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From the Top: Teamwork, Leadership and Stepping Up as Parents

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- At press time, we were still working and-in-hand with NASA and our mission partners to conduct yet another successful launch scheduled for early Friday morning from Launch Complex 41 at the Cape.

Our wing is part of the team launching the Radiation Belt Storm Probes designed to study the Earth's Van Allen Radiation Belts and probe the influences of the Sun. Understanding the radiation belt has important practical applications in the areas of spacecraft operations, design and mission planning - all key to the mission of Air Force Space Command.

This is my first opportunity to sit as the Launch Decision Authority - and I'm thoroughly impressed by the preparation of the entire Eastern Range team to "make it happen." It's exhilarating to join so many gifted, hard-working teammates -- military, government civilians, and contractors -- all integral to demonstrating the 45th Space Wing is "The World's Premier Gateway to Space!"

As you are aware, Gen. Mark A. Welsh III recently became the 20th Chief of Staff of our Air Force. And just last week, he was a few hours from us in Jacksonville, Florida where he spoke at the 2012 Air Force Sergeants Association Convention and Professional Airmen's Conference.

He stated all commanders, at every level and in every unit, must understand the importance of having confident, capable, and caring NCO leadership.

Gen. Welsh made his feelings known early and often about this subject. "I'm a big believer that in this business, people plus pride equals performance... and performance
is our bottom line. There is no other bottom line," he said.

When we take care of our people, they will take care of us and the mission. Please think about this and take the Chief of Staff's advice to heart. Know your people. Care for your people. It's key to encouraging top-notch performance in any organization.

Speaking of leadership, let's revisit a subject Brig. Gen. Cotton wrote about a few weeks ago; the importance of being leaders in our homes as parents.

Our children sense the difference between parents who give lip service and those who truly care about what's happening in their children's lives. Invest yourself in their future
- our future - by spending time with them and getting involved in their school work and their lives. Take care of your children and they'll amaze you. There really is no other bottom line in the parenting business.

Thanks for all you do Sharks -- you're the best!