By Senior Airman Erica Picariello
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
The Air Force Space Command vice commander spent a full day visiting squadrons and meeting with Airmen at the 50th Space Wing here Sept. 2.
Ten hand-picked Airmen, representing diverse Air Force career fields and ranks, joined Maj. Gen. Michael Basla for lunch, which started with a ‘getting to know each other’ session.
Capt. Kristin Hussey, 50th Operations Support Squadron, shared part of her reason for joining the Air Force with the general.
“One of the reasons, I joined the military is because I am interested in the Middle East,” Captain Hussey said. “I find it intriguing and different, so I figured this was a great way to investigate my passion while serving my country.”
General Basla could relate to Captain Hussey’s personal story.
“I spent 13 months in Saudi Arabia and it is very fascinating,” General Basla said. “More importantly, what we’re suggesting here is that it’s a very important part of the world.”
The former math teacher turned major general also commented on the importance of Air Force Space Command to the warfighter. He emphasized the tremendous capabilities that can be provided through the domains of space and cyberspace as well as the inherent vulnerabilities and protection challenges that reliance on these capabilities demands.
“Air Force Space Command is the major command for space and cyberspace,” General Basla said. “We must grow the Airmen of tomorrow that understand air, space and cyberspace.”
He pointed out that our adversaries are working diligently to exploit and undermine the military advantages we gain through space and cyberspace and stressed that we must be ever vigilant in the pursuit of developing Airmen who can understand and operate across all three domains.
Better integration of the space and cyberspace domains with the air domain was also a hot topic brought up by a Schriever Airman.
General Basla said. “We are growing senior leaders now that are starting to appreciate that it’s not just about the air domain.”
He added that this same type of senior leader learning and appreciation will continue to occur in the cyberspace domain as well.
Airmen at the lunch also wanted to know senior leaders’ views on the opening of social media on the Air Force network.
“Have you seen my facebook pages? … I have two,” General Basla said with a laugh. “I was in favor of opening social media on the network. The world today requires collaboration and information sharing. We can springboard faster if we have the benefit of this great pool of information out there. Now, there is a downside to this — we’ve got to know how to operate as safely as possible in those environments. We need to be able to operate in and from cyberspace just like we need to operate in and from space.”
As lunch came to a close, General Basla reminded Schriever Airmen of their legacy as part of the world’s greatest air, space, and cyberspace force.
“We are here as Airmen together and we lock arms, we understand what we’re supposed to do: train, operate and execute to the greatest proficiency possible,” said General Basla. “We are the best Air Force the world has ever seen.”