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.