Civilian personnel provides operational continuity for launch success

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shane M. Phipps
  • 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
This is part three of a four part series on jobs critical to supporting launch operations.

Like gears within a well-oiled clock, many people within many different specialties contribute to VAFB's primary missions.

One such mission, being successful polar-orbital launches, could not be accomplished without help from many unsung career fields, including the 30th Force Support Squadron civilian personnel section.

"Although we aren't directly involved with launches, we assist supervisors in hiring and maintaining a qualified civilian work force," said Gary Schafer, 30th FSS civilian personnel officer. Our civilian work force provides the operational continuity that's essential to mission readiness and success."

By helping to oversee and manage the civilian hiring process, the section ensures only the most qualified individuals are in positions dealing with launch operations.

"We help hire the right people to support the mission," said Carolyn Mazzeo, 30th FSS chief of staffing. "We provide management advisory services such as, facilitating classification of positions, ensuring position management and control, recommending options for recruiting and filling jobs, overseeing labor relations regarding developing and maintaining employee performance, negotiating union collective bargaining agreements, managing employee grievance procedures, and we simply keep positions filled with qualified employees, avoiding job vacancies which could compromise mission success."

Despite their hard work often going unrecognized, Schafer and his team continuously look for new and efficient ways to better assist the base and contribute to mission success.

"We constantly strive to improve our processes and customer service capabilities," explained Schafer. "We're currently working on establishing a viable site that will provide commanders, supervisors and employees 24/7 access to civilian personnel information, forms, procedure guidance and self-service training guides."

Though the section is small compared to most organizations, the members comprising it tout more than 150 years of collective on-the-job experience.

"Our eight person team has a combined total of 162 years of federal service, including 98 years at VAFB," said Mazzeo. "We not only know and understand the importance of our mission, but take pride that we contribute to its success."