AF Memorial symbolizes many things to many people

Organizers make final preperations for the dedication ceremony of the Air Force Memorial, in Arlington, Va., on Oct. 12. The memorial's dedication ceremony kicks off at 9 a.m. Oct. 14. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry A. Simmons)

ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Air Force Memorial was formally dedicated in a ceremony here Oct. 14. The three spires hold different meanings for different viewers; to some Air Force Space Command professionals, they symbolize the teamwork of Airmen, government civilians and contractors. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry A. Simmons)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The new Air Force Memorial represents a lot of things to a lot of people. 

The three spires are symbolic of many aspects of our lives in the Air Force: our core values, a fighter jet bomb burst formation, our three mission areas of air, space and cyberspace or three satellite boosters on their launch trajectories. The beauty of the memorial's design is that it can mean all that and more. 

For space professionals, the three spires can represent the three personnel pillars of the Air Force Space Command mission: Airmen, civilians and contractors. In the Air Force Satellite Control Network, we have an unbreakable team at our eight worldwide locations performing operations 24 hours a day, seven days . The 22d Space Operations Squadron, bother here and with detachments worldwide, consists of a total force team of 38 active-duty and Reserve Airmen, 69 Department of the Air Force civilians and 227 contractors. Our squadron is just one of many AFSPC squadrons relying on such a team. 

Just as the Air Force cannot do its mission of defending the nation unless it has a total force team well-trained and equipped, 22nd SOPS cannot do its mission of providing constant capabilities to the Joint Functional Component Commander for Space without our total force team. 

Our Airmen and civilians ensure warfighters' needs are met through proficient command and control of the AFSCN -- they develop, execute and enforce the network tasking order. Our contractors operate and maintain the worldwide remote tracking stations and provide space safety analysis, conducting satellite operations in support of intelligence users and warfighters worldwide. 

Our vision is simple, but it requires all three parts working together to achieve it: "One team, guaranteeing on-demand space support solutions." 

When I look at the Air Force Memorial, I see three spires representing Airmen past, present and future. Those people, Airmen all, are one team of blue suiters, government civilians and contractors. And I know that we will succeed.