It Takes a Base: Teamwork

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- One Airman makes a big difference when teamwork is required. That difference, if bad, can mean failure to all, or, if good, success and pride for all. That's an incredible responsibility for one Airman to carry, and we owe each Airman the mentorship to develop this important perspective. A recent event allows me an opportunity to demonstrate this point.

I recently had the pleasure and responsibility of planning the 30th Space Wing Change of Command ceremony to receive our new 30th Space Wing Commander, Colonel Moss. The ceremony represented nearly all Airmen on Vandenberg AFB. The reason I have chosen this event to illustrate the importance of teamwork is that all Airmen, in my opinion, care about first impressions and being part of a well-respected organization. I believe everyone would care about the impression, we, as a base, made upon our new wing leadership. 

Vince Lombardi once said, "Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."

Therefore, the most important principle to a successful team is that everyone on the team care about the end goal. Each Airman must make a personal investment in the overall goal, not just their assigned role or tasks.

Using the 30th SW Change of Command planning as a successful example of how it takes a base to get things done, I ask you to think about what the change of command ceremony would have been like if any one person on the team had failed.

Eight weeks prior to the change of command, I was given sage advice by Protocol to establish a working group. As I reflect on how the planning evolved, I concluded that a working group was the best forum to ensure the most success.

The working group was comprised of multiple organizations that were essential to the success of the event. The organizations included, the 4th Space Launch Squadron, the Wing Staff Agencies, the 30th CONS, the 30th Security Forces Squadron, the 30th Logistics Readiness Squadron, the 30th Force Support Squadron, the 30th Civil Engineering Squadron, the 30th Operations Support Squadron, the 30th Medical Group, the 30th Space Communications Squadron, the 614th Air and Space Operations Center, the Air National Guard, and finally, Protocol provided the linchpin of expertise and vision that cultivated the team's planning and coordination. With Protocol's lead, all team members understood the goal and acted with a sense of understanding and contributed valuable guidance on meeting planning tasks. 

This simple example of a base team required to pull off a change of command ceremony best exemplifies that no one can do anything on this base alone. If you are on a team, care and do your best. Your task is not so small that it doesn't matter.