Vandenberg Airmen deliver at launch time

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The first West Coast Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, the Delta IV, launched from Space Launch Complex-6 just five months ago and it delivered a one-of-a-kind satellite to orbit. Our Airmen, civilian and contractor team of professionals throughout the entire 30th Space Wing put everything they had into the flawless support and execution of that critically important mission.

On Nov. 4, we did it again. We delivered a 2,700 pound; $370 Million Defense Meteorological Satellite Program payload to orbit that will soon provide our fellow service men and women with the weather information necessary to plan operations around the world. Thanks to you the satellite is right where it belongs, orbiting 450 nautical miles above earth, looping from pole to pole and covering the entire planet twice every 24 hours.

Although many of us worked behind the scenes to make this mission a success, a few were out in front, working at the pad and making sure, without a shadow of a doubt, that everything was absolutely perfect. These sterling Airmen provided eyes-on, aggressive, continuous and relentless oversight in every single aspect of the operation. Capt. Brian Clifford, Capt. Chris Booth, 1st Lt. Stacey Marzheuser, 1st Lt. Rebecca Breiding, Master Sgt. Sarah Anderson, Master Sgt. Richard Nilson, Tech. Sgt. Frank Hudluman, Tech. Sgt. Kevin Tadder, Staff Sgt. David Smith, and Staff Sgt. Tim Dillen from the 30th Launch Group and 1st Lt. Eric Cisney, 2nd Lt. Erin Smith, Tech. Sgt. Randall St. Julien, and Staff Sgt. Jimmy Lopez from the 30th Operations Group, were just a few of the many heroes that demanded perfection in everything from the mission-unique dress rehearsals, to pad refurbishment, to the processing of the booster and payload and, most importantly, to the actual countdown. The campaign was absolutely perfect from start to finish and everyone at the 30th SW can take credit for yet another job extremely well done!

Our next mission, a Delta II, is scheduled to launch in a couple of weeks and our team is ready. The same high standards and attention to detail that brought us to where we are today will continue to serve as the foundation for everything we do throughout 2007 and beyond. One day at a time, no shortcuts, no complacency; just personal integrity, service before self, and absolute excellence in everything we do. Whether out at the pad, monitoring the range on console, administering the flu vaccine, patrolling our streets and neighborhoods, maintaining our electricity and other vital utilities, or serving in any of the other capacities here at Vandenberg, you were key to our success this past year and will be key to our success in 2007.

Stay safe out there next week. Always have a plan and know when to call for help if things don't work out. We're a team in everything from successful space launch to helping each other out 24/7, 365 days a year. Again, kudos to the DMSP-17 team and to all of you for helping us realize unprecedented, historic success that will define the 30th SW for many years to come!