By Staff Sgt. Patrice Clarke
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
The general presented the Air Force Commendation Medal to a deserving defender during the call. Senior Airman Adam Donohue, 50th Security Forces Squadron, earned the medal in recognition of his courage during an incident here Nov. 21, 2011. According to the narration, Airman Donohue was the linchpin of a successful multi-agency response to an armed and suicidal suspect who barricaded himself inside a building on base.
After the medal presentation Helms, who is also the commander of U.S. Strategic Command’s Joint Functional Component Command for Space, expressed her appreciation for the men and women of the 50th Space Wing.
“I’ve spent the entire day with the Masters of Space and I have once again been completely impressed with the team that is here,” she said. “Colonel Ross (50th Space Wing commander), you have a lot to be proud of here. The folks are absolutely phenomenal.”
Helms said that the nation depends on all of the 14th Air Force capabilities as well as its units, to include the 50th Space Wing, and its capabilities like GPS, military satellite communications and Space-Based Space Surveillance.
“There is no other place that does GPS, MILSATCOM and SBSS,” she said. “You are it. You are the A-Team. You are the only place that America comes to for these capabilities.”
As for the future of the 50th, Helms challenged all members in attendance to accomplish five things, beginning with embracing the importance of what Schriever members do every day.
“I know sometimes you come in and accomplish your day-to-day mission and it’s difficult to keep perspective of the criticality of what you are accomplishing for national defense,” explained Helms. “I want you to come in and realize that the nation is counting on you to accomplish this mission.”
Helms also asked members to pay attention to protecting the mission and protecting the people and things that make the mission happen.
“The most important part of that is paying attention to the people who make your mission happen,” said Helms. “We recently had a stand-down for resiliency and now more than ever, everyone needs to take care of each other and watch for those symptoms of stress.”
She also encouraged the audience to come up with ideas of things not to do, harvest the wing’s collective intellect and make the effort to do things the right way .
After taking questions from the audience, Helms once again thanked the members of the 50th for all they do.