VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
March is a time to reflect, celebrate and recognize the achievements and contributions of women throughout the world and the military.
At Vandenberg Air Force Base, some of the women who contribute to the mission each and every day can be found at the Combined Space Operations Center, an organization where women currently have a prominent role in protecting and securing space as a warfighting domain.
The strength of the CSpOC thrives from personnel diversity and partnerships with allies, commercial and civil space, according to CSpOC director and 614 Air Operations Center commander Col. Scott Brodeur. While women make up about 22% of CSpOC members, slightly over the Air Force average of about 20%, Brodeur highlighted a significant difference in the amount of critical command and key leadership positions women currently hold within the organization.
With a total of five critical command positions in CSpOC, four are currently held by women, including Lt Col. Jontae McGrew, who took command of the 614th Air and Space Communications Squadron in May 2019. The organization is responsible for providing mission assurance of CSpOC command, control, communications, computers and intelligence systems that enable theater and global space operations.
“I am proud to continue the legacy of women who have served before me,” said McGrew. “I’m honored to not only serve, but to also lead the men and women who will continue to push our nation to greater accomplishments and recognize the courage and commitment of all Airmen. More importantly, I am proud to be part of an organization that not only focuses on being the best version of ourselves as we continue to enhance space and cyberspace operations, but also acknowledges the outstanding and hardworking contributions of women across the Combined Space Operations Center.”
Those contributions from women service members aren’t only found at the command level, but throughout the organization – key positions that provide opportunities to lead and impact a newly developing Space Force.
“We are absolutely a total force team of active duty, reserve, civilian, and allied personnel,” said Brodeur. “There are many other critical positions throughout the CSpOC organization that are also led by women in the Combat Operations Division; Strategy and Combat Plans Division; and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Division; as well as Combat Training, Communications, Cyber Mission Defense Teams, Legal, Weapons & Tactics, and Laser Clearinghouse.”
Tech Sgt. Kristin Matz, Section Chief, USINDOPACOM Team, currently holds one such position within the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Division of the CSpOC.
“As an all-source analyst, I have had the opportunity to work a wide variety of mission sets,” said Matz. “I am currently the Section Chief of the USINDOPACOM team within the ISRD and lead a team of five individuals. Being a member of the CSpOC, I have been provided a unique opportunity to broaden my scope of knowledge while building an organizational foundation for the ever-developing space realm, including the creation of the US Space Force. I am honored to be an integral part of this team and look forward to seeing its continued success in the future.”
According to Brodeur, the U.S. Space Force was established as our nations’ sixth military service in part to acknowledge the importance of space as a warfighting domain, but it may also be the most woman-friendly service.
“There is recognition that the Space Force may be the most woman-friendly military service for a variety of reasons, and the preponderance of women in leadership positions at the CSpOC is a testament to that claim,” said Brodeur. “The CSpOC is leading from the front to provide a critical 24/7 space command and control mission for the Space Force, and boldly empowering women in key leadership and command positions across the enterprise.”