Thank You for the Great Ride
By Col. James P. Ross, 45th Operations Group
/ Published January 14, 2011
14 January 2011 -- Wow, time does fly when you're having fun! This has been the most rewarding position in my 21 years in the Air Force. I can't believe it has already been 19 months since I took the 45 OG flag and today I'm handing it over to Col. Denette Sleeth.
What has made this job so rewarding? All the fantastic people! Every day I came to work I knew someone would impress me with their professionalism, initiative, and sense of service. I was truly blessed with a wonderful group who would give everything they could to get the mission done safely, efficiently, and effectively.
In addition, everyone proved to be outstanding Wingmen for each other and for me.
We've had quite the ride together: 29 successful launch operations including the first Ares 1-X, the first two Falcon 9s, the first GPS IIF and Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellites, and the first Orbital Test Vehicle; an "Excellent" score for operations in the ORI/UCI; winning the Guardian Challenge Schriever Trophy; continuing implementation of Launch Enterprise Transformation and launch operations and maintenance contract consolidation; leading the way for a world-class Air Force Week packed with fun and informative events; and finally safely training and deploying 68 OG personnel into theater in support of contingency operations.
None of these successes would have taken place without an outstanding team. We are lucky to be executing the launch and range mission from the Eastern Range.
The OG front office staff, the squadron and detachment commanders, the Airmen in the units, the government civilians, and our contractor mission partners one and all know the importance of teamwork in the launch business. Not only did you realize how to work with each other, you also knew you were a part of the larger wing/customer team.
THANK YOU, Hammerheads, for your exemplary service to the 45th Operations Group, the 45th Space Wing, Air Force Space Command, the Air Force and the nation! Please keep up the great efforts, take care of each other, and welcome Col. Sleeth with the same professionalism and enthusiasm you showed me.