Sharks are rolling through October

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Susan Helms
  • 45th SW commander
Sharks, we are on a roll. First, there was last week's successful launch of an Atlas V that carried the first Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite into space. That was followed up with Wednesday's flawless launch of another vital global positioning system satellite on a Delta II. In addition, we also hosted a film crew shooting ads for an Air Force recruiting campaign.

Thanks to your tireless efforts, our combatants now have two spacecraft in orbit they will soon use to enhance battlefield communication and navigation. The WGS satellite is the first of a planned series of five. One WGS satellite provides more capacity then the entire Defense Satellite Communication System does today. And as you know, success on today's battlefield demands information dominance. While GPS is not new, the satellite we launched this week will recapitalize an already phenomenal constellation that provides precise position and timing information. GPS receivers are incorporated into nearly every type of system used by the DoD and are among today's most needed and widely used on-orbit assets. It is important to remember, every satellite in that critical constellation was launched from right here at the Cape.

Another success was our hosting of a film crew working for the Air Force Recruiting Service. They were here last week shooting footage for a series of spots that will run on TV and on the Web about space for a campaign called "Do Something Amazing." Their presence here clearly shows that the Air Force's leadership realizes that those of you who energize America's space program are indeed doing something amazing!

Many of you working the Atlas V/WGS mission also supported this film crew. While this sort of support is definitely a team effort, there are a few standouts I would like to salute: Maj. Greg Harland and Capt. Amber Millerchip of Public Affairs; Maj. Eric Amissah of the 5th Space Launch Squadron; 1st Lt. Alex Lefevre and Kyle Lee of the 1st Range Operations Squadron; Capt. Matt Lukacs and Tech. Sgt. Jesse Arbour of the 45th Launch Support Squadron; and Maurice "Moe" Moore, Mike Rein, Tom Kunka and Jim Booher of United Launch Alliance.

Working with film crews takes a lot of coordination and patience. Thanks for all you did. I am confident the final products will validate that supporting this crew was well worth the effort and will greatly communicate the uniqueness and value of space to audiences inside and outside of our Air Force.

Now, we must press ahead toward supporting NASA on STS-120 and launching the final Defense Support Program satellite on a Delta IV "Heavy." These are exciting and challenging times. Please keep up the focus and great work. Nobody does it better. Go Sharks!