Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Commander’s call all about excellence

By Dave Smith

21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.    A little of the past, a little of the future, a little humor and a rocking video. No, it wasn’t the Academy Awards, it was the latest 21st Space Wing Commander’s Call.

Following a video featuring imagery of events around the wing since the last commander’s call, Col. John Shaw, 21st SW commander, began by talking about happenings in 2014, and the prospects for 2015.

Overall Shaw was pleased with last year.

“We had a really good year as a wing in 2014,” he said. “I’m very proud of what our wing accomplished.”

The wing was recognized in a number of ways for its performance, winning many individual and unit awards at levels as high as Air Force-wide, and also surpassed the goal of executing 21 fitness events ending with 23 for the year.

Moving on to 2015, Shaw said mission sets will only get bigger. Missile warning and missile defense capabilities will receive radar upgrades; the missile warning threat is not going away Shaw explained. Space situational awareness and space control, similarly, are only growing in importance to our nation.

“There is no relaxation on the mission front,” he said.

Fiscally, for now, things are somewhat better compared to some previous years. Presently the wing is getting the resources it needs, but the real question is what lies ahead in fiscal year 2016 starting in October. Some cutbacks and possibly even sequestration are possible.

“We hope it doesn’t get to that,” Shaw said, “But we need to be ready.”

He also reviewed the Wing’s Strategic Plan, encouraging Airmen to view them on the 21st Space Wing SharePoint page. The mission, vision and priority statements were rolled out last year and leadership decided to keep them since they continue to match well with achieving space, and terrestrial, superiority.

“Every single one of you play a role in that,” he said. One of the prevailing themes, “being excellent to each other,” is one way to fulfill that role.

Other topics covered during the call were the commander’s inspection program — Shaw said the wing is leading the way in the Air Force’s new inspection program, and is about to implement some new ways for commanders to better assess their units and missions. Law and order was another topic; breaking the law has consequences and is taken seriously, he emphasized.

The serious topic of safety was presented by first showing a humorous video about winter accidents.

“Hey, what could go wrong in winter?” Shaw said to launch the video, then followed with his own guide to winter safety: (1) Be prepared and think ahead; (2) Understand and appreciate your limitations; (3) Understand and appreciate the laws of physics; and (4) Be, and have, a wingman.

Chief Master Sgt. Idalia Peele, 21st SW command chief, also addressed the audience. Peele said she will reinstate the shadow program, trading jobs with select Airmen. The program will kick in over the next couple of weeks.

Some of Peele’s priorities are making excellence a standard, being an expert at and owning one’s job, teamwork and professional readiness are important especially where changes are concerned.

“Learn all you can about changes, take ownership,” Peele said. “You control your attitude. Stay informed and you will feel better about it.”

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