Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody visited the Morrell Operations Center at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Feb. 8 for the scheduled launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Deep Space Climate Observatory.
During their visit, they had the opportunity of interacting with range, weather and launch teams at work before the launch.
While at the Morrell Operations Center, Welsh spoke with Capt. Marcianna Pease, Operations Flight and Range Operations Commander, 45th Operations Support Squadron. “I know many Airmen have been touched by Gen. Welsh’s speeches, but two of my lieutenants wanted me to thank him specifically for the speech he gave at the Air Force Academy in 2011,” said Pease.
One of her lieutenants, 2nd Lt. Sophia Lockerby, Range Control Officer, 1st Range Operations Squadron, explained what made the speech so impactful to her.
“Gen. Welsh’s speech taught me three things. The first is to know your people because understanding where people come from allows you to understand why they work, make decisions and act the way they do,” she said.
“The second thing I learned was what we do is important. Gen. Welsh used examples of young captains and lieutenants who were once cadets just like us and showed us how these young people were flying jets, saving lives, and making a bigger difference than we could wrap out heads around,” said Lockerby.
The last lesson she told me she learned from the Air Force Chief of Staff was to never again skip a mandatory post-lunch briefing because his speech was the most impactful speech the cadet wing had ever heard.
The other lieutenant under Pease, 2nd Lt Mercedes Edwards, contingency operations chief, 45th Operations Support Squadron, had her own words to say about Welsh’s speech.
“General Welsh’s speech truly inspired me. His words made me excited, not only to enter the Air Force, but to have the opportunity to take care of our nation’s greatest Airmen. He left every cadet in the audience with a sense of responsibility, not only to take the time to get to know our people, but to realize how much they count on us and how important it is not to let them down. I believe that his speech stays with all the members of that auditorium to this day,” said Edwards.
Welsh and Cody visited with the combined launch agency and range teams up to the very last few minutes before the launch was aborted.
“It was truly a privilege to host the Chief of Staff and the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, Mrs. Betty Welsh, and their travel team who came to see our mission in action,” said Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno, 45th Space Wing commander.
“I’m very proud of Team Patrick-Cape and all the hard work they do in preparation for every launch from the Space Coast. It is our team’s persistent and continued operational discipline and safety focus that delivers ‘100 percent mission success’ every time!” she said.
Source:: Air Force Space Command