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Combined Command Post first in AFSPC

Left to right, Maj. Janice Hance, Tech. Sgt. Anthony Beasley, Brig. Gen. Susan Helms, Col. Steve Kirkpatrick, Lt. Col. Rex Meyer, and Lt. Col. Jerald Narum cut the ribbon commemorating the opening of the combined command post May 20 - the first of its kind in Air Force Space Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Chris Calkins)

Left to right, Maj. Janice Hance, Tech. Sgt. Anthony Beasley, Brig. Gen. Susan Helms, Col. Steve Kirkpatrick, Lt. Col. Rex Meyer, and Lt. Col. Jerald Narum cut the ribbon commemorating the opening of the combined command post May 20 - the first of its kind in Air Force Space Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Chris Calkins)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- In a move that further illustrates the vanishing line between Reserve and active duty forces, the 45th Space Wing and 920th Rescue Wing Command Post operations have merged.

The official ribbon cutting for the new joint Command Post was held in Building 423 Tuesday.

Commanders from both units agreed this was definitely a "win-win" situation for their respective commands - and the Air Force in general.

"It's so gratifying to see this dream go from just imagination to full implementation," said Brig. Gen. Susan Helms, 45th Space Wing commander. "I want to give a big thanks to all who made this happen - and it wasn't just a blue-suit project. When you give people an excellent place like this to work, their standards of excellence go up immeasurably ... they take it to the next level," she said.

The 920th commander couldn't agree more.

The Command Post is the eyes and ears of the command - of both our commands," said Col. Steve Kirkpatrick, 920th commander. "By joining forces with the 45th, we combine our talents and can make better decisions," he said.

Lt. Col. Rex Meyer, Deputy Command Post Chief, said it's more advantageous to the government to create one command post at each installation.

"Personnel and equipment are expensive to maintain. When we deploy, we have multiple agencies working together," he said. "We've always practiced 'train the way you fight,' this is just an extension of that, said Colonel Meyer."

"A lot of functional areas around both wings are working together to make this happen," said Colonel Meyer. "We've always coordinated well together. That's the key to making this project work well."

Master Sgt. Michael Trejo, the command post NCOIC, has been instrumental in that coordination.

"Customer service for wing members and aircrews will improve," said Sergeant Trejo. "When people deploy, there will be a 24-hour point of contact. They will be able to contact someone at the Command Post whenever they need to. We will also benefit from the brand new facility. All together I think it will be a lot better. We are all looking forward to it."
The 45th Space Wing Command Post Chief said this is an historic event.

"We're the first in Air Force Space Command to combine command post operations. We've successfully joined CP controllers from both Wings who are paving the way and setting standards," said Maj. Janice Hance. "Renovating and combining command posts took a long time but creativity, flexibility and persistence by various Wing agencies was key," she said.