SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Col. Jennifer Grant, commander of the 50th Space Wing, called together wing members to praise the milestone operations that took place the weekend before, during two all-calls, Feb. 22.
“I wanted a chance to get all hands together to talk with you and to say thank you,” Grant said. “Everybody in this room knows this was not an easy task.”
“This” being the week-long execution of not only a repair and restructure of power on Schriever Air Force Base, but also the successful deployment of all space operations at an alternate location, with zero mission impact.
“We talk a lot about our vision: One team, mastering space and cyberspace … now and into the future. We talk about our mission: Evolve space and cyberspace warfighting superiority through integrated and innovative operations,” she said. “Our activity and execution of mission the last week is a perfect illustration of both.”
However, with great execution of the mission, Grant made a point to highlight how it could not have been done without great emphasis on vision. Particularly the employment of “one team,” each and every member who worked as a piece of the greater puzzle knew their part and acted as such.
“We had seven straight days of activity and when we tallied up the numbers we had a total of 575 people working, intensely, over the three day weekend,” Grant said. “That’s just here at the 50th Space Wing. That doesn’t include our mission partners, our Reserve wing components, and the far-end users. So, who you see here sitting around the room is just a subset of our total employed manpower for this effort.
“There were also more than 1,000 circuits, six operating locations, 18 stakeholders, and no mission impacts … zero,” she continued. “That doesn’t happen by accident, that doesn’t even happen by luck.”
Grant went on to explain how the successful transfer of operations supporting maintenance repair of our infrastructure was only possible through the tireless and careful planning of each commander, as well as the careful and focused execution of each member.
“When you have a checklist and you have a procedure in place, all you have to do is pull it off the shelf and execute, that’s easy,” she explained. “When you’re doing something like we did, which was something this installation had never had to do before – ever. No, we had never done it, a full, coordinated outage affecting more than 1,000 circuits, and then bringing them back up. It isn’t easy, and everyone has to be engaged to make the effort a success.”
Grant admitted leaders were wary but supportive when in the research and planning phases of completing this unique challenge, especially when hearing all power to Building 400 would have to be shut off in order to accomplish the repair.
However, despite the unknowns associated with the induced-outage, Airmen and their leadership felt prepared to meet the challenge.
“You did it and you made it look easy,” Grant said. “We just proved we could do what nobody thought we could do without a severe impact to operations.”
To sum up all the work completed during these operations, Grant called upon not only her commanders and enlisted leaders, but also various levels and classifications of Airmen who their supervisors found to be integral to the operations during the week, over the weekend and beyond.
“We could not have done this without everybody,” she said. “We are
asking our people to do the impossible, with limited resources, and at the end of the day we still expect everything to get done; you did it.”
To close out both all-calls, Grant read several positive comments aloud from affiliated organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the 2nd Weather Support Squadron in Nebraska, Maj. Gen. Stephen Whiting, commander of Fourteenth Air Force and more.
“I’m adding my kudos from a user perspective as well,” Chris Weaver, flight director and representative from the 2nd WSS. “This effort was completely transparent to our wing, ops ran normally through the entire event, thanks to all involved for the hard work, well done.”