HomeNewsCommentariesDisplay

On your mark, get set, LAUNCH!

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Let me begin by giving a heartfelt thanks to all of Team Patrick-Cape and our first-class mission partners for executing a picture-perfect launch Wednesday afternoon of a ULA Atlas V rocket carrying the Air Force's eighth Block IIF navigation satellite for the Global Positioning System from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

This was the first of more than 20 missions we currently have on the Eastern Range manifest for Fiscal Year 2015.  It goes without saying the Sharks are going to have a very busy year here on the Space Coast.

Obviously, Tuesday evening's launch mishap of an International Space Station re-supply mission from Wallops Island, Virginia, and a previous launch anomaly at Brownsville, Texas, last August are stark - and very vivid -- reminders of the inherently risky nature of our work.

So we directed our launch team to evaluate the Atlas V launch vehicle for common components with the failed Antares launch vehicle. 

Based on this evaluation, we determined that these common components did not introduce any additional risk to the success of the Atlas V GPS mission.  

Team, let's be frank: no one in this business - or on this team - can have the luxury of having a "that's good enough" mentality or approach.

We live in a world where it takes literally thousands of things to work exactly as expected to be successful - and just one little thing to cause us to fail.

That's why all throughout the entire launch process (that often takes several months or more) we test and re-test, rehearse and re-rehearse, and go over our checklists and procedures with a fine-toothed comb.

And then do it all -- all over again, for each and every launch.

Our No. 1 priority - "100% Mission Success" -- is more than a "bumper sticker" to this Wing and Team, it's our way of life, and I'm supremely confident we'll continue to reach for the stars, while staying grounded in our work ethic.

This is precisely why I value our entire launch team more than I can satisfactorily put into words. Please know how much YOU matter in the very important work we do for our Nation.

Changing gears, we want to thank all who participated in our Combined Federal Campaign that will be coming to an end Nov. 1, and to Maj. Jason Tate and Master Sgt. Lee Sinclair, our Wing project managers - and ALL the unit CFC reps for leading the campaign for us.

Even during tough times for some of our team members, we are still able to come together and find a way to help those in even greater need.

It's what families do.

As always, so very proud to be your commander.

Stay Focused, Sharks!