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Vandenberg gains first U.S. Space Force member

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Hanah Abercrombie
  • 30th Space Wing

On June 22, 2020, Vandenberg welcomed the first United States Space Force service member assigned to Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.


2nd Lt. Olivia Gillingham, an acquisitions manager, is assigned to the 2nd Space Launch Squadron as a project officer. Gillingham, who commissioned from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado on April 18, welcomed her assignment to 2 SLS.


“A week before graduation my commander called me into his office,” said Gillingham. “He asked if I would like to commission into the Space Force as an acquisitions manager and I said ‘yes!’ I am very grateful to be assigned to the 2 SLS at Vandenberg for my first duty station.”


The 2nd SLS is comprised of five flights carrying out diverse mission sets, one of which is to ensure the 30th Space Wing’s mission is successful during their respective launches, or more commonly known as mission assurance.


While at Vandenberg, Gillingham’s duties will include handling space acquisitions contracts and services that will meet mission requirements.


“The 2 SLS is extremely excited to welcome Lt. Gillingham to our team,” said Lt. Col. Brian Chatman, 2 SLS Commander. “Her addition to our team marks the first official steps as we make the transition to the USSF. The 30th Space Wing will continue to lead the way in launch and test above the rest. Flexibility will be a key factor as we migrate the wing into the USSF. As we do, the 2 SLS will continue to drive USSF innovation by evaluating, integrating, operating, and facilitating emerging and current space launch and landing operations with USSF, like Lt. Gillingham.”


As the Air Force and Space Force continues to diverge into two separate warfighting entities, many Air Force members have already volunteered to join the newest branch.  According to the USSF website, 2,410 active-duty Airmen were selected to transfer to the USSF from space career fields, after the initial May application window. The space operators will officially commission or enlist into the Space Force and will grow the ranks of the new branch sometime in September.


Military members who are not designated within space career fields and who were previously assigned to U.S. Space Command, have now been assigned to support the USSF. U.S. Space Command was established as the 11th Unified Combatant Command and was re-designated as the U.S. Space Force on Dec. 20, 2019 as outlined in the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. The sixth branch of the Armed Forces will organize, train, and equip space forces in order to protect U.S. and allied interests in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force.


The Thousand Oaks, Calif. native has only just begun her journey into the Space Force, but remains excited to boldly go into uncharted space force territory.  “I am looking forward to being a part of such a solid squadron and pioneering mission,” said Gillingham.