Driving innovation together at Buckley Air Force Base

  • Published
  • By Col. John Wagner
  • 460th Space Wing
I was struck by how fortunate we are here at Buckley Air Force Base last month as we honored the achievements of our outstanding Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen at our Team Buckley Annual Awards Ceremony.

There were several highlights for me, including Command Chief Master Sgt. Brian Kruzelnick's challenge to be our very best, all the time, in every task, in our service to our nation.  The positive, professional energy of our warriors and their amazing contributions to this installation, our larger community, combatant commanders, and our national security was truly energizing and motivating.  The partnership and innovation they exemplified is what makes living and working here on Buckley AFB unique and so very special. 
Right here and right now, we are forging stronger partnerships among our active duty, reserve, guard, and joint-force teams to better achieve our diverse mission sets.  This includes generating combat aircraft and rescue helicopters, conducting mountain rescue training, providing well trained reservists that seamlessly integrate with the Fleet and the Corps, and running all Air Force reserve personnel actions. Further, we orchestrate global vigilance and provide constant missile warning for our homeland and all combatant commanders.
As a team, we provide these and numerous other critical missions that significantly enhance America's security and safeguard forces in harm's way -- every minute of every day. 
Our Air Force Chief of Staff, General Mark Welsh, charged us to unlock the innovative potential resident in our Airmen and turn a possible vulnerability into an enduring advantage.  It's clear that you've not only accepted his charge, you are charging forward and "Building a Better Buckley Together" (B3T) everywhere across this installation and involving all military services, government agencies, and coalition partners. 

I'm extremely honored to serve at your side, whether you are in the 460th Space Wing or among our 88 all-service and interagency tenant unit partners. In the coming weeks, we'll highlight each of our partner units and how we're better because we're linked together. 

I'll start with a few recent examples around the wing.   

The 460th Mission Support Group is exploring partnerships with tenants and our local community to better serve our personnel and our families as we design Buckley AFB's future of security, law enforcement, fire protection, logistics readiness, road care and support services that are truly second to none.   They've completely overhauled the Airman's Attic to build the Buckley Attic that now supports all-service junior members and their families. Further, they've streamlined base in-processing, out-processing, and transition counseling, saving thousands of hours of service member time that can be refocused on mission. 
The 460th Operations Group is working with the Space and Missile Systems Center to consolidate command, control and sensor management of three different spacecraft constellations while they simultaneously run four other operations floors and geographically separated units around the world in their no-fail missile warning mission. Their innovations extended several spacecraft operational lifetimes by several years, saving taxpayers billions of dollars in spacecraft replacement costs, and they maximized the warning we provide with breakthrough sensor tasking processes. Innovation underpins their ongoing efforts to overcome evolving threat environments and potential adversaries.  

The 460th Medical Group partnered with three wings, Headquarters Air Force and two major commands over the last several months to secure approval for the plan that consolidates all care to Buckley AFB and better supports our total force team.  Innovations at our BAFB pharmacy included developing a secure drop-box to properly dispose of expired medications and adding an early-bird shift that fills 600 additional refill prescriptions each day and reduced what was a three-day refill turnaround to just one day. 

We were honored to host the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, James A. Cody, here last month, and he noted that some of our most innovative ideas come from our most junior Airmen.  I challenge each of you to continue to find better ways to work smarter together in all we do.  Break down barriers to partnership and innovation and let me know where I can help. 

You are on point for our nation and our partners, and you are a shining example for others to follow.  Keep up the great work, Team Buckley!