Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Compliance, improvement needed everyday

by Monica Mendoza

21st Space Wing Public Affairs

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — In describing the 21st Space Wing, there is no doubt in his conviction: “We are America’s space superiority wing,” Col. Stephen N. Whiting, 21st SW commander, told Airmen at his March 9 commander’s call.”We are globally postured around the world.”

The 21st SW, he said, makes its top priorities to be mission ready, to provide superior support, to develop and deploy Airmen, and to continue to build a culture of compliance and improvement.

Compliance and improvement are not just bumper stickers or statements, Colonel Whiting said. They are things that need to happen every day. They are the things, he said, that will keep the 21st SW an outstanding organization.

The wing, Colonel Whiting said, was the first in Air Force Space Command to pass an Operational Readiness Inspection/Unit Compliance Inspection in two years, although other wings have subsequently passed these rigorous inspections. The wing has an unmatched list of “Best Practices,” the 21st Force Support Squadron was just named best in the Air Force and the wing has the best security forces company grade officer in the Air Force, to name a few achievements. It would be easy for the wing to rest on its laurels. But, it shouldn’t, Colonel Whiting said.

“We are the best in Air Force Space Command, is that good enough today?” he said to Airmen. “I’m not saying we shouldn’t celebrate our successes. We win, we celebrate. But, we have to guard against complacency.”

In his remarks, Colonel Whiting took time to highlight Airmen who have been outstanding contributors in areas of compliance, celebrating their successes: Tech. Sgt. Dondi White, 821st Air Base Group; Tech. Sgt. Brandon Alvey, 721st Mission Support Group; Senior Airman Eric Escobar, 21st Operations Group; Airman 1st Class Dana Poston, 21st Medical Group; and Airman 1st Class Ryan Sison, 21st Director of Staff.

He also told the group of the work by Airman 1st Class Alexis Rich, Senior Airman Kerrie Church and Airman 1st Class Steven Gomez during the recent Condor Crest exercise. The Airmen, all of the 21st Security Forces Squadron, found themselves in situations where they were guarding facilities and higher ranking people were trying to get into that facility, he said.

“These defenders stood their ground and acted in accordance with their training and waited until they had proper authorization and proper clearance,” he said. “They did exactly what they were trained to do, showing that focus on compliance.”

Colonel Whiting re-emphasized the wings’ vision: America’s space superiority wing – globally postured to win, he said. The wing’s mission is to conduct precise and disciplined missile warning, missile defense and space control operations; professionally operate, support and protect our installations while teaming with mission partners; and develop, deploy and care for our warrior Airmen who defend America and our allies.

The colonel encouraged Airmen to be candid in self assessments and to look deep into a program and find the problems, even if they appear to be small. He asked Airmen not to rest on past achievements.

“We have to find the things that motivate us, even though we know we are good,” he said.

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