By Staff Sgt. Amanda Delisle
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Gen. C. Robert Kehler, Air Force Space Command commander, recognized the 50th Space Wing for its outstanding accomplishments in 2008 and designated the wing the best in the command during the AFSPC Commander’s Conference luncheon at Peterson AFB April 30.
Col. Cary Chun, 50th SW commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Patrick Sheehan, 50th SW command chief master sergeant, accepted two awards for the wing – the General Robert T. Herres Award and the General Thomas S. Moorman Jr. Award.
“I am so proud to be associated with the men and women of the 50th,” said Colonel Chun. “This recognition is a direct result of your dedication and professionalism.”
The General Herres award annually acknowledges the outstanding space wing in AFSPC with a space mission. General Herres was the first Joint Chiefs of Staff vice chairman and former AFSPC commander. This award reflects General Herres’ decisive and prudent management and operation of assigned space assets, strengthening the overall operational and managerial structure of the space mission.
Recognizing the outstanding wing in AFSPC, the General Thomas S. Moorman Jr. Award was also presented to the 50th SW. General Moorman, former vice chief of staff, was instrumental in the planning, organizing and establishment of AFSPC while stationed at Peterson. This award annually recognizes an elite wing chosen from the Colonel Lee R. Williams Memorial, which recognizes the best missile wing in AFSPC, and General Herres Award winners.
“This award recognizes the sustained superior performance and mission accomplishment of the men and women of the 50th SW,” General Kehler wrote to Colonel Chun in a congratulatory letter. You should all be proud of this tremendous achievement. It is a pleasure to recognize the 50th SW as the best space wing in the command!”
The 50th SW’s mission achievements in 2008 are vast. To name a few, the wing executed two Milstar satellite upgrades and the first Wideband Global SATCOM orbit initialization; took on the responsibility for scheduling the $2 billion NATO Skynet constellation; conducted 400 classified network scans, resolving 5,000 vulnerabilities; supported various operations, including Operation Marine Thunderbolt, enabling precise navigation for Global Positioning System-guided weapons, and Operation Burnt Frost, using Milstar communications to support intercepting a potentially risky satellite as it neared re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere; supported five space shuttle missions with GPS signals; unveiled a $2.7 million multi-mission command and control operations center; led upgrade of the $6.2 billion Satellite Control Network; performed 20 wing and group exercises; mastered the Operational Readiness Inspection; and won multiple individual and unit awards.
The wing also implemented multiple quality initiatives, redefining quality from cutting-edge programs to aging satellites. 50th SW Airmen founded Gen. Kehler’s chartered wing transition team; developed an innovative GPS residual strategy, saving two satellites from disposal; capitalized on ground/satellite automation, reducing crew requirements by 60 percent; and revamped DSCS orbital maneuver tactics to extend life by 50 percent and save $5 million each year. Countless other quality initiatives of the wing’s Airmen contributed to mission success and the General Herres and Moorman award.
The year also brought Schriever unique situations to overcome. The wing fought a 9,000-acre wildfire on and near the base, responded to an emergency aircraft landing on the installation and broke ground on Schriever’s first housing project, all while continuing to deliver space combat effects on a global scale.