

As this is my last exercise with this phenomenal wing, I want to thank all of you exercise professionals who keep our wing safe, and epitomize our vision of "Strength and Preparedness to Save the Nation".