Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz assumed his role as AFSPC Vice Commander Oct. 17
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.--Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, Air Force Space Command Vice Commander. (Photo by Duncan Wood)
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PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Just a few weeks into his new position at Air Force Space Command, the Vice Commander already has his finger on the pulse of the heart and soul of the command – its people.
Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz assumed his role as AFSPC Vice Commander Oct. 17. He said his primary goal is to do the best job he can to support General Lance W. Lord, AFSPC Commander, in carrying out his responsibilities.
“I also hope to foster a real sense of teamwork and cooperation amongst the various elements of the headquarters and the command, as we work to achieve the vision and goals General Lord and our new chief of staff, General Moseley, have set out for us,” he said.
Throughout his 32-year Air Force career, the general has served in operational and command jobs in the intercontinental ballistic missile business. He’s also held key nuclear and space policy positions in Washington and overseas.
Most recently, General Klotz served as 20th Air Force commander at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.
He said the challenges AFSPC faces are the same challenges the rest of the Air Force faces: winning the Global War on Terrorism, taking care of our people and families and recapitalizing our aging weapons systems and infrastructure.
“We have some very sophisticated and very technologically capable weapons systems within Air Force Space Command, but those systems are only operated, maintained, secured and supported as well as they are because of the expertise and dedication of those people who carry out these tasks,” General Klotz said. “We have to make sure all our people – active, reserve, guard, civilian and contractors – receive the education, training and professional development they need to bring a wealth of talent to the fight.
General Klotz stressed the need to take care of families.
“The Air Force is a family,” he said. “There’s an old saying, ‘You recruit a military member, but you retain a family.’ So we need to make sure our families are well taken care of, particularly as the operations tempo continues to be as intense as it is.”
The general marveled at the creativity and innovation he’s seen as Airmen solve technical problems and operational challenges. He said while it’s important for Airmen to always follow operational procedures, they should also look for ways to improve or enhance the capabilities we already have.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “Many times it’s the young lieutenant or the young Airman who’s relatively new to our business who looks at it with fresh eyes and fresh perspective, and with the advantage of the up-to-date education and training that they’ve just received. When they take on these challenges, they very often come up with innovative, exciting ways to do business.”
He cited operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, saying there are countless examples of this fresh approach to doing business as people harness existing capabilities that may have been designed 20 to 30 years ago for an entirely different purpose, using them in different ways to greatly increase the capabilities space gives warfighters.
General Klotz also believes education and training are vital, particularly in a technologically advanced command like AFSPC.
“The National Security Space Institute is one of the most exciting developments as we build a professional space cadre to prepare not only space command, but the whole country for the new challenges of the 21st century,” the general said.
Since first joining the command in the early 1990’s when intercontinental ballistic missiles first fell under AFSPC, General Klotz has witnessed some significant changes. He said he’s seen a steady increase in the types of space effects AFSPC commands, controls and provides to the warfighter.
“I think we’re doing an excellent job in terms of being very attentive to the needs of the warfighter,” he said. “Our…primary task is to win the Global War on Terrorism, and we in Air Force Space Command have been working very hard to find ways we can contribute in a meaningful and timely way to that fight.”
Looking toward the future, the general stressed the importance of giving the command’s people opportunities to serve in joint operations.
“It’s very important that we as space professionals understand the needs of our brothers and sisters who operate other weapons systems on land, at sea and in the air,” he said. “(We need to) understand their requirements and their perspectives so we can better serve them.”