Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. --
A year after becoming part of the Department of Defense’s newest branch, Vandenberg Space Force Base’s community paused to celebrate May 11, 2022.
During a ceremony held at the base’s Pacific Coast Club, both Col. Rob Long, commander, Space Launch Delta 30, and Chief Master Sgt. Jason DeLucy, command chief master sergeant, Space Launch Delta 30, showcased highlights from the past year.
“Today we celebrate a significant milestone at Vandenberg Space Force Base, one that gives us a great opportunity to celebrate our accomplishments and more importantly our team,” said Long. “A year ago, on May 14, the realignment of the 30th Space Wing and the renaming of Vandenberg Air Force Base was in some ways the formal transition of our organization and base into the United States Space Force … our birth into the Space Force.”
Since then, Airmen, Guardians, government civilians and contractors have provided launch, range, and host installation services for 12 different space and ballistic launches, on eight distinctly different space launch or test systems. These launches delivered 211 satellite payloads into orbit.
“A month into our new existence, SLD 30 hosted our first launch, the Tactical Responsive Space Launch (TacRL) mission. This wasn’t even on the books when we became SLD 30 because it was called up just 21 days before its launch on June 13. I call that agile.”
Over the past year, the base’s support spanned a wide range of customers, full of unique missions, including the world’s first-ever planetary defense mission, NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, the first West Coast National Reconnaissance Office launch by a Falcon 9 booster, and the first up-range destruct command sent to a wayward rocket for Firefly Aerospace Alpha.
“Our entire team works to eliminate constraints so we can maximize launch opportunities for our customers,” said Long. “That work resulted in SLD 30 also setting a new record for launch turnaround … just 34 hours and 25 minutes.”
Additionally, last September, Vandenberg Space Force Base reached its 2,000th launch, a milestone in the making since the base’s first launch in 1958.
“In one year, our 12 launches have been accompanied by over 230 significant range events requiring instrumentation support from our Space Launch Delta 30 team,” said Long. “The launch and range capability we provide today is a vast shift in assured access to space provided by the Western Range since first being established as a vital National Range and Test facility installation in 1958.”
The base also recently hosted its first vice presidential visit April 18, 2022, when Vice President Kamala Harris conducted an all-call in front of more than 200 members of the Space Force and Air Force.
“I want to thank all of you who have shaped Space Launch Delta 30 into what it is today and for continuing to carry us forward into a bright future,” said DeLucy. “Our nation is fortunate to have such talented Airmen, Guardians, government civilians and contractors leading the way and I’m proud to serve alongside you. Aim High, and Semper Supra.”