Let’s all help the ‘big boss’
By Col. Scott Henderson, 45th Launch Group commander
/ Published September 18, 2008
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- Gen. Norton Schwartz was recently confirmed as our new Air Force Chief of Staff. Can you imagine the pressure he must feel taking over on the heels of the unprecedented firing of our previous Secretary and Chief of Staff? Needless to say, the road ahead will not be easy as General Schwartz tries to lead us in regaining the trust of the nation and our political leaders. As part of his campaign to get us to that end state, the Chief recently published his thoughts in two documents called the "CSAF's Current View" and the "CSAF's Perspective."
In his perspective brief, the Chief highlighted five priorities to "regain our nation's confidence":
1. Reinvigorate the Air Force Nuclear Enterprise
a. Take action per Donald Report, Welch Report, the Blue Ribbon Review, and Schlesinger Report
b. Focus on precision and reliability in AF processes
c. Fulfill mandate for accountability
2. Partner with the Joint and Coalition team to win today's fight
a. Aggressively adapt AF ways and means across the spectrum: C2, ISR, non-traditional roles
b. Focus on Joint capabilities, interoperability, trust
3. Develop and care for Airmen and their families
a. Train & be ready for 21st Century challenges
b. Reinforce our Warfighting Ethos, expeditionary combat mindset
c. Accommodate demands on families
4. Modernize our aging air & space inventories
a. All US Services need to "reset" & build for the future
b. We will build a balanced force for the future...no litmus tests
5. Acquisition Excellence - Process, people, performance
As I look at those priorities, I can see a direct linkage to our mission here in the 45th Space Wing. First, many of us have been or will be part of the nuclear enterprise so we will be part of the fix action in this arena. Many of the same principles that are critical to nuclear ops - precision, reliability, discipline, and accountability - are equally as important to our space launch mission.
Second, as leaders and supervisors, we are all charged with developing and caring for our Airmen and their families-the wingman culture cannot be underestimated and in a time of reshaping and retraining the force, trained and ready Airmen will continue to be the life blood of our service.
Third, we are playing a major role in the modernization of our aging space inventory with the launch of modernized GPS, SATCOM, missile warning and ISR systems from right here at the Cape. Finally, a large percentage of our mission deals with acquisition of systems, range components, new facilities or new services-grooming future acquisition excellence must start here.
Our Air Force has a rich history and heritage. We have survived through tough times before and we will get through this rough patch because the institution has strong leaders and incredible people. As you can see, General Schwartz has a clear set of priorities to restore the credibility of our Air Force - let's get on board and do our share to help the Big Boss!