Ops group leads way in busy launch year

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The finest Operations Group in 14th Air Force; the 30th Operations Group, winners of the 2006 Lt. Gen. Claire Chennault Trophy, are known throughout Air Force Space Command for the professionalism and technical expertise demonstrated by the entire Airman, civilian and contractor team. They provide absolutely critical, 100% accurate and reliable data during each and every launch and range operation. Therefore, it came as no surprise this past month when the 30th OG received an overall "Outstanding" rating during the 14th Air Force Standardization Evaluation Team Inspection. This intensive five-day inspection observed crew performance and inspected crew operations, standardization and evaluation, and training programs to assess compliance with AFSPC and 14th AF guidance. Even more impressive, core mission areas such as crew performance, crew operations, mission ready training, and standardization and evaluation received "Outstanding" ratings as well.

Seven outstanding performers and three outstanding contributors were recognized for their superior effort. 1st Lt. Ryan Thomas, 1st Lt. John Doyle, 2nd Lt. Erin Smith, 2nd Lt. Miclynn Crail, Master Sgt. Michael Keating, Tech. Sgt. Chad Smith and Richard Sportsman were identified as outstanding performers for displaying excellence while under evaluation. Capt. Dennis Murphy, Capt. Carl Driver, and 1st Lt. Eric Cisney were identified as outstanding contributors for displaying excellence in other areas such as standardization and evaluation and training.

Kudos to these superb Airmen and the many other sterling performers in the 30th OG that rose to the challenge, executed flawlessly when it mattered most and proved, once again, that they are in fact a world-class organization dedicated to the mission and totally committed to the highest levels of proficiency.

Whether under evaluation during a simulation or a real-world launch operation, the 30th OG continues to set the standard of excellence in both enhancing warfighting effects from space and executing the mission better than anyone, anywhere. Without the thousands of men and women stationed throughout the western range, we simply could not perform our launch and range missions with the necessary level of precision, safety and reliability.

So far, in 2006 we've compiled a 10 for 10 launch record consisting of four Minuteman IIIs, a Pegasus, a Minotaur, a Delta II, two Delta IVs and a missile defense interceptor. Although good luck always helps, mission success has everything to do with focused, dedicated leadership at every level throughout the entire 30th Space Wing, 100 percent technical and operational expertise, and a devotion to duty so compelling that anything less than perfection is simply unacceptable.

As we move closer to the holidays, I ask that you take some time to think of all the great things in your life such as your family, your health and your freedom. Remember those who are still deployed in harm's way and separated from those they love most. Take the time to do things right, be responsible, stay safe and stay alert. Have a plan and know your limits. Don't drink and drive; always have your Wingman card in your hip pocket, and enjoy yourself this Holiday season...you've certainly earned it.