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2007 - year in reflection

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- We are two months into the new year and let me proclaim, "excellence!" That's the most appropriate word I can think of to describe what you've accomplished for your nation this past year and what I expect from you in the future. Your phenomenal service is evident through so many examples.

In the 2nd Space Warning Squadron, the 55-member team expertly executed 720 hours of flawless Defense Support Program 23 Early on-Orbit Test operations -- a first for a missile warning unit. Due to the tireless efforts in training, planning and commanding, a critical combat capability was provided to U.S. Strategic Command ahead of the directed date, which drew praise from Lt. Gen. William Shelton as a "picture-perfect EOT."

For the 11th SWS, a new manner in which to shape the battlespace is emerging -- High Elliptical Orbit, or HEO. The space professionals here have stood up the unit, completed initial qualification training, executed developmental testing, and stand ready for Initial Operations Capability in the fall.

Of course, none of this could be accomplished without the interoperability and security produced by the communicators. All they did was achieve a three-year best in satellite communications reliability!

Our medical group continued to provide superb medical attention to our active duty and retired force, as well as their families. Patient enrollment increased 26 percent, third-party collections exceeded the goal by 150 percent, and patient satisfaction is at an all-time high. This coupled with the more than 30 process improvements realized culminated in the group's "Excellent" rating during the Health Services Inspection, as well as being accredited for three more years through the Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Health Care.

The 460th Mission Support Squadron Customer Service ID Card Section produced more than 18,000 military, civilian, and contractor ID cards, and decreased customer wait time from one hour 40 minutes to an average of 38 minutes.

Engineers continued to amaze by developing the first base encroachment plan, engineering numerous projects, improving Buckley's environmental and utility programs, progressing the base's emergency management and the Air Force Incident Management System posture. All that and they maintained the stick on Air Force Space Command's fastest growing installation.

The 460th Logistics Readiness Squadron and the Personnel Readiness Flight continued their hard work in leading the wing's deployment mission. They deployed 333 personnel to four areas of responsibility, to include assisting the 140th Wing and the 137th SWS. Their efforts resulted in the lowest Air Expeditionary Force discrepancy rate in AFSPC.

The 460th Contracting and Comptroller Squadrons collaborated superbly as they managed more than 500 contracting actions worth more than $37 million, shattering all five of their small business goals -- some by as much as 71 percent. They worked a flawless transition to the Ellsworth AFB Financial Service Center, and programmed other necessities that kept operations at Buckley soaring along.

The 460th Services Division provided many exciting opportunities for our service and family members to enjoy. Our Honor Guard completed 512 military honors and 102 civic events, the second busiest workload in AFSPC; all done with unparalleled professionalism and precision.

The 460th Security Forces Defenders acted as the shield for our priority resources, as well as the 351 families now residing on base. In addition, their leadership during Expeditionary Skills Training was vital in preparing our warfighters for their deployed missions.

The Airman and Family Readiness Flight, along with our Chaplain corps, raised the bar on taking care of Airmen and their families. Not only did they sponsor numerous lunches, dinners and events for home station members, deployed warriors and the spouses of deployers, they've set in motion a Combat Reintegration program that is second to none. My claim is validated by their selection as Air Force Space Command's Outstanding Airman & Family Readiness Flight, Category II for 2007.

As a wing, we invested in and conducted Phase II operations at Camp Rattlesnake for the first time in recent memory. I appreciate the 460th Space Wing commander and vice commander, Col. Wayne McGee and Col. Charlotte Wilson's support as well as the mission support group's and Wing Plan's leadership to make this a reality this past October and the norm in the future.

I could continue my praise for others, but I believe 14th Air Force and AFSPC's validation of your tremendous service as the nation's guardians of freedom and justice says it better. To name a few, Staff Sgt. Wayne Miller and Mr. Joseph Delorenzo as AFSPC Education and Training Managers of the Year; 460th CPTS named AFSPC Outstanding Financial Management and Comptroller Organization of the Year; Senior Airman Heather Pelley named AFSPC's Outstanding Contracting Enlisted Member of the Year; Senior Airman Steven Czyz identified as AFSPC Public Affairs Best of the Best; Senior Airman Ruben Leon named AFSPC Active Duty Chaplain Assistant Airman of the Year; Mr. Roger Scott as 14th Air Force's Civilian Supervisor, Category II, of the Year; and the list does go on. You are American Airmen who will never falter, and it shows.

In closing, let me simply say it's an honor to serve among each and every one of you. I couldn't be more proud as an American Airman than I am here with you. Your professionalism, dedication, courage, service, excellence and integrity inspire me. I appreciate you and your contribution to our nation's defense, and the combat capability you provide toward Total Warning, the Warrior Culture and a Strong Community. Keep it up and we'll no doubt excel during the Operational Readiness Inspection!