VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
After 26 years of training and 78 years of Air Force heritage, the 533rd Training Squadron transferred from the Air Education and Training Command to Space Training and Readiness Delta Provisional on Sept. 1, 2020, at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
STAR Delta (P) will aim to build lethality by developing combat-ready space forces and space warfighting capabilities in order to innovate and dominate in all domains.
“The stand up of STAR Delta will ensure the Space Force maintains highly trained and educated space professionals ready to address the challenges of operating in the warfighting domain of space,” said Gen. Jay Raymond, U.S. Space Force chief of space operations. “Our space professionals must be able to respond with speed and agility to ensure freedom of movement and deter aggression in, from and to space.”
Two days later, the 533rd TRS hosted a United States Space Force transfer ceremony on Sept. 3, 2020, where 85 members transferred to the newest U.S. military branch, the United States Space Force.
The switch from AETC to STAR Delta (P) was the next organizational change needed as the United States Space Force and United States Air Force move towards distinct training programs.
Prior to the transfer on Sept. 1, both the 533rd TRS and the 532nd Training Squadron fell under the 381st Training Group. The mission of the 381st TRG was to train and develop warfighter space operators, mission ready nuclear operators, and nuclear maintenance professionals to counter 21st century adversaries in multi-domain operations.
Now, the Vandenberg AFB Space and Missile Training campus contains two separate hierarchies. The 533rd TRS, which is part of STAR Delta (P), and the 532nd TRS of the 82nd Training Wing, which remains under AETC.
As a result of these separate training organizations, the transfer represents a shift towards more specialized warfighting under a distinct and separate branch.
”As warfighting evolves, so should our approach to training warfighters,” said Col. Peter J. Flores, STAR Delta (P) commander. “This change will bolster the training of our future operators, enabling them to distinctly and efficiently master the complexities of space combat.”
The transition is viewed by some space and missile instructors as a needed step for the training specialties.
“I believe the 381th TRG standing down and the 82nd TRG assuming control of the 532nd TRS will be a good thing for intercontinental ballistic missile training,” said Tech. Sgt. Garrett Clark, 532nd Training Squadron NCO in charge of electromechanical team training. “They will help streamline our processes and programs, making us more efficient and hopefully produce better Airmen.”
The adjustment is also expected to cut down on administrative barriers for student in-processing.
“We can now create a one stop shop for getting students in and out of class all while utilizing the years of expertise the 82TRG has developed for student processing,” Capt. Andrew Spratt, 532nd TRS student support flight commander. “We’re excited to develop an even more efficient and streamlined process than ever before with brand new resources at hand.”
Many of the space instructors assigned to the 533rd TRS expressed their excitement for the opportunities that lay ahead as part of a new organization within STAR Delta – (P).
As the space students face this new transition at the beginning of their careers, while they know no different, there is something unique about being part of such a transformative time in USAF and USSF history.
“It is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of the Space Force as the service determines how it can most effectively serve the newest needs of our nation,” said 2nd Lt. Cassandra Sartain, 533rd TRS student.
“It was a momentous and surreal day for all of us,” said Senior Airman Jason Hunter, 533rd TRS student, “I look forward to all of our new endeavors in this brand new branch of service!”
The adventure of being a part of something new was not lost. 2nd Lt. Stephanie Athanas, 533rd TRS Student, said, “I am thrilled about our transition to Star Delta! I am so excited for the future of the Space Force, and really feel that the transition validated us as a separate service.”
On April 1, 1994, the 381st Training Group was activated under the 2nd Air Force at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
For more information on how training has adjusted in response to the development of the Space Force, visit the U.S. Space Force website or their social media pages.
For more information about Vandenberg AFB and its tenant units, visit 30th Space Wing website or their social media pages.