SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Colorado Springs community leaders gathered at Schriever Air Force Base as part of State of the Base March 1.
The event provided an opportunity for Schriever leaders to bolster partnerships with Colorado Springs, El Paso County and state civic and community leaders.
Col. DeAnna Burt, 50th Space Wing and installation commander, and Col. Traci Kueker-Murphy, 310th Space Wing commander, hosted the event as a way for the base leadership to inform the community about what’s happening at the installation.
Burt began the briefing by highlighting the Air Force’s 70th anniversary and how the Team Schriever fits into the service’s mission, vision and priorities.
“(The Air Force) have been breaking barriers since 1947,” said Burt. “I believe we are breaking barriers in the space and cyber domain here at Schriever Air Force Base as we speak; not only with the 50th Space Wing, as well as with our 310th Space Wing and Missile Defense Agency partners.”
She also reached out to the community partners to help identify some of the base’s needs, such as infrastructure, food services and more.
“I need your help creatively about how we can go after these things in an obscure environment fiscally,” Burt explained. “I am looking for creative solutions. I hope this is a dialogue.”
Additionally, Burt highlighted how the wing is leading Air Force Space Command in changing the way the Air Force’s space community fights through the Space Mission Force. She featured the wing changes, including the 3rd and 4th Space Operations Squadrons’ merger that aims to streamline military communication satellites. She also talked about other space challenges the wing is currently facing.
Other topics included the Schriever Wargame, automation in space and the Joint Interagency Combined Space Operations Center, as well as the base’s mission requirements.
“I bring it to this audience because all of you have the ability to have a voice in saying those things and I always don’t get those chances,” she said, addressing the community leaders.
With the current cyber threats, Burt explained the need for strengthening cyber defense, especially in defending space systems. She said the base needs help from the “industry and other people coming to the table with ideas.”
“I am looking to leverage any and all opportunities for the 50th Operations Group to take advantage of training at the next level because we have to start building it today,” she said. “How do we keep building that expertise early?”
Burt also shared future Schriever projects such as training facilities, fitness and resiliency centers, youth centers and more she hopes to be realized in the future.
Following her briefing, Burt turned the floor over to Kueker-Murphy to discuss the relationship between the 50 SW and 310 SW, and how the community plays a role for the citizen Airmen of the 310 SW.
“In a way, we are like a microcosm of the Air Force Space Command missions. The only thing we don’t do is missiles and launch,” said Kueker-Murphy.
She went on to highlight how individuals serving under her command, are directly connected to all of those in attendance, working for and with them.
“Who are we as reservists?” said Kueker-Murphy. “We are your folks, we are citizens in your community.”
The colonel highlighted the fact that 310 SW reservists are skilled experts applying military and civilian skills for the nation, bringing depth of knowledge and experience to missions as well as long term continuity.
“We are like the test pilots for the space programs because our folks stay around long enough to see some of these long acquisition cycles go through the long process,” Kueker-Murphy said. “It’s a great relationship for us in working with our active duty partners.”
Kueker-Murphy explained the importance of the community partners, especially to reservists.
“Our folks work for you in many cases,” she said. “We are looking at the space industry. But I can tell you, we also leverage small business owners, education, law enforcement communities. We have folks working not just here in Colorado Springs, in Denver but across Colorado.”
Approximately 89 percent of 310 SW Airmen live and work on the Colorado Front Range.
She highlighted the recent move of the wing’s mission support group from Buckley Air Force Base to Schriever. Additionally, she talked about the wing’s Space Mission Force as well as its upcoming combat support deployments.
“My job as a wing commander is to make sure I meet not only my obligation as a mission partner to get the mission done, but ensuring I am salvaging my reservists’ civilian career as well,” Kueker-Murphy said.
Since this is also Burt’s last Schriever State of the Base event, she said it was an “awesome experience” to be stationed here and thanked the community for their support.
She concluded, “I don’t do this job in a vacuum, without your support as a community, understanding that we are way out here and continue to drive out here and spend time with us. This is very important to our Airmen.”