14th AF commander and command chief visit 45th Space Wing team

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Alicia Premo
  • 45th Space Wing Public Affairs

Lt. Gen. David J. Buck, commander, 14th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic), Air Force Space Command; and commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Space, U.S. Strategic Command, and Chief Master Sgt. Craig Neri, 14th AF command chief and command senior enlisted leader for JFCC Space, visited Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station May 4 and 5.

During their visit, they spent time with Airmen across the wing. Their stops at Patrick AFB included 45th Operations Group’s Det. 3, Human Spaceflight Support Operations, the Patrick Air Force Base Honor Guard Facility, 45th Security Force Squadron’s K-9 Kennels, the Satellite Pharmacy and the Professional Development Center.

While visiting the Cape, the general and command chief toured launch facilities important to the 45th Space Wing’s role as the premier gateway to space, which included the Morrell Operations Center, Area 59, SpaceX’s landing zone 1, Space Launch Complex 37 and SLC-39A. 

During their time with the Sharks, Buck and Neri shared their thoughts and experiences at an all call they hosted at the base theater and highlighted the achievements of wing members with awards.

At the start of the all call, Buck gave a few anecdotes from his time in command and explained how those experiences have shaped his views on leadership.

“These vignettes are important to me because they point out some things regarding organizational climate and leadership,” said Buck. “It’s really important to know your people and for your people to know you.  Knowing your people and building relationships should be a top priority.”

“Those relationships are absolutely critical and are the building blocks of resiliency in our force,” he said.  “Bottom line: if you don’t know the Airman, you can’t lead the Airman.”

Neri also shared his thoughts on leadership during the all call.

“I think one of the most important things we can do as Airmen in the United States Air Force is develop a foundation of trust in the organization,” said Neri.

“Everybody knows we face challenges every day, but the reality is that this team here is doing amazing things. It’s important that you focus on those things and continue to do what you do. I’ve seen all the incredible things you’ve done, and it really is impressive,” he said.

At the culmination of the all call, two 45th Space Wing members received STEP promotions. Stripes for Exceptional Performers is a program that allows Air Force leaders to select Airmen with outstanding potential for promotion to the grades of staff sergeant through master sergeant.

Staff Sgt. Kevin Green, 45th Force Support Squadron Airman Leadership School Instructor and Staff Sgt. Jessica Brock, 45th Medical Operations Squadron physical therapy craftsman, were both promoted to the rank of technical sergeant. 

“Two steps, one phenomenal wing,” said Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, 45th Space Wing commander. “Hats off to those supervisors who recognized the excellent performance of these individuals and for helping us identify those who so deserve this opportunity.”