Vandenberg celebrates African American History Month

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- This February, we will celebrate National African American History Month along with the rest of our nation. The men and women of the 30th Space Wing and Vandenberg Air Force Base will recognize and celebrate the many contributions of African Americans to our country and reinforce our commitment to be citizens of a Nation dedicated to equal and fair opportunities for everyone.

Monica Chisolm, 595th Space Group and President of the Vandenberg African American Association, along with the entire planning committee have worked extremely hard to coordinate a meaningful and dignified schedule of events. There will be an opening ceremony Feb.1 to kick off the activities at the Pacific Coast Club, followed by movies every Thursday night at the Base Theater, essay contests at Los Padres and Crestview Elementary Schools on great African Americans in history, a gospel jubilee and a special luncheon Feb. 28 with guest speaker Chief Master Sgt. Richard T. Lee, Jr., a former Tuskegee Airman.

Kudos to Capt. Rod Smith, Capt. Johnny Galbert, and Capt. Kelvin Dumas of the 576th Flight Test Squadron, Chief Master Sgt. Cathy Johnson, 30th Medical Group, Master Sgt. Leslie Bramlett, 30th Medical Operations Squadron, Tech. Sgt. Sheila White, 30th Mission Support Squadron, Staff Sgt. Delonce Epps, 1st Air and Space Test Squadron, Airman 1st Class Corenthia Fennell, 30th Space Communications Squadron and the other outstanding members of the committee for providing appropriate and fitting opportunities for all of us to reflect on the many contributions that African Americans have made and continue to make both as members of our Air Force and as citizens.

There is truly no better time than right now to take a moment out of your busy lives, attend some of the important events scheduled for this month, and reflect on the fact that our diversity is truly what makes our nation strong. We work together, live together and serve together because we love our way of life, we love our freedom and, most importantly, we love our country. We're strong because those that came before us were strong. They laid the path and built the foundation in which we all are now charged to improve upon. As Airmen in our Air Force, you are doing your part to protect the freedom and equality that many of the civil rights heroes like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fought to win and preserve.

Our continued success depends on you and your commitment to think through your own personal choices, apply good, sound risk management, and if you are a supervisor, getting and staying involved in your Airmen's plans. I ask that each and every one of you, including commanders and supervisors, place special emphasis this year on practicing sound personal risk management in everything you do, both on and off duty. Be smart and stay safe!