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Supporting the warfighter: 21st MSG steps up

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The success of Space Mission Force rests on the shoulders of our Airmen, on whom the U.S. depends on to preserve freedoms, and who are prepared to assume the mantle of vanguards of the space domain, regardless of career field.

At Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Col. Timothy Ryan, 21st Mission Support Group commander, and the 21st MSG continues their focus on support to assure all the units affected by the SMF culture shift are taken care of, and have all resources available to progress our level of space superiority.

“The 21 MSG has always maintained a warfighter support focus, which is well suited to the SMF,” said Ryan. “The SMF construct fits well into our already existing mission-enabling and support culture we have developed here.”

For example, the 21st Contracting Squadron and the 21st Civil Engineer Squadron are responsible for engineering, contracting out and maintaining the sensitive compartmented information facilities and many others where SMF will reside. This includes their most recent initiative with the 4th Space Control Squadron to provide protective covers for their weapon systems.

“Our Airmen are dedicated to the mission,” said Lt. Col. Chad Gemeinhardt, 21st CES commander. “We are all part of Team Pete. Whatever is needed to progress the 21st Space Wing and our SMF forward, the Airmen under 21st CES will be ready, willing and able to contribute all we have to assure mission success.”

Additional support also includes their civil engineers ensuring power and backup power, as well as the 21st Communications Squadron supporting communication availability for SMF operations. Lastly, 21st MSG’s security forces personnel provide home station security of Peterson AFB SMF assets, along with deploying side-by-side with SMF Airmen to provide the combatant commands with space control capabilities.

Considering Peterson AFB is the largest geographically separated wing in the Air Force, coordinating support between all geographically separated units including this new shift to SMF culture is a challenge 21st MSG is ready to take on.

“Our MSG units provide a variety of support to our GSUs, and this will be no different under the SMF construct,” Ryan said.

The 21st Logistics Readiness Squadron supports 21st SW GSUs by managing the supply and bench stock points at every location, along with a future increased role in the replenishment and sustainment of Thule Air Base, Greenland, and Clear AB, Alaska, he said.

21st LRS also includes a host-tenant support agreements section that ensures host or nearby installations provide the support to our GSU Airmen and missions. 21st CES will continue to be the reach-back for GSUs on engineering, fire protection, environmental and readiness technical support, which will provide continuity and minimize impacts due to SMF cadre rotations. Furthermore, Ryan said the 21st CES will continue to provide planning and programming support for SMF-related facility projects, to include working with 21 CONS to establish contracts critical to facility and mission system sustainment.

Additionally, 21st MSG’s contracting squadron has a detachment in Denmark which develops and oversees all sustainment contracts for Thule AB. 21st CS will also continue to assist wing GSUs with cyber support, where possible, to ensure SMF cyber systems remain operational, protected and communicate with forces globally.

Being that this year is the Year of the Space Tactician, 21st MSG's role in assuring mission success here at the 21st SW is an important one.

“The space tacticians will continue to receive outstanding support from the 21 MSG,” said Ryan. “This includes ensuring that the SMF commanders have a ready deployable force that can begin their operational cycle on-time at home or abroad.”

In support of the 4th SPCS and 16th SPCS SMF missions, 21st MSG will continue to provide facility mission assurance by ensuring power is available 24/7. 21st CS and the 721st CS will begin conducting Functional Mission Analysis in the 2017 fiscal year to identify the 21 SW's key cyber terrain. Ryan said the results of this analysis will inform our cybersecurity and risk postures, enabling us to make data driven decisions on where and or how to reallocate resources and provide mission assurance for all units and weapon systems that are a part of the 21st SW’s SMF.

With the culture and battle landscape shifting to the space domain, the 21st SW and the 21st MSG are working steadfast to ensure our wing and our respective command are postured for mission excellence and space superiority, said Ryan.

As a global resource domain, space is integral to commerce and is an essential element of global stability and joint warfare, and is no longer a sanctuary where the U.S. or our allies and partners operate in an uncontested environment.

Despite world interest in avoiding militarization of space, potential adversaries have identified the use of space as an advantage for U.S. military forces, and are actively fielding systems to deny our use of space in a conflict.

This new SMF culture shift prepares our space forces to meet the challenges of today's space domain while ensuring the continuation of vital space capabilities for the joint force now, and in the future, according to the Space Mission Force White Paper.

The realization of the SMF culture shift is not only dependent on the shoulders of the space operators and tacticians in the command, but also on the Airmen providing mission assurance and support.

"SMF postures us for the future,” said Col. Troy Endicott, 21st Operations Group commander. “Its focus on threat-based advanced training will put us on a sure-footing to meet the challenges of conflict that might extend to space."

To read more about Space mission Force, click on the links below:

Space Mission Force comes to Peterson
All hands on deck: Implementation of Space mission Force is underway


Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui