HomeNewsArticle Display

Space Launch Delta 30 Change of Command

Space Launch Delta 30 members participate in a change of command ceremony on June 11, 2021, Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. During the ceremony, Col. Robert A. Long assumed command of SLD 30, responsible for spacelift and range operations in support of national and combatant commander requirements, and operational and developmental missile system testing for the Department of Defense. (U.S. Space Force photo by Senior Airman Hanah Abercrombie)

Space Launch Delta 30 members participate in a change of command ceremony on June 11, 2021, Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. During the ceremony, Col. Robert A. Long assumed command of SLD 30, responsible for spacelift and range operations in support of national and combatant commander requirements, and operational and developmental missile system testing for the Department of Defense. (U.S. Space Force photo by Senior Airman Hanah Abercrombie)

Space Launch Delta 30 members participate in a change of command ceremony on June 11, 2021, Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. During the ceremony, Col. Robert A. Long assumed command of SLD 30, responsible for spacelift and range operations in support of national and combatant commander requirements, and operational and developmental missile system testing for the Department of Defense. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman Kadielle Shaw)

Space Launch Delta 30 members participate in a change of command ceremony on June 11, 2021, Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. During the ceremony, Col. Robert A. Long assumed command of SLD 30, responsible for spacelift and range operations in support of national and combatant commander requirements, and operational and developmental missile system testing for the Department of Defense. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman Kadielle Shaw)

Col. Robert A. Long, Space Launch Delta 30 commander, assumes command June 11, 2021, Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. As the new commander of SLD 30, Long will command spacelift and range operations in support of national and combatant commander requirements, and support operational and developmental missile system testing for the Department of Defense. (U.S. Space Force photo by Senior Airman Hanah Abercrombie)

Col. Robert A. Long, Space Launch Delta 30 commander, assumes command June 11, 2021, Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. As the new commander of SLD 30, Long will command spacelift and range operations in support of national and combatant commander requirements, and support operational and developmental missile system testing for the Department of Defense. (U.S. Space Force photo by Senior Airman Hanah Abercrombie)

Vandenberg Honor Guard members present the colors during the change of command ceremony, June 11, 2021, Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. During the ceremony, Col. Robert A. Long assumed command of SLD 30 and the Western Launch and Test Range. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiarra Sibley)

Vandenberg Honor Guard members present the colors during the change of command ceremony, June 11, 2021, Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. During the ceremony, Col. Robert A. Long assumed command of SLD 30 and the Western Launch and Test Range. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiarra Sibley)

Photo of Space Launch Delta 30 Change of Command

Lt. General Stephen N. Whiting, Space Operations Command commander and presiding officer, Col. Anthony Mastalir, outgoing SLD 30 commander, Col. Robert A. Long, incoming SLD 30 commander and Chief Jason DeLucy, SLD 30 command chief and guidon-bearer, prepare for an official change of command on June 11, 2021, Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Space Force photo by Michael Peterson)

Col. Robert A. Long, Space Launch Delta 30 commander, addresses Team Vandenberg during a change of command ceremony on June 11, 2021, Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. As the new commander of SLD 30, Long will command spacelift and range operations in support of national and combatant commander requirements, and support operational and developmental missile system testing for the Department of Defense. (U.S. Space Force photo by Senior Airman Hanah Abercrombie)

Col. Robert A. Long, Space Launch Delta 30 commander, addresses Team Vandenberg during a change of command ceremony on June 11, 2021, Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. As the new commander of SLD 30, Long will command spacelift and range operations in support of national and combatant commander requirements, and support operational and developmental missile system testing for the Department of Defense. (U.S. Space Force photo by Senior Airman Hanah Abercrombie)

Lt. General Stephen N. Whiting, Space Operations Command commander and presiding officer, Col. Anthony J. Mastalir, outgoing Space Launch Delta 30 commander and Col. Long, Space Launch Delta 30 commander, salute Vandenberg members during a change of command ceremony on June 11, 2021, Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. As the new commander of SLD 30, Long will command spacelift and range operations in support of national and combatant commander requirements, and support operational and developmental missile system testing for the Department of Defense. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rocio Romo)

Lt. General Stephen N. Whiting, Space Operations Command commander and presiding officer, Col. Anthony J. Mastalir, outgoing Space Launch Delta 30 commander and Col. Long, Space Launch Delta 30 commander, salute Vandenberg members during a change of command ceremony on June 11, 2021, Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. As the new commander of SLD 30, Long will command spacelift and range operations in support of national and combatant commander requirements, and support operational and developmental missile system testing for the Department of Defense. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rocio Romo)

Space Launch Delta 30 members participate in a change of command ceremony on June 11, 2021, Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. During the ceremony, Col. Robert A. Long assumed command of SLD 30, responsible for spacelift and range operations in support of national and combatant commander requirements, and operational and developmental missile system testing for the Department of Defense. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rocio Romo)

Space Launch Delta 30 members participate in a change of command ceremony on June 11, 2021, Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. During the ceremony, Col. Robert A. Long assumed command of SLD 30, responsible for spacelift and range operations in support of national and combatant commander requirements, and operational and developmental missile system testing for the Department of Defense. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rocio Romo)

Photo of Space Launch Delta 30 Change of Command

Col. Anthony J. Mastalir, outgoing Space Launch Delta 30 commander, addresses the SLD 30 Hawks, during a change of command ceremony on June 11, 2021, Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. Mastalir expressed his gratitude to Team Vandenberg for supporting the mission during his time as SLD 30 commander. (U.S. Space Force photo by Michael Peterson)

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. --

Space Launch Delta 30 members welcomed their new commander during a change of command ceremony on June 11, 2021, at Vandenberg Space Force Base.

The formal change of command allows service members to see their new commander while preserving military tradition and boosting morale on base. It begins with the passing of the guidon, a brief relinquishing of command, and an assumption of command by the newly appointed commander.

Presiding over the ceremony was U.S. Space Force Lt. Gen. Stephen N. Whiting, commander of Space Operations Command.

“The Space Force is powered by innovation and Tony, you’ve done a superb job leading Vandenberg through the significant changes and challenges of the past two years. It took an extraordinary amount of effort to transition Vandenberg, one of the department’s largest installations and 30th Space Wing, in to Space Launch Delta 30, but your team made it look easy,” said Whiting. “In reality, even at the best of times large-scale organizational transformations are difficult. Add in the unique demands presented by a worldwide pandemic, and I think we can all agree that the accomplishments of Team Vandenberg are truly impressive.”

During his assignment, Col. Anthony Mastalir successfully responded to the current pandemic by vigorously promoting safety to include the "Operation Fight Back" COVID response campaign. Additionally, he witnessed the creation of the United States Space Force and Vandenberg's historic name change. He helped make history with the establishment of Space Launch Delta 30, within two years of assuming command. His priorities were: “Care, Execute, and Innovation.”

“Conditions had changed slightly. I found myself signing a public health emergency declaration and unbelievably signing a directive stating that you cannot shake each other’s hands. I vividly remember the rows of sewing machines lined up staffed by volunteers around the base. Anyone who knew how to sew active duty, civilians and dependents, it didn’t matter; and you came together and produced and distributed thousands of masks for our community, our base. When our supply channels were empty, we beat the pandemic because you chose to fight back,” said Mastalir.

Col. Robert A. Long, previously the deputy commander of Space Delta 5 at Vandenberg Space Force Base, assumed command from Mastalir.

“It’s been a special place since I first drove through the front gate 23 years ago. Over the years every service recognizes the strategic value of this gem over central California and each has contributed to its rich history. Yet our predecessors would likely marvel at the astonishing breath of combat power that is now resident in, generated by, protected from, Vandenberg Space Force Base,” said Long.  “To the men and women of Space Launch Delta 30, you are experts at generating and delivering combat power from this central California outpost and you have my commitment to expend every ounce of energy making sure you have the tools to succeed.”

The Space Launch Delta 30 mission is to provide robust, relevant, efficient range and spaceport capabilities for the nation. Vandenberg’s space lift and range operations support national and combatant commander requirements, in addition to supporting operational and development missile system testing for the Department of Defense. The SLD 30 commander is responsible for $8.4B in assets, a $280M annual budget, installations spanning more than 118,000 acres, and more than 11,000 military, civilian and contractor personnel.