No mission without support; commander's call connects unit to the Cape
By Col. Matthew Wallace, 45th Mission Support Group Commander, 45th Mission Support Group
/ Published May 23, 2016
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
The purpose of commander’s call is to bring together an entire unit to discuss important issues and recognize outstanding accomplishments. While I always aim to make these events educational, informative and enjoyable, I wanted to achieve these objectives in a new and exciting way this quarter. To make this call to go down in the 45th Space Wing history books, I knew I’d need a road trip, rockets and the King of Rock and Roll.
First, I wanted to give the 45th Mission Support Group a unified identity as opposed to personnel identifying themselves with their physical work location at Patrick Air Force Base or Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Giving people an opportunity to vacate their desks and spend time together gave us a sense of ownership to our mission. After all, we are one team, providing the right mission support at the right place, at the right time, every time!
Second, a road trip to the heart of our wing’s assured access to space mission led us to a hangar near the launch pads on CCAFS. Using this location helped us gain a greater connection to the mission and history of our wing. We boarded buses, stocked with food and refreshments, and took a guided tour. For many members, this was their first chance to tour the historical sites we value at this wing. I cannot help but feel an immense amount of pride in our mission at the 45th SW. I wanted our entire team to share that gratification because our mission success could not be possible without their hard work and dedication.
Lastly, to achieve the aforementioned in a positive atmosphere, “Elvis,” allegedly played by one of our commanders, made his appearance and hosted a 45 SW trivia game between the five squadrons. Our Airmen interacted and got to know each other during the competition. It was comical to say the least. The audience was filled with laughter and cheer as they rooted for their allies. I have learned from previous commanders of mine that if you have to bring a group together, try your best to make it enjoyable. As I watched the interaction take place, it truly felt like one big team.
The informal portion of the commander’s call tied all of the objectives together. The group learned some 45th SW history while getting to interact with members from other squadrons. We have an outstanding team at the 45th MSG and I think it was important for me to put forth the effort to make the commander’s call exciting and valuable when I asked for their time. Sometimes we are so busy working that we lose sight of our role in the mission and the importance of what we are doing.
I enjoyed the opportunity to showcase their effort and bring them closer to our mission here at the 45th SW. I also took advantage of the chance to extend a personal message at the close of the event: “Life is short; tell your loved ones you love them every chance you get.” We did what we aimed to do for this commander’s call; our team was inspired, informed and they had a blast.