Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Commander’s call updates Airmen on latest base information, news

By Lea Johnson

21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The commander’s call Aug. 7 at the base auditorium was packed with need-to-know information for Airmen and civilians after being postponed for a month due to mission activities surrounding the Waldo Canyon fire in June.

For Airmen who are new to the area, Michelle Peterson, Outdoor Recreation program coordinator, said Colorado has a multitude of activities for all seasons. Outdoor Recreation is able to provide supplies and trips to members of Team Pete at a greatly reduced cost.

Supplies available include tents, sleeping bags, canoes, kayaks, skis, snowboards, ski pants and jackets, tables and chairs, and inflatables.

Peterson also reminded Airmen Outdoor Recreation has joined Information, Tickets and Tours, Leisure Travel, and Arts and Crafts in Building 640.

To continue the briefing, Shirley Crow, Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate, discussed another way the Air Force takes care of families. “We’re here to help serve all victims of domestic violence,” Crow said.

She reminded those in attendance they are mandated reporters. “If you’re aware of a domestic violence situation you need to report that to family advocacy,” she said.

The DAVA crisis line is available 24/7 at (719) 244-9903.

Tech. Sgt. Wade Woods, 21st Space Wing safety office, had another message for Airmen about safety. In the first two-thirds of the Critical Days of Summer, the Air Force had 11 fatalities, mostly from motor vehicle and motorcycle mishaps.

“Make sure you drive within your means and your skill level,” Woods said.

Woods said the message was primarily directed at Airmen in their 20s, but all Airmen should be cautious of five things when driving- speed, impaired driving, fatigue, distracted driving, and wearing a seatbelt.

Staff Sgt. Christian Craig, 21st Security Forces Squadron investigator, briefed wing members on the importance of watching for potential human trafficking. “Trafficking of persons is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, or receipt of person by means of threat or force,” Craig said. People who have been trafficked are often found working in areas of prostitution, sweat shops, restaurant service and hotels.

Craig encouraged Airmen to report anything that looked suspicious to local police, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, or SFS.

Gail Whalen, installation voting assistance officer, had an important reminder for Airmen about registering to vote. The presidential election is Nov. 6. “You only have 45 days before the election to make sure you’re registered (to vote),” Whalen said.

The 45-day deadline is Sept. 22, and absentee voting begins Sept. 28.

Anyone needing help with registering to vote can visit www.fvap.gov or contact Whalen at the museum.

Col. Jeffrey Flewelling, 21st SW vice commander, talked to Airmen about what is being done at the wing level to prioritize the work being done.

For months, Flewelling said, Airmen have been contributing to a “What Not to Do” tasker to lessen the workload, which will realize cost and time savings to the wing.

There have already been 119 ideas of tasks to eliminate submitted to the wing, which will go to Air Force Space Command for final approval. Some of those ideas were also submitted to the wing IDEA program, he said.

Airmen who have an innovative way for the Air Force to save money and manpower can submit their idea to the Innovative Development through Employee Awareness program and individuals may be awarded up to $10,000.

Col. Chris Crawford, 21st SW commander, expanded on Flewelling’s comments during his briefing to attendees. “The ‘What Not to Do’ tasker is about giving you ownership of the prioritization,” Crawford said. “We talk a lot about empowering the people. I view this as the ultimate exercise of that. You spend your time on the most important and mission-critical activities.”

Part of the process includes Crawford visiting the squadrons so he can see firsthand what problems exist. “I want to see where you need help, and why you need help so I can understand what those issues are. Sometimes I can fix it on the spot, sometimes I can fix it in the long run or advocate for it,” he said.

Crawford said what he wants to know is what is most important to the mission, so he can help refocus the work.

“I can’t guarantee you less work,” he said. “But I can guarantee you more important and better-focused work.”

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