From the Top: Congrats on Launch; Take Cover During Storms

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Anthony J. Cotton
  • Commander, 45th Space Wing
Wow, what a couple weeks it's been for us here at the Eastern Range. Within a nine-day span, we launched back-toback missions for the National Reconnaissance Office. We launched an Atlas V on June 20, and then launched the Delta IV Heavy on June 29, both from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

If you were anywhere near the Space Coast, you probably heard and felt the new Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne engines on the Delta IV Heavy, which are the world's most powerful hydrogen-fueled liquid rocket engines.

I say it often, but cannot stress enough what a team we have here on the Space Coast.

Most of you only see the "finished product" of the launch itself, and may not know or appreciate the countless hours of behind-the-scenes work by our wing, our mission partners and our civilian teammates.

I hope everyone takes pride in what they accomplish for our nation, because all of us are certainly very proud of you.

Marsha and I are hopeful you all had a very fun and safe 4th of July. In last week's column, we discussed how planning and being a good wingman 24/7 were keys
to being safe.

Sometimes, being safe is nothing more than making the "smart" decision.

We all saw the havoc Mother Nature played up north over the weekend where many are still without power.

Well, here in Florida, Mother Nature is always looking right over our shoulders.

We have all heard the old saying that "if we don't like the weather, wait a few minutes for it to change."

Those of us who have been caught in those "where-did-they-come-from" thunderstorms common to Central Florida this time of year know what I'm talking about.

A couple words of caution: Take cover immediately.

According to the National Weather Service, in the United States, an average of 54 people are reported killed each year by lightning.

It is possible many of them thought they can make it through the storm and found out differently.

The bottom line is this: There is no safe place outside when thunderstorms are in the area. Just remember, When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

Spread the word. We never tire of talking safety.

Keep pushing, Sharks!