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Mission Success Takes Everyone

PATRICK AFB, Fla. --  It has already been a banner year for the 45th Space Wing as we have successfully launched three rockets with at least nine more scheduled for the rest of the calendar year.

I recently was having breakfast at a local restaurant before one of our launches and it was interesting to hear the other customers talk about the upcoming launch. Many had mixed up what type of rocket it was or what satellite was being launched on or even what time the launch was going to be.

Their conversations were all about the rocket, the satellite, and the time of launch, but none of them were talking about all the people it takes to launch.

This experience made me think about how many of us take for granted all the people it takes to successfully put a national security space payload into orbit or to take supplies to the International Space Station or any of the other missions we execute from Team Patrick/Cape.

I know sometimes I can just focus on my part, but we all need to remember it takes an integrated team. There are dedicated men and women from every group in the 45th Space Wing that provide mission success. It starts with the men and women of the 45th Medical Group who ensure all members of the wing are healthy and ready to do their mission.

Next are the men and women of the 45th Mission Support Group who provide the facilities, power, contracting, logistics, security and emergency services necessary for all the launch facilities. The 45th Launch Group provides the mission assurance of the rocket and payload during the launch campaign generation all the way until the satellite is handed over to its operators.

The 45th Operations Group operates the Eastern Range providing communications, weather, range operations and maintenance to ensure we have a smooth and safe launch. The men and women of the wing staff provide financial management, plans and programs, and safety.

We also need our mission partners from the 920th Rescue Wing who use their Pave Hawks to help us ensure the Eastern Range is clear of aircraft and boats. It isn't just one group or one squadron - it is the complete team.

Not only does it take every organization of the wing to achieve mission success, but it takes every type of airman - military, civilians and contractors. We have an excellent cadre of military professionals who, alongside our civilian and contractor professionals, get the job done every day.

We couldn't do our mission without everyone doing their part. In this time of uncertain budgets and personal upheavals, remember your brothers and sisters in arms that get the mission done every day. We need everyone.

Those restaurant customers saw the successful launch of the rocket that evening, but I doubt they knew all the work that goes behind it and the awesome men and women of the 45th Space Wing who made it happen. Well done Sharks.