Saying thanks to the whole team

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Bill Rittershaus
  • 45th Range Management Squadron commander
The 45th Space Wing had a very eventful past month: the largest wing deployment exercise in a long time, four successful launches and a successful shuttle landing. The success of these events did not happen by chance, rather through the hard work, attention to detail and dedication of the entire Shark Team. It required every group working together toward the common goal: the operations group preparing, maintaining and operating the range; the launch group processing the satellites and launch vehicles; the mission support group ensuring Cape Canaveral facilities were secure and in operable condition; and the medical group providing treatment to and assuring our crews were medically qualified.

While the wing may not have a quite as eventful launch schedule over the next couple of months, our operation tempo will not wane. Our focus will shift to preparing for a readiness and compliance inspection. We will be running self inspections, recalls and exercising our mission critical processes. And by the way, we also have a few launches during this time that demand our fullest attention.

So, we have been a very busy, successful wing over the past month and will continue this tempo for at least the next couple months. This type of tempo will take a toll on the members of the Shark Team, but let's not forget about our entire team. Our family and friends also pay a sacrifice in this venture.

When our duty hours start to grow and/or occur during odd times, it is our family and friends who bear a large brunt of the increased operations tempo: taking care of kids and the home; rearranging their schedule to find time for a meal together or simply talking on the phone; waking up to a late night/early morning call from the base.

They often do this without question and with the same dedication as those of us serving as a military member, civil servant or mission partner. Although we may be the ones who made a commitment to the Air Force mission, our service also lays claims on our relationships with family and friends. They deserve a big thank you for their sacrifices. So, I challenge each of you to find a little time over the next few days to tell them thanks and to show them your appreciation for their contribution.

Our high ops tempo, which will continue for the next several months, affects all our team members to include families and friends and I am grateful for their/your sacrifice.