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Chief's Corner - week of March 19


When I think of teamwork as a military member, one term stands out to me--interdependence.  A common definition we used for the term interdependence in professional military education is "purposeful reliance" on another entity to accomplish a mission.  It is a key part of teamwork--any team truly relies on one another to accomplish a mission.  Interdependence has many manifestations at each level, in a joint setting, as military service and right here on our base.  On Schriever, interdependence starts at the front gate.

We all rely on our defenders to do their jobs each and every day.  The fact is, they provide a safe and secure area for us to conduct operations 24/7, no matter the weather that allows us to do our job effectively.  Think of a day without the protection our defenders provide, would it be the same?  Our defenders do their jobs so well they provide us something truly valuable--the ability to truly focus on our part of the mission, free of worry.  We are purposely reliant on our security forces to provide our security, safety, peace of mind and access to our work areas.  All of these things are critical to doing our jobs.  Another part of our team we can't do without are our civil engineer personnel. 

Our CE unit provides many services for us, but one thing especially that we all use--power.  Despite the talent of our Airmen, we cannot do our mission without the power provided by CE.  Think about it, what happens when you lose power at home--not much of anything, right?  We are dependent on our CE personnel, not just for power, but also things like plowing our roads in bad weather and the constant upgrade of our facilities.   Many of the things CE provides are often take for granted, until they are gone.  The truth is we rely on these services to be there every day, 24/7 and our CE folks do an amazing job of making that a reality.  The nature of our military also relies on communication and timing, which is just one area our operations group comes into play.

The operations group mission extends far beyond just flying satellites.  Our satellites provide more than we realize as an average citizen.  Anyone who does electronic banking, relies on secure communication, or likes to use their GPS to find directions are just a couple areas where we are reliant on what our ops group does in our daily lives.  We are reliant on the communication and also navigation and timing that our ops group provides.  Our air operations centers also rely on effects our satellites provide--and this capability clearly gives us an advantage in warfare.  Speaking of advantages, think of a day without our computers or networks....

Our network operations group is another great example of interdependence.  Our space communications squadron gives us computer and network access, and they do it with tremendous skill to keep hackers and bad actors at bay.  Our satellite operators rely on the Air Force Satellite Control Network to command satellites around the world, making them indispensable.  Think about the amount of tasks you do on your computer each day that require the network.  This doesn't happen without our folks in the network ops group.  Although seemingly behind the scenes, we all know what happens when we don't have computers or good communication--not much. 

Finally, when I think of interdependence I think of our services, personnel and finance professionals in the mission support group and wing staff.  We rely on them for some of our most important career events and everyday life in general.  Our services team performs an outstanding job taking care of our families and providing us with critical services.  Our personnel folks ensure we get people arriving or departing Schriever on assignments to name just one thing.  Without our finance folks, we don't get paid--and let's face it, everybody wants to get paid.  We also don't get our operating budget without the budget folks who work long and hard to ensure we have the funds to continue to operate.  If that isn't a source we all rely upon, I don't know what is.

So thanks to our defenders for providing us safety, peace of mind and access to our areas.  I thank CE for the power needed to operate nearly everything we use, and the computer access the network operations group gave me to type this article.  I thank the operations group for the timing they provide so that I can use my ATM card to withdraw money on the way home that was provided by our finance folks.  And I thank our mission support group services and personnel folks for the great assignment to this base and the many services we and our families enjoy.  I am thankful for interdependence--the purposeful reliance on my teammates right here at Schriever Air Force Base.
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