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A Paralegal's Job is Never Done

Mrs. Jennifer R. Vasquez, Victim Awareness Assistance Program Coordinator at Space Launch Delta 30 on Vandenberg Space Force Base, sits at her desk August 18, 2021. Vasquez explained her daily work schedule with her co-workers and clients that come to her for legal help. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman First Class Tiarra Sibley)

Mrs. Jennifer R. Vasquez, Victim Awareness Assistance Program Coordinator at Space Launch Delta 30 on Vandenberg Space Force Base, sits at her desk August 18, 2021. Vasquez explained her daily work schedule with her co-workers and clients that come to her for legal help. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman First Class Tiarra Sibley)

Vandenberg Space Force Base, Ca --

Mrs. Jennifer R. Vasquez has been a paralegal specialist and the Victim Witness Assistance Program Coordinator for Space Launch Delta 30 for the past seven years. She recently won the Cat II Civilian of the year award for the 30th Space Wing Judges Advocate and Wing Staff Agency in 2020. The office of the Staff Judge Advocate team of uniformed and civilian attorneys and paralegals preserves the mission-readiness of Vandenberg by operating the assistance program, giving timely, accurate and complete legal advice and the fair administration of military justice.  They provide professional, broad legal support to Team Vandenberg’s commanders and Airmen while enabling the robust spaceport and range capabilities for the United States.

“My job is important because I am the liaison for family members, active duty members and civilians that have zero idea of what the Air Force is,” she said. “I am the one who supports them and guides them through the military justice process.”

Originally from Milan, Michigan, Vasquez enlisted in the Air Force in July of 1996 as an active duty security forces member. She stayed in that job field until 2001, then retrained and became a military working dog handler. After eight years in service, she was honorably discharged.

Working as a civilian, Vasquez worked for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office as a 911 dispatcher where she would work for four years.

“I’ve worked at the dispatcher center during active shooter calls, deaths of children, vehicle accidents just different emergency situations,” she said. “It was a very high stress job.”

Between the stressors of managing busy schedules and becoming a new parent, Vasquez decided that it was time to change careers.

She would ultimately depart from her position as a 911 dispatcher in 2008, becoming a detective supporting the 30th Security Forces Squadron until 2014, and then joined the 30th Space Wing legal team.

Vasquez and her team help the Vandenberg community and the surrounding local community tremendously.

She is a paralegal for the civilian labor, environmental, contract laws and for the article 15 and ethics programs. As well as a senior paralegal specialist and case paralegal for the courts martial detailed to work with an attorney to be the case paralegal.

“I help victims and witnesses that are going through the military justice process,” Vasquez said. “I reach out to victims and let them know what their rights are in accordance with different statutes that we have; the biggest thing is voice, choice and input.”

Unless the judge determines they can’t be present, all victims are kept updated about their cases while giving input on the process and having the right to attend any hearings or proceedings.

Vasquez believes in seeking justice for people in need of help and her job allows her to do just that.

 “We want it to be as streamline as possible for victims and witnesses and to be a support system for them at a time when they might feel really alone,” Vasquez said. “All of our helping agency people go above and beyond to help out victims and witnesses.”

Vasquez is acknowledged as a Senior Victim Witness Assistance Mentor and also gained the title:  Co-Course Director of the Victim Witness Assistance Program Symposium for the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

“One thing I’m very lucky that I get to do is I am the co-course instructor for the Victim Witness Assistance Program Symposium for the JAG Corps for the Air Force,” she said. “I am able to teach my job to the VWAPs across the Air Force.”

“I enjoy teaching and answering a lot of phone calls throughout the week and emails from other bases looking for help or guidance on how to do things,” she said. “It’s important to me; I don’t like to just hold all of the information; I want other people to be better.”

The legal office is located at building 10577, in suite C-100, on the first floor and the office is closed Thursday mornings for training from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  Call 805-605-6200 for all inquiries. You can also visit the legal assistance website at https://aflegalassistance.law.af.mil.