VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
The Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC) hosted its first International Space Day celebration today, welcoming base military members to the “High Bay” in their building for food and games to celebrate the many achievements in, and well as the many benefits and opportunities gained through, the exploration and use of space.
The lunchtime event for CSpOC and Combined Force Space Component Command (CFSCC) personnel included opening remarks from CSpOC/Space Delta 5 commander Col. Monique DeLauter, a rocket design and launch competition, and a “Black Hole” cornhole tournament, followed by a brief transfer-of-service ceremony for the CFSCC commander Maj. Gen. DeAnna Burt. Not only did international partners attend the event, but teams representing Australia, France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, as well as the United States, also participated in the rocket design and launch competition.
“I’m proud to stand next to you as we move to the next level in space operations,” said Burt, who joined the U.S. Air Force as a space officer 30 years ago and is now a U.S. Space Force (USSF) Guardian.
Burt was sworn-in to the USSF by one of the youngest Space Force officers on base, Second Lt. Wellington Brookins, a top-performing Officer Undergraduate Space Training student at the 533rd Training Squadron.
In her closing remarks at the event, Burt highlighted that she remembers that even when assigned there previously at the then-named Joint Space Operations Center in 2007, international partners were present and a valuable part of the space-operations team.
“International partnerships are critical to mission success and I appreciate what this amazing team does every day,” said Burt.
The CSpOC’s International Space Day celebration included some special space-themed guests as well.
“We invited several local members of the 501st Legion, a film-quality Star Wars costume club, who volunteered their time to attend this special celebration of space,” said Maj. Chelsey Buchanan, the assistant director of operations at the 614th Combat Training Squadron and lead for the more than 30 volunteers who made the event possible. “They brought smiles to all in attendance and offered an opportunity to interact with the dedicated men and women of the CFSCC and CSpOC.”
Ultimately, this special event provided a creative opportunity to celebrate space and fellowship in a COVID-safe environment.
“As a unit that not only lives and breathes ‘space,’ but has an incredible international makeup, I think this is the perfect opportunity to step back from the daily grind for a moment and really celebrate and honor our partners, everything we do, and who we are at the CSpOC,” added Buchanan.
Created by Lockheed Martin Corporation as a one-day event in 1997 to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), particularly for young Americans, “National Space Day” was changed to “International Space Day” in 2001 by former astronaut and Ohio Senator John Glenn. It is normally observed on the first Friday each May.
The CSpOC reports to the CFSCC and executes the operational command and control of space forces to achieve theater and global objectives. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to coordinate, plan, integrate, synchronize, and execute military space operations. The organization provides tailored space effects on demand to support combatant commanders and accomplish national security objectives.