• Published
  • By Col. Anthony Cotton
  • 341st Missile Wing commander
In the Air Force, the most apparent indication that summer is in full swing is the constant shift of personnel. As familiar faces pack up their belongings, say their good-byes and move on to their next assignment, new Airmen arrive ready and motivated to join Team Malmstrom. Some may be unfamiliar with our missile mission, others may be foreign to our climate and region, but regardless of the differences, all are members of our great Air Force, and every Airman brings with them a fresh new outlook and a tool box of methods and techniques that have potential to improve our wing.

How do I know? Take for instance members of Wing One who go above and beyond to accomplish flawless mission execution. Staff Sgt. Sheldon Mason and his MMTers -- Senior Airman Mike Adams, Senior Airman Chris Herridge, and Airman 1st Class Angel Cintron -- responded to a launch facility alarm to perform an emergency water level check. Upon entering the site, he noticed the rising water level around the launch tube.

He promptly began preparations to assist the civil engineers in cleaning out the clogged drain line. Attempts to clear the line and halt the advancing water were unsuccessful. Sergeant Mason and his team took the lead. Using parts supplied by CE, Sergeant Mason and his team built a device that penetrated through the hardened calcium deposits in the drain line and allowed excessive amounts of water to safely exit the site. His technical mastery and innovative thinking saved potentially millions of dollars in repair costs.

Staff Sgt. Daniel Hunsinger from the 341st Civil Engineer Squadron EOD flight, responded to an emergency call last week in building 500 where he isolated, analyzed and determined that three "suspect" envelopes were free of explosive hazards. His response was spot on, exact and prompt. Sergeant Hunsinger is an Airman who never gets complacent, and is always practicing and exercising his skills.

Similarly, Senior Airman Linda Hogan from the 341st Logistics Readiness Squadron has done outstanding work briefing personnel on their entitlements for personally procured moves. By personalizing her briefs and providing up-to-date information, Airman Hogan has garnered feedback from customers saying that she "helped make a painful, forced move less painful."

Finally, Airman 1st Class Lucas Justino, one of our Mighty Med Techs from the 341st Medical Group, not only routinely displays a great attitude, but he volunteers with a vengeance: Retiree Appreciation Weekend, Wing Fun Run Medical Attendant and Boy Scout Camp Medical Technician. A true example of what our Airmen are all about.

This constant rotation of ideas, methods and best practices is what makes our Air Force so great. Within 20th Air Force, the techniques used by members of Team Malmstrom are shared with our sister wings and vice versa. The Air Force ensures that as Airmen move from base to base, they educate and share these varied approaches so they can be constantly modified for the better; making Team Malmstrom what it is today, and what it will be in the future.

Some of the most noticeable changes are the rotation of personnel in leadership positions. It seems that in these summer months we are constantly attending change of command ceremonies and meeting new commanders. Our front page story welcomes our new 20th Air Force commander, Maj. Gen. C. Donald Alston. In addition, I would like to welcome Wing One's newest members of our leadership team: Col. Stephen "S.L." and Nancy Davis, 341st Missile Wing Vice commander; Col. Robert and Dawna Mendenhall, 341st Security Forces Group commander; Lt. Col. Matthew and Maureen Guenther, 490th Missile Squadron commander; Lt. Col. Michael and Nicole Kardoes, 40th Helicopter Squadron commander; Lt. Col. Steve and Erica Sugiyama, 341st Missile Security Forces Squadron and Maj. David and Theresa Stephens, 341st Comptroller Squadron commander. These leaders have come from all over the country, and they bring with them a wealth of knowledge. We are blessed to have them as leaders on our team.

To all the new members of Team Malmstrom that I have yet to meet, welcome to Wing One. Marsha and I look forward to meeting and working with you. To those that are leaving, farewell; take with you what you have learned here, and share with the rest of the Air Force.

As Sir Winston Churchill said, "To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often."

Here at Malmstrom, we ride a constant wave of change, but one thing remains the same - we are Wing One...Always Ready! Keep up the hard work.
                                                                                                                 - Col. Cotton