VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
After recently taking over his new position, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., made his first visit to Vandenberg Air Force Base Oct. 26-28, 2020.
During his visit, Brown toured different units across the installation to observe how Vandenberg AFB and the 30th Space Wing manage Department of Defense space and missile testing, place satellites into polar orbit from the West Coast, as well as support the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Force Development Evaluation Program.
While touring the installation, Brown interacted with base members from the 532nd Training Squadron and the 576th Flight Test Squadron, where he witnessed first-hand how the use of space has greatly expanded the military’s capability and capacity to anticipate threats, respond rapidly to crises, and project power globally, at substantially less cost in lives and resources than in the past. The work that these members do daily, directly supports one of Brown’s main priorities, which is to ensure space superiority.
“Space is critical to National Security, and the Airmen I met at Vandenberg Air Force Base are essential to maintaining assured access to space while protecting public safety and utilizing those space capabilities to support the Air Force down range,” said Brown.
Brown also hosted an all-call during his visit, to speak directly to a wide variety of base members despite time constraints and busy base operations. To comply with COVID-19 standards, and to speak with and answer questions for as many members as possible, Brown hosted the all-call virtually, with a small audience physically in attendance.
Brown noted his ABCD priorities, “Airmen, Addressing Bureaucracy, Competition and Design Implementation,” and recognized personnel who personified those priorities during a coining recognition during the all-call.
Additionally, he highlighted accomplishments such as Genesis, the new electronic health record for the Military Health System, emphasized why Enterprise IT is so important and acknowledged the support of the 30th Space Wing firefighters who responded to the California wildfires, making sure the area was safe.
“I appreciate the work that the Wing has done, it’s been a busy year,” said Brown. “I appreciate the outstanding work and positive attitudes.”
Brown reiterated his dedication to Airmen development and quality of life, his priority to building leaders and commitment to retention, stating that we want quality people in our Air Force and we want them to stay.
The question and answer session included questions from the online viewers, in addition to questions from in-audience personnel. Topics such as looking at the way we do business and planning for change; the COVID-19 vaccine, modernization; Air Force and Space Force mission and roles; acquisitions, industry partners’ research and development; international collaborations and readiness, were discussed.
Continuing his visit, Brown toured the Western Range Operations Control Center and the Missile Alert Facility to see the integration between the 576th FLTS, 30th Space Wing and other units across the Air Force and how they accomplish Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile and commercial launch operations on the West Coast.
Spacelift operations at Vandenberg AFB provides services, facilities and range safety control for the conduct of Department of Defense, NASA and other commercial space launches. Through the command and control of all DOD satellites, satellite operators provide force-multiplying effects, continuous global coverage, low vulnerability and autonomous operations. These satellites not only provide essential in-theater secure communications, but also weather and navigational data for ground, air and fleet operations and threat warning.
By the end of the visit, Brown was able to observer how mission critical members prepared for a real-world Minuteman III ICBM test launch from Vandenberg AFB.