VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
Following a year of many organizational transitions, the hard-working personnel support team assigned to Space Operations Command (SpOC)-West recently earned two 2020 SpOC awards and will now move on to compete at the Air Force level. On March 3, SpOC headquarters announced that Maj. Richard Hart, director of SpOC-West Manpower and Personnel, won the Force Support Field Grade Officer award, and the SpOC-West Commander Support Staff (CSS) won the A1 Special Recognition Team Award for staff-level support.
“I’ve spent more than 30 years in the military, both in uniform and as a government civilian, and I’ve never seen this number of organizational moves in such a short period of time,” said Mark Main, the Combined Force Space Component Command chief of staff. “It took an extraordinary amount of personnel support to ensure these changes were accurately reflected in the books, and our CSS and manpower and personnel sections handled this flawlessly.”
The year 2020 marked a year of significant change for the dual-hatted organization previously known as 14th Air Force and the Joint Force Space Component Command (JFSCC). After the U.S. Space Force was founded as the newest branch of the Armed Forces on Dec. 20, 2019, the 14th Air Force at Vandenberg AFB was redesignated as Space Operations Command on Dec. 20, 2019. This same organization was later renamed SpOC-West after the SpOC field command was formally established on Oct. 21, 2020, in Colorado Springs, Colo.
On Aug. 29, 2019, U.S. Space Command was stood up after 17 years since its inactivation. This prompted the reorganization of JFSCC from U.S. Strategic Command to U.S. Space Command. With the subsequent inclusion of international military partners on the staff, JFSCC’s name changed to the Combined Force Space Component Command on Oct. 1, 2019.
“I’m very happy that I and my team got to be a small part of the historic standup of these organizations,” said Hart, who leads a section of only three people to support more than 100 customers.
During the USSF transition, the SpOC-West CSS staff maintained accurate personnel records through numerous systems conversions, as well as built guidance for more than 200 members for the historical transfer ceremonies.
In addition to the multiple organizational changes, a worldwide pandemic also brought unique challenges that the CSS worked through to overcome. The CSS streamlined COVID-19 operations in the unit control center by synchronizing headquarters and wing accountability programs, which provided daily readiness updates for the U.S. Space Command mission.
“Throughout all these challenges, the CSS continued to provide superior personnel, training, deployment, and commander’s program support for the CFSCC, SpOC-West, and Space Delta 5 warfighters,” said Capt. Cameron Hyman, the SpOC-West CSS section commander.