Working together strengthens communities Published Aug. 17, 2016 By Shawn Walleck, 45th Space Wing Public Affairs PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Since taking command last year, Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, 45th Space Wing commander, has focused on community engagement to strengthen relationships and bridge communication as a means to continue a dialogue with the community at large on the evolution of today’s Air Force launch enterprise. On Aug. 13, 2016, Monteith and his wife, Gina, opened their home for the second time to local elected officials, law enforcement and business leaders as a venue to keep the lines of communication open. “Gina and I are honored to be a part of the Space Coast community and hosting an event like this allows us to push away from our computers, put down our phones and meet face-to-face,” Monteith said. “The things we share during this time would otherwise take weeks of scheduling to accomplish and I really appreciate all of those who spent their day with us.” In addition to local leaders, Monteith also invited his senior military and civilian advisors as a way to introduce new staff to community leaders as well as enhance existing relationships with personnel already in place. “As a long-time resident of the Space Coast I have seen many changes within our community,” said Tom Eye, 45th Space Wing director of Plans and Programs. “Staying connected and engaged is vital when we share our views of the future. The launch enterprise is continually evolving and extremely collaborative in nature, and being able to understand our mission within the community not only helps strengthen all of us, but it also aligns the way that future is shaped.” “Having cohesiveness between our communities just makes sense and I really appreciate the general and his wife for hosting such an event,” said William Capote, City of Palm Bay Mayor. “In today’s environment we continually look for ways to share knowledge and resources because today’s climate can be unpredictable at times and knowing that we have the support through these relationships is invaluable to me.” Beyond the scope of these informal events, Monteith laid out the groundwork for a comprehensive community engagement strategy early in his tenue here. “People want to know what’s going on at the 45th and the only way to do that is by being active and present in the community. Some of my best days since taking command have been letting people know all of the exciting things that are happening at the Cape and Patrick and that excitement resonates,” Monteith said. That formula for engagement included standing up a Strategic Engagement Team, comprised of wing senior leaders, an outreach team for participating in local events and hosting on-base events for local mayors, law enforcement and clergy. These events coupled with granting greater access to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for tours along with direct participation in monthly meetings for the Cocoa Beach Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Council, Brevard County Civilian Military Council and the Space Coast League of Cities, have all contributed toward providing a greater footprint within the community. From Daytona to Orlando to Miami, 45th Space Wing personnel have engaged in more than 900 events and tours this year, with numerous others on the horizon. “If there’s a group out there who wants to know what we’re up to, just give us a call and we’ll be there,” Monteith said. “You are part of our success story and that’s what makes living and working on the Space Coast an experience like no other. I’m proud of the work we do here and on behalf of our Airmen, I thank you all for the tremendous support you give us, because quite frankly, we couldn’t do it without you,” he concluded. To request event participation, contact the Public Affairs office at 321-494-5933 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.