It's good to be home

  • Published
  • By Col. Chris Crawford
  • 21st Space Wing commander
I'm back! It's been two years since I was last with the 21st Space Wing and it's good to be back in America's Space Superiority Wing and Peterson AFB. I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself - or re-introduce myself to many of you.

My most recent tenure in the 21st SW was as the 21st Operations Group commander from 2007-2009, and it was an incredibly high tempo, but fulfilling experience. The management of the three mission areas accomplished by 13 weapons systems and 17 units, many of them spread out across the globe, was a challenge of mental and physical strength and stamina. I commend the work Col Nina Armagno and her team have done since 2009. From the advancements made across the missions, it is clear I left the group in very good hands.

But the experience as the 21st OG commander is not the only reason my new position feels like coming home. This will be my fifth assignment here in the Colorado Springs area. In 1989 as a young company grade officer I was assigned to the 3rd Space Operations Squadron at what is now called Shriever AFB. In 1996 I again returned to Peterson AFB to work in the hallowed halls of Air Force Space Command. In 2004 I had the honor of commanding the men and women of the 50th Operations Support Squadron at Schriever AFB. My family and I consider this to be our adopted home state, city and base. This is our fourth experience living on Peterson, and as many of you know it is a unique "neighborhood" where military and civilian families enjoy a remarkable quality of life. Let me tell you, it is good to be back home.

Since my last journey with the 21st, my wife, my daughters and I have been living in Springfield, Va. I have enjoyed my role as the chief of the Current Operations Division on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, supporting and executing National Military command Center operations, but I'm thrilled to be back in a space unit directly supporting our Airmen and their families.

I would be remiss if I did not take the opportunity to salute Col. Stephen Whiting. Under his outstanding leadership, the 21st Space Wing has evolved to exactly where it should be, on the forefront of its three-fold mission and providing superior support to its Peterson mission partners, our geographically separated units, and our local military, civilian and contractor team members. Col. Whiting, his vice commander, Col. Jim Jennings, and their top-notch group commanders have not only had the decisiveness to execute on the imminent matters affecting the wing, but have also had the vision and discipline to carve out time for long term planning - finding the difficult balance between the urgent and the important.

Their work has certainly paid off. Just a couple of weeks ago, the 21st Space Wing was notified of their win of not only the General Robert T. Herres award for AFSPC's most outstanding wing with a space mission, but also the General Thomas S. Moorman, Jr. award for AFSPC's overall outstanding wing for 2010! I commend Colonel Whiting and the men and women of the 21st. Congratulations!

I relish the opportunity to again work with the incredibly talented knights of the 21st SW and count myself blessed to command such a stellar hardworking group of professionals. I look forward to working with you as we continue to sustain the 21st SW's tradition of excellence.