AFSPC commander: Minot in 'thick of the fight'

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Wesley Wright
  • Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs
The Air Force Space Command commander stressed team spirit, command goals and the importance of space in military operations On his first official visit to Minot AFB Jan. 23.

"The 5th Bomb Wing and 91st Space Wing have two very distinct missions and commands, yet they're seamless in their operations and their support for each other," said Gen. Kevin P. Chilton.

"There's something special here at Minot," the general said. "Team spirit is very pervasive here."

During his visit, General Chilton toured 91st SW units as well as a missile alert facility about 40 miles away from the base. Through it all, the general made his goals as the head of AFSPC clear cut.

"I want us to be a (command) that recognizes experts in fielding, launching and operating space systems across the Air Force and across the Department of Defense," he said in an interview with local media. "We are the experts at Air Force Space Command, and we know this business better than anyone else."

In addition, General Chilton said he wants to ensure the viability of AFSPC's mission for years to come.

"Air Force Space Command brings so much to the fight in the war on terrorism," he said. "We can't imagine conducting military operations today without the support from space."

Highlighting the hundreds of Airmen currently deployed from this base, General Chilton noted Minot AFB is in the "thick of the fight."

"You will find the men and women of Minot AFB in jobs ranging from being on the front lines to various support elements. We just can't conduct operations without them."

General Chilton, who visited Minot AFB as the 8th Air Force commander in 2005, was back for the first time since assuming command of AFSPC in June 2006.

"One of the first responsibilities of leadership is to get out and get to know your people and make sure you understand what their challenges are," he said. "When I first came on board as (the AFSPC) commander, my team told me they really wanted to get me up to Minot. I told them, 'I want to go in the wintertime. I want to go when it's tough out there.'"

In light of his multifaceted achievements, having an Air Force career and being an astronaut with NASA for 10 years, the general had a special message for Airmen.

"Set your goals, reach for something you want to do and then don't be deterred," General Chilton said. "Also, don't be afraid to change as things come along the way. I owe where I am today to the Air Force."

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