The key to our future success

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Team Patrick-Cape,

Let me offer a heartfelt thanks to all who played a part in yet another successful launch from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station last week, once again showing the world why we are the "World's Premier Gateway to Space."

This time, we successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket topped with a NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellite L, (known simply as TDRS-L in our world) from our world-renowned Eastern Range.

And we're just getting started.

As you may know, our launch manifest for 2014 has grown to 21 projected launches, up from the 12 launches we had in 2013.

Now don't get me wrong, an increase in our ops tempo is a good problem to have, but with it certainly comes challenges for our team to overcome.

With ever-present budget and personnel cuts staring us right in the eye, we have to maintain our vigilance and keep looking for ways to innovate our plans and processes in everything we do.

Leaders at all levels, throughout every corner of our Wing, need to both understand and hammer home the message that training, operations discipline, compliance, safety and security are required sub sets of 100% mission success, which always was, and remains today, our No. 1 priority here.

Keeping this focus through the challenges of force reduction and fiscal restraints are going to be the keys to our success.

Team, I know this can sound like a broken record at times, because it seems that all we've done since last summer (and this I have asked you to do), is to tighten our collective belts and do what we can to persevere and be successful.

Well, I' m here to tell you that song isn't going to change all that much in the near- and not-so-near future. The challenges we face are both daunting and real.

But in the seven-plus months I have had the pleasure of being your commander, I do know this.

We WILL succeed. We WILL persevere. And we WILL get through this, like we do all things -- as one team.

I am 100 percent sure of that.

Stay focused Sharks!