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960th CW charts course for future

The 960th Cyberspace Wing strategy map outlines the wing's mission and vision statements, along with the three wing priorities and goals Sept. 15, 2020, Joint Base San Antonio-Chapman Training Annex, Texas. (U.S. Air Force courtesy graphic)

The 960th Cyberspace Wing strategy map outlines the wing's mission and vision statements, along with the three wing priorities and goals Sept. 15, 2020, Joint Base San Antonio-Chapman Training Annex, Texas. (U.S. Air Force courtesy graphic)

Col. Richard Erredge, 960th Cyberspace Wing commander, stands for an official photograph Aug. 18, 2020, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

Col. Richard Erredge, 960th Cyberspace Wing commander, stands for an official photograph Aug. 18, 2020, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-CHAPMAN TRANING ANNEX, Texas -- Our world has been turned upside down and, as we get close to our wing’s second anniversary, it’s important for us to have a guiding light and a plan in order to focus our energies. During the 960th Cyberspace Wing’s virtual Leadership Summit last spring, we started the process to review and define our mission, vision and priority focus for the next phase of our wing’s maturity. 

During the leadership summit we established our mission, Provide combat ready Citizen Airmen to dominate cyberspace, and our vision, Cyber Dominance! Any Time, Any Place, Any Domain. We made a deliberate decision to confirm these statements because we felt they reflect who we are as an organization and inspire us to be better every day. 

In addition, we added three priority focus areas to guide our decision making throughout the organization. Having a priority framework will also help unit leaders make resource decisions in the current restrained fiscal environment that continues to get more competitive all the time. 

The first of our three priorities is Empowering Airmen and their Families. Our most valuable resource is you and your family, so it was important that we highlight the most important enabler of the mission; our Airmen.

This priority is led by Maj. Erica Fuller, 689th Network Operating Squadron commander, who told me, “I wanted to be the champion for Empowering Airmen and Families because I have a passion for people; specifically as it relates to improving and developing processes to support our Airmen. Yes, being a champion takes a lot of hard work, dedication, commitment and consistency, but the journey and the end goal is worth it. Being a part of this priority gives me an opportunity to help meet the needs of the wing and actively shape its future.”

This priority is meant to drive improvement in our members’ through quality of life, professional development and diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Our second priority, Optimize Readiness, is led by Lt. Col. Fernando Ruiz, 53rd Network Operations Squadron commander, who said, “This effort is an opportunity to bring together the very talented people of our wing to continue to improve our readiness processes. As Reservists, readiness is the essence of our calling. Our nation and its citizens expect us to be ready. Those who volunteer to serve on this team are really purchasing their share in our wing’s strategic future and are palpably contributing to our collective success. More importantly, they’re helping us all be better at answering the call.”

Optimizing readiness is all about increasing individual and unit readiness. Additionally, project teams are working toward redefining how we account for and measure cyber readiness in support of Air Forces - Cyber and United States Cyber Command.

Execute the Mission is the third priority and Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Howard, 960th Cyberspace Operations Group superintendent, is leading the way. Howard’s team is concentrating their efforts on maturing the organization and normalizing our relationships with mission partners. 

“When we talk about mission, it is truly a universal priority,” Howard said. “It encompasses every Air Force specialty code and every status; there is no delineation of responsibility with regard to rank. Executing the mission is important to me as it is setting the bar for how we define our success as an organization. It focuses our energies and measures our capabilities to inflict the right effect on our target.”

The mission and vision statements, along with the three priorities are outlined in the 960th CW’s Strategic Alignment and Development plan.

The SA&D is the foundational document that ensures we are aligned with the mission, vision and priorities of Air Force Reserve Command, 16th Air Force and 10th Air Force. The plan also serves as the wing’s strategic roadmap that synchronizes priority champions, goal owners and objective leaders.

Facilitating development of the SA&D is the Wing Process Manager, Bud Boehnke, who said, “Thinking big, thinking critically and thinking together are cornerstones to building a strong foundation that enable growth and maturity in our wing. Where we are, where we want to be and how we get there serves as our blueprint for achieving the high ground.”

Anyone with government network access can find the SA&D on the 960th CW’s SharePoint site.

The wing uses weekly staff meetings and the Commander’s Inspection Management Board to review progress towards our goals. Each priority champion presents the operational metrics and key performance indicators once a month to wing leadership.

Some examples of what is briefed to wing leadership are budget execution, upgrade training, individual medical readiness, commander’s inspection program status and outstanding travel vouchers.

We are very excited to take this next step in our wing maturity. Synchronizing and aligning our key performance metrics with our wing priorities ensures we are focused on resourcing what is truly important to our people and taking care of the mission.

Additionally, the shift will put more emphasis on using data to drive decisions based on facts; not emotions or opinions.

I’m very proud of all the work that the teams have done in a very short period of time. I provided the teams with strategic intent and they have done the hard work to analyze our current measures and think critically about how we will achieve our goals and dominate cyberspace. I have to keep reminding myself that we are less than two years old as a wing and we are still growing and maturing.

The future is looking bright for us and I want to make sure we stay engaged as we press forward. So I’m asking all Airmen in the wing, along with their families, to find the high ground to see where we’re going and think about how we’re going to get there. I encourage everyone to stay focused, stay motivated and get dialed in!