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News > Commentary - Commander visits Space Warning Squadron at Clear Air Force Station
Commander visits Space Warning Squadron at Clear Air Force Station

Posted 12/11/2007   Updated 12/11/2007 Email story   Print story

    


Commentary by Col. Jay Raymond
21st Space Wing


12/11/2007 - PETERSON AFB, Colo. -- Last week Chief  Master Sgt. Timothy Omdal and I traveled to Clear Air Force Station, home of the 13th and 213th Space Warning Squadrons. Once again, Chief Omdal and I chose another outstanding Airman to accompany us on our site trip--this time it was Senior Airman Sara Smyer from the 21st Space Wing Command Post. Airman Smyer is a recent recipient of the Airman Leadership School "John L. Levitow Award". It was a tremendous visit as we saw first-hand the phenomenal contributions this unit makes in defense of our nation and Canada. 

The primary 13 SWS/213 SWS mission, identical to that of the 7th Space Warning Squadron visited the previous week, is to provide early warning of sea-launched and intercontinental ballistic missiles launched against North America. In addition, the units support the space surveillance network through their tracking and reporting of man-made orbital objects within Clear's field of view. Located on an 11,500 acre sub-arctic area 85 miles southwest of Fairbanks, they perform this mission in a first-class manner despite being stationed in a remote and extremely cold environment. 

One of the things that make Clear AFS so unique is the squadron's Total Force contribution in executing the mission. Alaska Air National Guard, active duty Air Force, Department of Defense civilians, and a dedicated contractor force all team together to successfully provide space superiority effects for our nation. 

During our visit, we had the opportunity to meet many professionals from Clear's Total Force team who left a lasting impression with their sense of ownership and dedication to duty. Two of these individuals, Mr. Ron Herren and Mr. Jim Stalter, have spent over 30 years at Clear and demonstrate their amazing expertise each and every day--Mr. Herren in the power plant and Mr. Stalter in civil engineering. I also met the current wing "NCO of the Quarter", Staff Sgt. Charles Forquer, Jr. His exceptional performance in the 213th Space Warning Squadron, Clear's Air National Guard component, serves as a great example for what other Security Forces members should strive for. My congratulations go out to him again for being recognized as a top performer. 

Finally, it was my privilege to present the Meritorious Service Medal to Tech. Sgt Chris Terrio at commander's call. Among his many accomplishments, Sergeant Terrio was recognized as the Air Force Space Command "Instructor/Evaluator of the Year" and the 21st Operations Group "NCO of the Year". I know he will continue to do great things at Clear with his operations savvy and proven leadership. 

During our tour of the Missile Warning Operations Center, all of us were treated to a crash course in missile warning and space surveillance operations. Under the direction of Maj. Tory Saxe, the Operations Officer, Airman Smyer had the opportunity to make a real-world operations capability report to the sensor management agency. As a command post controller, she is familiar with receiving such reports, but this time she was able to see what it's like on the other side. I'd like to pass on my personal thanks to Maj. Saxe and the rest of the on-duty crew, Senior Master Sgt. Pat Skinner and Master Sgt. Kelly Merrell, for allowing us to observe them in action. It was truly a pleasure to visit with the men and women of 13 SWS and 213 SWS. I look forward to visiting additional units from the wing in the coming year.



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