VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. --
The Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC) recently welcomed its first two inter-service transfer personnel, both of whom transitioned from the U.S. Army to the U.S. Space Force.
Technical Sgt. Justin Young and Sgt. Christopher Cameron joined the CSpOC’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance division in early 2022 and will begin their familiarization training in the coming weeks. They will be a part of a team of more than 17,000 Combined Force Space Component Command (CFSCC) personnel located across the nation who plan, task, direct, monitor, and assess the execution of combined and joint space operations for theater effects on behalf of the U.S. Space Command Commander, directly integrating with ongoing operations in other combatant commands.
“Both of these non-commissioned officers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table,” said Maj. Gen. DeAnna Burt, CFSCC commander. “They’re not only going to help strengthen the CSpOC team and CFSCC’s support to U.S. Space Command and our allies and partners, but they’re also going to be at the forefront building up our U.S. Space Force culture.”
The U.S. Space Force was established on Dec. 20, 2019, and initially the only personnel to transfer into the new military branch were about 6,000 U.S. Air Force Airmen. Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023 are when the first inter-service transfers from the Army and Navy are scheduled to take place, and both Young and Cameron were part of the first tranche of Army transfers.
Young’s previous assignment was with the 1st battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), in Okinawa, Japan, where he worked as the geospatial/imagery intelligence non-commissioned officer in charge. He thinks his prior intelligence experience, specifically in space imagery, likely helped him in his selection to join the Space Force.
“I was ready to join the Space Force as soon as I could,” said Young. “I came to the Space force to understand more about space operations and contribute whatever I can to its benefit and defense.”
Cameron was a signals intelligence analyst during most of his 10-year career in the Army, although he says that most of his previous duties did not exactly match with his specialty. In fact, his last assignment as a command and control operator for the Multi-source Intelligence Ground System at Fort Carson, Colo., was the first exposure he had with working in the space field.
“In the Army, we don’t really go to school to specialize in space operations,” Cameron remarked. “It’s more based on you getting lucky and getting it as a duty assignment.”
Young and Cameron see how critical space is to both national security and to the daily lives of people throughout much of the world, and feel like they can really contribute to the fledgling service.
“I remember learning about how different cultures around the world would use space as a tool to determine direction and time in my college anthropology class,” said Young. “Now, I believe it’s even more fascinating that our actions in space enable us to look back down to the Earth and characterize the world we live in, whether it be deep learning AI using satellite imagery for crop health, tracking soil erosion, or looking at an image of nearly anything on demand.”
“Much of my 7-year career has been working with joint and multinational partners, and I’m very interested in applying it to space operations,” Young added. “It looks like the Space Force is focused on information sharing, and I am excited to be able to be a part of that.”
Cameron says he is curious to see how the Space Force plans unfold and he looks forward to being a part of that.
“By joining the Space Force early on, I think I’ll be able to shape the service while it’s still growing,” he said.