A Most Excellent Adventure!

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. John Shaw
  • 21st Space Wing commander
Life is short! And the last two years of my life, in command of the 21st Space Wing, have been the shortest on record! Well, at least it seems that way. This Friday I will hand over the flag to the next commander of the 21st Space Wing. And it's all too soon...

To all the Knights of the 21st - I've been honored to serve with you over these past two years. I'm also proud of what we've accomplished as a team, especially in the face of significant challenges. Take, for example, the sequestration and government shutdown challenges of two years ago, or the massive landslide at Cheyenne Mountain in September of 2013, or the myriad aging infrastructure issues at our many ground-based radars across the planet, or the Force Management ordeals of 2014, or the numerous Colorado snow and ice storms of this past winter. These only scratch the surface of what we've faced together. But no matter what the task, you were more than equal to it, pursuing solutions through teamwork and innovation, all the while keeping our missions going strong, ensuring space superiority for our nation and allies.

And we've earned recognition for all we've done, including the 2013 Moorman Award for the best wing in Air Force Space Command, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award this past year, countless individual, team and unit awards at the MAJCOM and Air Force levels, and an "Effective" rating in our recent Unit Effectiveness Inspection Capstone with dozens of Professional Performers and Professional Teams.

But beyond all the accomplishments and successes, what I'm most proud of - and what I'll remember the most - are all of you - the men and women of the 21st. Whether it was hiking Cheyenne Mountain with the 721st SFS defenders, or playing ball hockey with the teams at Clear Air Force Station and Cavalier AFS, or engaging in some beach volleyball with our Airmen at Eglin AFB, or running the Cape Cod canal, or "bonus" evenings at the Top of the World Club at Thule, or visiting our Space Control teams deployed in Southwest Asia, or watching our space telescopes in operation on Maui and Diego Garcia, or Wing Warfit, or Wednesdays at the Cyber Café, or Final Fridays, or a hundred other opportunities I've had to see you all in action - that's what I'll remember most.

So, thank you, for pursuing excellence in all you do. Thank you for driving excellence for tomorrow. And thank you for being excellent to each other. I don't know if I've ever been part of a better, more successful team, and I'm deeply grateful. You've made my command tour of the 21st Space Wing a most excellent adventure! Stay Excellent, Knights!