AF Space Command Command Chief visits Vandenberg

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Raymond Hoy
  • 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
A sea of stripes filled Vandenberg's base theater as the command chief of Air Force Space Command addressed Airmen at an enlisted call Thursday.

Chief Master Sgt. Michael Sullivan came to Vandenberg on his first visit to the base to meet the Airmen, NCOs and Senior NCOs responsible for operating and maintaining the West Coast's only space launch facility.

The chief was able to get an up-close look at some of the driving forces behind Vandenberg.

"The level of professionalism in the Airmen that I have met has really, really impressed me," Chief Sullivan said. "Every single person that I've met has been a cut above with regards to customs and courtesies, professionalism, uniform and job knowledge. They stand out and shine."

A couple of the Airmen were coined by the chief for their selflessness and dedication to the job and their coworkers.

The chief was able to take the opportunity of getting out and meeting Vandenberg's Airmen to emphasize some of his views on leadership and his expectations for Space Command's enlisted force.

"General Chilton (AFSPC commander) and myself are specifically asking our Airmen to take accountability for themselves and one another and our NCO leadership to work diligently in investing in that next generation in every area," the chief said, "from training, which we've done well historically, to making them financially sound and successful, to engaging them as leaders and teaching about our heritage in the Air Force."

Chief Sullivan looks to the first-line supervisors to begin the process of leading Airmen in the right direction.

"If first-line supervisors don't take the initiative to mentor and guide their troops, Airmen are just going to think we're just training them so we can give them work," Chief Sullivan said. "If supervisors help them be financially stable and correct them when they know they are doing something wrong as well as show them what it means to be in the Air Force, now they're going to know that you appreciate them for who they are as individuals, not just someone who you can give work to."

The chief also took the time to highlight initiatives like Air Force SmartOps 21.

"AFSO 21 is designed to help us find a more efficient and effective way to do things," he said. "In a budget and personnel constrained environment, that's critical to our success. We can't win the war inefficiently. We can't be expected to push on with some of the inefficiencies we have found."

He also wanted to point out that AFSO 21 can have a direct affect on shop at the lowest levels.

"What many Airmen fail to realize is that the rewards from an initiative put forward through AFSO 21, are turned right back to the base that initiated it for two years," he said. "If an Airman comes up with an idea that will save two working Airmen forever, those two extra bodies can be redistributed by the wing commander for two years."

By the time Chief Sullivan left, he had toured the bases best facilities, dined with Vandenberg's most outstanding Airmen and NCOs, and instilled in them the knowledge of an Airman with more than 29 years of service.