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Good to be back! – Let’s be ‘Summer Smart’

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Hello Team-Patrick Cape! It's good to be back from attending a joint professional military education program, designed for 1-star generals and admirals from all service components, which is known as CAPSTONE.

While it was a great learning experience, it feels good to be back home where I get the chance to work with and command the greatest space wing on the planet. And just so you know, I shared that very sentiment every chance I got over the past six weeks.

Everywhere throughout the Air Force--and the Department of Defense--commanders at all levels have been preaching their personalized "Safety Sermons" since the "Critical Days of Summer" season kicked off Memorial Day.

As we all know, here on Florida's Space Coast, "Summer Safety" is always year-round. So whether it's boating, swimming, riding, running or grilling outside, we need to maintain a high level of safety awareness at all times.

Even though "personal" safety is mainly a "personal" issue, I ask that each and every one of us be good Wingmen and remember to ACT -- assess, consider, and take appropriate actions--when confronting an unsafe situation.

I'm proud of our "Safety First" mentality. As you demonstrate to me every day, accidents can be avoided--just think before you act.

Let's switch gears to hurricane preparedness.

As many of you remember, it was 10 years ago this summer that the Space Coast was hit with four named hurricanes-Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne. Charley became the second-costliest hurricane in United States history at the time, leaving behind $14 billion in damage in its wake.

In the June 20's Shark Pride, we will devote an entire issue to hurricane preparedness. Whether you are a "Hurricane Veteran" or not, I ask that you pick one up and take it home and put it somewhere for quick reference.

In it, you will find detailed evacuation routes and shelters, home preparation checklists, local finance and legal info in case you are forced to evacuate, how to care for pets and much more.

The time to prepare for storms like these is now.

Stay focused Sharks - Let's keep an eye out for one another, and we can weather any storm together.