By David Meade
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. — He’s back.
An Airman returns to his mountain roots, looking to not only introduce his family to his childhood memories, but to tap into his experience as a space operator to inspire his Air Force family.
Col. Robert Moose is the 721st Mission Support Group commander at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colorado. He leads 540 total force personnel, providing secure systems and facilities for North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Strategic Command and Air Force Space Command crews to perform air defense, space surveillance and missile warning missions.
Moose assumed command in June 2017, but this is not his first time in Colorado. While some Airmen may end up returning to a base where they were previously assigned, Moose’s history goes further back to when he was a young teenager attending Mitchell High School.
“It’s a sense of familiarity. As a kid in high school, my dad was stationed here and we lived on Peterson (Air Force Base). Now I live on Peterson again,” said Moose. “It’s awesome having my own kids now that I can point out different things on base, or tell them how it’s changed over the years. Or even driving around town, ‘oh I remember when I used to go there, there’s my high school!’”
Being able to share his childhood with his kids, Moose feels they get a better sense of a family connection with his past they didn’t get at any other duty location.
“It’s comfort and going back to your roots,” said Moose.
Schriever AFB, Colorado, was Moose’s first duty location. Sharing his childhood roots along with his first assignment in the Air Force also encourages him to share mountain adventures with his children.
“It’s a great place to raise my kids and get them to experience the outdoors. We’re excited about the mountains and getting out hiking, hunting and fishing,” he said.
Just as past life experiences in Colorado allows Moose to guide his children on many adventures, so too does his experience as a space operator give him a unique mindset to guide the Airmen under him at Cheyenne Mountain AFS.
“To me it’s special because a lot of the mission sets that go on, like Joint Functional Component Command Space Missile Warning Center, I worked with them a lot in my last job out of the joint operations center being the division chief of the combat operations division,” said Moose.
He understands how Cheyenne Mountain AFS plays into USSTRATCOM’s mission. Moose believes being in command and being responsible for the facilities supporting that critical mission set has more meaning to him than some that aren’t as tightly integrated into what they do every day.
“As an operator it means a lot to me, the importance of the mountain and what it provides our nation,” said Moose. “I internalize and appreciate that maybe a little bit deeper than some other folks.”
This internalization of the critical mission of Cheyenne Mountain AFS is what drives Moose’s leadership. He wants his Airmen to grasp the big picture and take pride in their jobs.
“It’s about trying to grow my replacement,” said Moose. “I feel that it’s my duty as a senior officer to grow the next generation, inspire and lead the junior folks that are serving up here. I want them to understand you’re not just changing a light bulb. You’re not just fixing a blast door. To truly understand the operational impact of what they do day-in and day-out providing for this facility.”
It’s easy to see the pride in Moose’s eyes when he speaks about the mission of Cheyenne Mountain AFS and when he speaks about his children. Being home on the range for him means a chance for both of his families to grow together.