21 SW commander comments on accountability

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Last week, Gen. C. Robert Kehler, commander of Air Force Space Command, addressed the findings related to the stewardship of our nuclear weapons program, an obligation for continuous improvement and his determination to ensure AFSPC's capabilities are never questioned again. He discussed four primary points: standards, innovation, a thorough inspection system and a way ahead. While it has been painful to face the findings of the report, it is clear that General Kehler is focusing on the way ahead, not the events of the past.

I can think of no more important profession than the one that you have sworn to perform, and like the nuclear mission, our space superiority, expeditionary and base support missions require a very high standard. That standard is perfection! That is why we changed our mission statement to read, "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."

Whether you are at Peterson or around the globe at one of our geographically-separated units, now is our opportunity to center our attention on moving forward. We must maintain a relentless and critical stance toward analyzing our programs and responsibilities, making certain they are in compliance with instructions and technical orders. Non-compliance is not an option. Further, it's not only our duty to recognize when adjustments are necessary, but also to pursue appropriate corrective action in maintaining the smartest approach to mission accomplishment.

The past is just that, but there are valuable lessons. Today we are presented an opportunity to re-group, re-focus and learn from lessons of the past. We must ask ourselves: Is my unit crisp? Are my programs solid? Am I developing leaders at all levels who are capable of performing their duties? Am I holding them accountable when they are not? And, more importantly, am I holding myself accountable? From our most junior enlisted to our most senior officer, setting extremely high standards and holding ourselves accountable to meet these standards is what makes us the most respected air and space force in the world. No one here signed up to be part of an average Air Force.

Make no mistake, the Knights of the 21st Space Wing have executed flawless mission success in missile warning, space superiority, installation support and the development of our Airmen and will continue to do so. I am confident we will persist in handling challenges and finding innovative solutions for the problems that come our way. Be proud of what you have accomplished, pay attention to detail, and together we'll ensure the 21st SW continues to be the premier space wing

Lastly, I'd like to extend an advance thank you to the 21st Services Squadron's annual Sports and Field Day volunteers and staff who have spent countless hours to coordinate a multitude of sports and recreational events across Peterson beginning at 7a.m. June 19. There will also be a free barbeque at Eagle Park prepared by the 21st SVS and the Peterson Chiefs' Group. I look forward to seeing you all there.