Commander analyzes wing mission

PETERSON AFB, Colo. -- As I stated at my commander's call last week, the very nature of the 21st Space Wing mission is so important to the defense of our country that we cannot afford to relax our standard of flawless mission performance.

The wing mission, for those of you who may not know, consists of three interrelated components: conduct world class space superiority operations and provide unsurpassed installation support and protection while deploying Warrior Airmen.

Each of the three components has a unique way of supporting one another so that the wing is able to fulfill all of its assigned responsibilities. These include ensuring integrated and timely space effects are integrated into joint operations, providing data to combatant commanders around the world, providing force protection and personnel support for our assets across the globe, and supporting our Air Force deployment taskings worldwide.

Just as the three 21st Space Wing mission components are inherently related, the 21st Space Wing mission also ties in very closely with the recently unveiled Air Force Space Command mission: To Deliver Trained and Ready Airmen with Unrivaled Space Capabilities to Defend America. The 21st Space Wing is the Air Force's only organization providing missile warning and space control to unified commanders and combat forces worldwide. With these unique and proven space capabilities, as well as the contributions of the 226 Airmen directly supporting the war at deployed locations around the world, we can be proud of the role our wing plays in supporting the AFSPC mission.

Not coincidentally, the 21st Space Wing mission also has a close connection with the three Air Force priorities: 1) Fighting the Global War on Terrorism; 2) Developing and Caring for our Airmen and their families; and 3) Recapitalizing and Modernizing our aging aircraft and spacecraft inventories.

I've said it before and I truly mean this: as a member of our wing, if you don't believe that you play a role in the Global War on Terror then you need to talk to me. I've seen it firsthand while deployed in-theater and in seeing the accomplishments and citations that come across my desk. At the last commander's call, it was my privilege to present Tech. Sgt. Michael Smith the award of the Bronze Star Medal with Valor for his heroic actions and unselfish dedication to duty while deployed in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. We are absolutely making a difference in fighting and winning this war.

Another point of emphasis I've been very adamant about is that this wing is committed to providing exceptional care for your families while you are deployed. It makes all the difference in the world for our Airmen to know that their families are being cared for while they serve the needs of our nation thousands of miles away.

At the same time, we must also work to develop leaders at all levels throughout our organizations. We are literally one-deep in so many crucial positions across the wing that, in order for us to fulfill the mission in the manner we've been accustomed to, it is essential that we mentor, mature and develop our personnel. I am counting on the 80 members of the 21st Space Wing selected for promotion to staff sergeant to continue this effort. Once again, congratulations to those individuals chosen to join the ranks of the Noncommissioned Officer corps.

Finally, with respect to the third Air Force priority, our wing continues to modernize at every available opportunity. Although it has been somewhat difficult given the tight fiscal environment we operate in, the wing has made great strides in a number of areas including the transition to the Upgraded Early Warning Radar system at Fylingdales and Beale AFB, as well as the Sensor Service Life Extension Program at Eglin AFB. In fact, I'll be traveling to the 20th Space Control Squadron at Eglin AFB and Dahlgren, Va., this week to see some of the hardware enhancements first hand.

It is absolutely vital that every Airman in this wing understand their role and how they play a part in fulfilling not only the overall 21st Space Wing mission, but also the mission of Air Force Space Command and the top three priorities of the Air Force. In the words of General Chilton, commander Air Force Space Command, "... all of you play a key role in the defense of our great Nation and delivering the world's greatest space capabilities to the joint fight." Don't ever forget that!