Condor Crest to test wing's readiness

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Beginning next week, the 21st Space Wing will conduct a very extensive, week-long Condor Crest Exercise. This exercise is designed to give us a snapshot on our readiness to conduct our critical space superiority, installation support and protection, and deployment mission.

A critical aspect of this exercise is to test our recently overhauled Commander's Senior Staff and Emergency Operations Center operations. Over the past eight weeks, we've overhauled our processes, built our core response team and conducted extensive training. Next week, we'll evaluate our efforts, stressing these processes to identify our strengths and weaknesses in a crisis or contingency situation.

Further, Condor Crest exercises introduce opportunities for military and civilian emergency response agencies to foster improved working relationships. Typically, the American Medical Response, El Paso County and other law enforcement and governmental agencies play a role in the exercise.

Additionally, each of our geographically-separated units will participate to ensure the readiness of the entire wing not just the units based here in Colorado Springs. We're also going to incorporate no-notice inspections/evaluations across the Wing.

Although many agencies will participate, success will be measured by individual effort and sense of urgency employed by our Airmen. Since its inception, Condor Crest has been an effective tool in building confidence in our Airmen to complete the mission, and further develop the skills required to respond, operate and recover.

The value of this, like any exercise, is in direct proportion to the effort put forth by those "playing." The best efforts of our Knights will help us improve each and every time. I urge each member of the 21st SW to be full participants in this exercise and exercise hard as we look to further refining our war fighting efforts. Condor Crest is the Wing's priority next week. I also ask our tenant units to bear with us as we exercise. We have worked hard to de-conflict our exercise with base activities ... but there will be some impacts to the traditional base support we provide.

On Aug. 22, we'll cap off the exercise with an internal compliance inspection in the morning and on the afternoon of Aug. 26, I have directed each organization to spend the afternoon focused on safety.

Looking back at this past week, our Knights took a clean sweep; three of three eligible lieutenant colonels were selected to colonel: Michael Wasson, 21st Operations Group deputy commander, Mark Erikson, former 821st Air Base Group deputy commander and Derrick Sanks, former 21st Civil Engineer Squadron commander. Additionally, two captains were promoted to major: Timothy Houle, a physician's assistant assigned to the 6th Space Warning Squadron at Cape Cod and Scott Maynard, family advocacy officer assigned here at Peterson. Congratulations to all!

Last week, the Air Force also announced this year's command chief master sergeant candidates. The 21st SW had three chiefs apply and all three were selected by the board. Congratulations to Kevin McCoy, 21st Medical Group superintendent, Alfred Herring, 821st ABG superintendent and Natalie Swisher, former 821st BAG superintendent for being selected as candidates.

Have a great week.