A Commitment to Teamwork

  • Published
  • By Col. Matthew Skeen
  • Commander, 45th Launch Group
     Our nation is preparing to field an impressive array of space capabilities in the next several months.
     These capabilities include a roving science laboratory that will explore the surface of Mars, navigation satellites that enhance combat power while simultaneously enabling countless innovative civilian applications, communications systems that support global operations and sensors that protect us at home and our forces abroad.
     The satellites that provide these capabilities will begin their missions on the launch pads of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. This fact makes every 45th Space Wing member an essential component of the vast team working to ensure those missions succeed.
     The team includes the designers, builders, and operators of the rockets and satellites. The team also includes those of us who participate in thousands of other ways to plan the operations, support the operations, create new infrastructure, maintain old infrastructure,
and ensure the safety, security and health of the team and the general public.
     Together, the members of this vast team are the basis of American space power.
     Teamwork is essential to our operations because so many different tasks must be synchronized for any mission to succeed. For example, the small group maintaining the massive, 50-year-old, diesel pumps that spray hundreds of thousands of gallons of water on the launch pads to protect the rocket and pad from the fiery liftoff work with great skill to perate and maintain those aging pumps, but that is not enough to ensure success. They must also synchronize their activities with the group supplying power to their pumps and the group maintaining the piping and valves on the launch pad to ensure the pieces work together. Teamwork is clearly an essential element of mission success.
     The 45th Space Wing makes indispensable contributions to American space power because so many satellites begin their missions on our launch pads.
     We must all seek opportunities to strengthen teamwork inside and outside the wing as we plan and execute these missions. 
     This commitment to teamwork is a commitment to enhancing America's ability to explore and operate in space - a commitment to enhancing America's space power.