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CSAF: 'It happens; I got to see the most important part'

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- About two hours prior to our first attempt to launch NASA's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) mission from Launch Complex 40 Sunday evening at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, General Mark A. Welsh III, Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, and his wife, Betty, along with Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody, walked off a plane at the CCAFS Skid Strip ready for us to "put on a show."

Well, I'm very happy to report that we did just that, even though a range radar issue and a couple of launch vehicle issues forced us to scrub the mission just a couple minutes before the scheduled liftoff.

What? Say again? Do you wonder how it's possible to put on a show without a rocket launch?

That's easy to explain.

Prior to the launch, we (and all thanks goes to our protocol office and launch group project officers for pulling this off) escorted the CSAF and CMSAF and their guests to Launch Complex 37, Area 59 and then a thorough tour of the Morrell Operations Center prior to the instantaneous launch window.

Everywhere we went, the only person more proud (if that's even possible) than General Welsh was of the professionalism, expertise and overall dedication to our No. 1 Priority of "100% Mission Success" he witnessed first-hand at every stop...was me.

What made me most proud was not anything he said to me, but what he said about Team Patrick-Cape.

After we made the rounds around the MOC, General Welsh had this to say:  this team knows their job, understands their purpose and are totally connected to the mission.

Well, considering this is the "Year of Connection," that comment was music to my ears and you are the ones SOLELY responsible for his compliments.

People asked me later if our guests were "disappointed" that the launch was pushed back. Not at all. Nothing could be further from the truth.

His comments just before leaving were very telling on where the CSAF's personal -- and Air Force -- values line up.

"Nina," he said, "it happens.  Besides, I got the chance to see the most important part ... the people."

As always -- and seemingly at every single opportunity -- you make me so very proud to be your commander.

And thanks for "putting on a show."

Stay Focused Sharks!