VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. --
The Space Launch Delta 30 History Office recently earned top Air Force honors as "Best History Office" in the Department of the Air Force, a first for Dr. Scott Bailey, SLD 30 historian, and Vandenberg.
The award reflects the importance of each unit's mission and individual service and every Airman, Guardian, government civilian, and contractor serving on Team Vandenberg. The history office achieved this recognition and was set apart from 180 wing, delta, and independent group history offices in the Air Force. It highlights the importance of mission success achieved by SLD 30.
"Dr. Bailey has been an avid and dedicated researcher committed to engaging with and educating our military and local community about our history, teaching us about the significance of preserving our Air Force and Space Force history,” said Col. Robert Long, Space Launch Delta 30 commander. “We are grateful for Scott’s devotion to the field and are proud of his exemplary work and well-deserved accomplishment, which is yet another milestone in Vandenberg's history.”
The SLD 30 History Office completes the line of effort to document current missions fulfilled by SLD 30 personnel objectively. It does so by accurately chronicling the mission success achieved by SLD 30, which is the only official record of unit mission accomplishment permanently archived and that adheres to public law and Air Force Instruction.
The benefits of preserving and studying history include learning from the past, gaining insight into why we are where we are as an organization, and understanding how we got here. Change is constant. Vandenberg has experienced a lot of change and achieved many milestones within the last couple of years in particular, and our history office manages the preservation of every milestone.
Dr. Bailey began his military service after 9/11 by serving as an Air Force Reservist. As a C-130 loadmaster, he was mobilized and served multiple deployments to combat the Global War on Terrorism by transporting equipment and personnel while flying contingency missions in the C-130 tactical cargo aircraft.
“The experience made me appreciate the need for my service and deployments to be objectively archived so that the sacrifice and successes of my crews and unit members were not lost,” said Bailey. His injury during a deployment later led him to the historian position in the only space wing in the Air Force Reserve.
“After my uniformed career sunset as a reservist, I wanted to be part of a unique mission at a place I had not experienced,” said Bailey. He did not know about the 30th’s assured access to space mission or the vital role of installation services concerning the exponentially important space launch. He was unfamiliar with Intercontinental Ballistic Missile testing, or the instrumental requirement to provide safe range operations at a major range and test facility base, but he was eager to launch into that new space!
Fast-forward 20 years, and Bailey joins Vandenberg in making history by receiving the "Best History Office" recognition. The award reflects the accomplishment of everyone that contributes to the vital Vandenberg mission. Every day Team V is making history. Bailey loves his job, and he hopes to inspire Airmen, Guardians, and emerging leaders to learn more about our military heritage. Bailey stated, "I can't do what I do without the people and what they do to accomplish the mission.”
Bailey recalls memorable words from another history office director, “Knowing your history makes you smart, and knowing your heritage makes you proud,” which is a motivating factor in creating opportunities for service members to get to know their history and heritage.
Hosting a “Lunch and Learn” educational event about the Space Shuttle program or other past accomplishments at Vandenberg or providing background about the significance of the unit emblem worn on every Airman and Guardian’s uniform, are examples of opportunities that help fulfill the line of effort to inspire Airmen and Guardians with Air and Space Power heritage.
2nd Lt. Tyler Barber and 2nd Lt. Cameron Friend from the 533rd Training Squadron were temporarily assigned to the History Office as they await Undergraduate Space Training commencing later this month. Friend was a history major in college and appreciates studying why things happened the way they did and ultimately why things happen the way they do now. Friend and Barber were surprised to learn there was a History Office and military historian at Vandenberg.
“It’s difficult to find people as driven and passionate [about military history] as Dr. Bailey,” said Friend. “Whether it was digitizing archives, scanning hundreds of photos and reports, to helping prepare for briefings, he kept us interested.”
Barber appreciated the hands-on, interactive and educational experience that working at the History Office offered. “I was impressed at how knowledgeable Dr. Bailey is – he is a jack of all trades, not just about space, but the support side as well,” said Barber. “I learned way more than I imagined and he has helped us stay excited about what we are going to do in the military.”
Congratulations again to the gatekeeper of Vandenberg's history and for helping us learn more about our roots and those that paved the way before us.
Team V: Making history every day.