VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. --
The 30th Force Support Squadron Military Personnel Flight is now issuing Common Access Cards or “CACs” at Vandenberg Space Force Base for Space Force members.
The 30th FSS MPF have been working directly with AFPC and began issuing U.S. Space Force CACs in their office under a trial period. As of right now, they are only issuing a limited amount of CACs per week until the full roll out starts.
“We work directly with AFPC right now since we are in the baby steps of the Space Force CAC roll out,” said 2nd Lt. Gabrielle Prentice, MPF Officer In Charge. “We make five cards per week until the full roll out starts hopefully in the next couple of months and we’re waiting on word to when that will happen.”
2nd Lt. Prentice and her team are physically making history issuing the first U.S. Space Force CACs on this base.
“Even though we have a process in place where we’re doing five per week, it’s a volunteer basis only and it’s so hard because I have so many people wanting to get them and everyone is super enthusiastic about getting it,” said Prentice.
Major Christopher Menino from the Space Launch Delta 30 Inspector General’s Office, in charge of directing the inspections and exercises for the installation, recently volunteered to obtain his CAC.
“Well I am very excited to be a part of the Space Force,” said Maj. Menino. “It’s a brand new branch and there’s so few members in the Space Force right now, that it’s kind of an exciting time to be one of those members.”
Maj. Menino briefly spoke about being a volunteer Space Force CAC recipient, his experience working with 2nd Lt. Prentice to be able to obtain the card and the short process it took to get it.
“Volunteering for the I.D. card was a new process and normally you can you kind of walk in, but when volunteering for it, I got to work with 2nd Lt. Prentice to get set up,” said Menino. “She is just one of those high-speed officers that knows what to do, gets you in the door and helps you with all of the processes before, and helps you after.”
“I’m very impressed with her and her team; she’s been awesome to work with,” said Menino.
The 30th FSS MPF are responsible for taking care of any and all customers that need assistance with ID cards, base in-processing assignments, re-enlistments, retirements for all Airmen and their families, evaluations, promotions, testing awards, decorations and other special actions.
“This is a very unique place to be because there’s always something going on, something different,” said 2nd Lt. Gabrielle Prentice. “It’s a very individualistic job and every single person that walks through the door has an individual need.”
2nd Lt. Prentice, (OIC) of customer support at the 30th FSS MPF, took charge February of 2021 at the MPF office.
“It’s constantly flowing, but everyone gets the rotation going and then we end the day on what went well and what didn’t go well and that’s kind of our daily battle rhythm,” said Prentice. “Even if you weren’t helping the customer it’s always a good learning point at the end of the day, it just makes for a very holistic work place and I really like that aspect of customer support.”
Maj. Menino expressed how exciting it was to be a part of the first groups of new U.S. Space Force members to volunteer to get the new CAC.
“As we start to grow, you know we are growing our culture and our heritage,” said Menino. “In addition to having these new patches and our new threads, we have to complete the package and I think that having a new I.D. card is an exciting thing to do for the new members.”
The CAC was established in 1999 by the Secretary of Defense to enforce smart card technology within the Department of Defense to heighten efficiency, security and readiness. The CAC serves as a standard identification card for Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, DoD civilian employees and DoD contractors under the Geneva Conventions. It contains the card holder’s personal information such as: Name, date of birth, personnel and pay category, benefits information, organizational affiliation, and pay grade. The DoD is estimated to issue over 10,000 cards daily.