AFSPC commander visits ‘Team Patrick-Cape’
By Chris Calkins, 45th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 12, 2014
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- General William Shelton, commander, Air Force Space Command, spent two days this week talking with 45th Space Wing personnel, and visiting facilities at both Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
On Monday afternoon, he was accompanied by Brigadier General Nina Armagno, commander, 45th Space Wing, and other 45th SW leaders as they conducted a Force Support Squadron-focused tour of the Child Development Center and the Marina.
Later that day he paid a visit to the 45th Security Forces Squadron and toured the Combat Arms Training & Maintenance facility.
"What a great day; and it made us so proud to see our younger Airmen and civilian employees get a chance to show General Shelton what kind of team we have here," said Brig. Gen. Armagno.
Tuesday morning, General Shelton started his day by having breakfast with 45th Space Wing personnel who were recently named annual award winners at the banquet held March 7.
After a stop at Port Canaveral, he was given a tour of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. There he traveled to, and spoke with Airmen at, the NAVSTAR Processing Facility and the Horizontal Integration Facility.
Then, it was on to a working lunch in the community where he addressed approximately 360 members of the National Space Club.
As the event's keynote speaker, he quickly got right to the point.
"Space is pretty much a part of everything we do. I can't think of a single military operation that doesn't rely on space," he said with emphasis.
"And I am talking about every branch of the service, not just the Air Force, who benefit from what we do here at the Eastern Range," he said.
He also talked about shrinking "space budgets" and how it negatively affects planning for the future.
Following the luncheon General Shelton came back to Patrick Air Force Base, where he addressed a standing-room-only crowd of both military and civilian personnel in the Base Theater, followed with a question-and-answer session.
He started off by enthusiastically praising members of the 45th Space Wing for their accomplishments last year.
"What an incredible year you had in 2013," he said. "Fourteen successful launches for the year, 68 consecutive successful National Security Agency launches, which is just unprecedented," he added.
"Then I see you win 75 awards at the major command level. Just fantastic," he said as he asked the Sharks to give themselves a rousing round of applause.
He then went on to the challenges not only facing the 45th Space Wing and Air Force Space Command, but the Air Force as a whole.
"Well, number one is the budget. Fiscal Year 13 was one of the toughest years in my career," he said.
Looking to the future he admitted there could be some rough times ahead, and he said maybe too much emphasis has been placed on that topic.
"Listen, your job is operational excellence, and that's all you really need to worry about. Let us worry about budget issues," he said. "Just worry about the things you have some control over."
The second challenge he talked about was the ongoing Force Shaping issues the Air Force and other branches of the military are presently undergoing.
"None of us like this," he said solemnly. "But there's one fact that remains: we can't sustain this number of people with the budget we currently are operating with.
Later, during the Q&A portion of the commander's call, he paraphrased a statement recently made by Ms. Deborah Lee James, the Secretary of the Air Force, on her feelings on Force Shaping.
"This doesn't get better if you drag it out," he quoted her as saying. "If we do that, it's more angst for our people. If we need to do it, let's just get it done," according to the SECAF.
His third challenge was to continue raising awareness against Sexual Assault.
"Blue-on-Blue sexual assaults I just do not get; you shouldn't get it either. Teammates don't hurt teammates," he said.
"It's sickening to me, and it will NOT be tolerated in this Air Force," he said with emphasis.
General Shelton ended by once again praising the great things the 45th Space Wing is doing.