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AFSPC Commander visits Patrick AFB, CCAFS

 Gen. William Shelton, Air Force Space Command Commander, and his wife, Mrs.
Linda Shelton, visited Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Tuesday and Wednesday. This was his first visit since assuming command last month.

Following breakfast with Airmen at the Riverside Dining Facility on Wednesday morning,, Gen. Shelton conducted an "All Call" at the base theater.

Gen. Shelton's primary message was about his priorities, which he called "my three No. 1's, because they all equally important."

1. Support the Joint Warfighter:

"I see this as a moral obligation," he said. "What you do here at the 45th Space Wing plays a huge role in this effort. We will continue to support our brothers and sisters who are in the fight, to make their lives better and bring them home safely."

2. Get control of the cost of space programs.

"We have all heard the same criticisms; there is no reason not to acknowledge them. We take too long...we are not on is too expensive," he said. "And while I can say we aren't the only ones with this problem, much of what they say is true. We have to get better."

3. Normalize and operational cyberspace operations.

"Right now, the rest of the Air Force needs to recognize that when we put out a Cyber Tasking Order, it is just like an Air Tasking Order or Space Tasking Order. It has the same kind of authorities," he said. "We need to educate everyone, including commanders, that the vulnerabilities they accept (in cyberspace) are ones we all end up sharing."

Wrapping up the first portion of his Commander's Call, Gen. Shelton said.
"Do I think all three of these (goals) are achievable? Yes. I would not have made them priorities if I didn't think we could get them under control."

Shifting gears, Gen. Shelton talked about the Air Force's most important
asset: its people.

"What we need is to allow our people to succeed. And we do that by building a culture of equality in the work place," he said. "We all may have different responsibilities may be of different ranks...but as human beings we are all the same."

"We need to ensure there are no artificial barriers in any office. This culture begins - and can sometimes end - with the first level supervisor," he said.
"They (first line supervisors) have the opportunity to make or
break our people. And that's no small thing," he said.

On the topic of people, the general focused on current challenges faced by many Airmen.
"We are not doing well helping our people deal with stressors in their day-to-day lives. I am talking specifically about suicides here, and the Air Force (along with other services) had a terrible year dealing with this topic," he said.

"After every investigation of a suicide, we tend to notice some recurring "themes," but not a single root cause," the general said. "We know being in the military can be a very demanding profession. We all knew that coming in. And we are going to continue to look at this problem very closely and do what needs to be done.

"Even one suicide is one too many. Even one," he said.

Gen.Shelton touched on the shrinking DoD budget when he stated, "you probably know how we can do things better and more economically, so let us know." He also mentioned the changes to the new "Don't Ask; Don't Tell" policy. "What your personal opinion is really doesn't matter much; the law has been changed. And we'll comply with it," he said.

In closing, Gen. Shelton said, "your record of success here is unprecedented. We need to be perfect every time we launch, and so far, that's what you've delivered. As General Wilson likes to say, "thanks for all you do."

"And thanks in advance for what you'll do to keep this record ongoing,"
he said.