Wing exercises emergency response ability, pours foundation for housing development

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- This week, we again evaluated our wing's ability to successfully accomplish deployment operations, administer and employ emergency management, and sustain unit compliance through unsurpassed installation support. 

Condor Crest 09-01 was a four day exercise designed to evaluate our wing's Commander's Support Staff and Emergency Operations Center, and assess our overall wing readiness. The primary goal of this exercise is to validate and affirm that we as a wing are achieving our wing mission: "Conduct flawless missile warning and space control operations, provide unsurpassed installation support and protection, while developing and deploying Warrior Airmen to defend America and our Allies". 

While many wing agencies participate in this exercise, such as our Security Forces, Force Support and Ops squadrons; always remember that it is our people and their motivation, skills, performance and efforts that determine our mission success. You are the reason we continue to excel and dominate as the world's premiere air and space force. 

I am continually impressed and amazed at the level of dedication and professionalism each and every one of you display day in and day out, and never is it more apparent than in the results of these exercises. Whether participating in the exercise at one of our geographically-separated units, such as Thule, Clear or Cavalier, or here at Peterson, you can rest assured that all of your hard work is recognized and appreciated. 

It's important that we exercise hard to ensure our readiness at home and deployed. Members of the 21st Space Wing are supporting our wing mission and answering our nation's call in locations around the world, and are in harm's way on a daily basis. Recently, one of our very own heroes, Staff Sgt. Rory Sturm Jr., a member of our 721st Security Forces Squadron, was highlighted and recognized in the third volume of The Chief of Staff's, Portraits in Courage...Airmen in the Fight for his bravery, commitment, teamwork, and personal sacrifice while deployed in support of the Global War On Terror. 

Throughout his deployment, Sergeant Sturm faced tremendous risk and danger, accomplishing more than 70 convoy security sweeps, searching for and identifying improvised explosive devices and terrorist threats, often time while under direct enemy attack. On several occasions, Sergeant Sturm's valiant and courageous efforts and quick reaction saved the lives of his fellow Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen. His actions under fire resulted in him becoming the first member of the 21st Space Wing to earn the Air Force Combat Action Medal; additionally he was awarded the Purple Heart and the Army Combat Action Badge . Rory, congratulations on all of your stellar accomplishments and thanks for your selfless and courageous service to our nation. 

Finally, on a different note, on Oct. 20 Col. Emily Buckman, Lt. Col. Gary Schneider, Chief Tim Omdal and I visited Tierra Vista Community's (TVC's) new home construction site and observed the pouring of the first foundation for our new homes. TVC plans to pour two foundations each day, and we expect our families to begin moving into these homes between April and June 2009. Thanks to TVC and our Civil Engineer Squadron for the hard work in getting us to this significant milestone. This fantastic partnership resulted in us being ahead of schedule for initial construction. As this was the first home "poured", we commemorated this event by placing 21st Space Wing and Tierra Vista coins in the wet cement to "solidify" and memorialize this tremendous milestone. Thanks to the great partnership between the base and TVC, our base housing will be some of the very best in the Air Force, and you deserve it. 

Have a great week and please continue to be safe at home, work and at play.