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Vandenberg launch mission showcased during Armed Forces Day festivities

TORRANCE, Calif. -- Ayden Meyn, a two-year old Torrance native, learns about rockets with Capt. Pierre Gregoire, a 2nd Range Operations Squadron mission flight control officer, during the 53rd Annual Armed Forces Day here Friday, May 18, 2012. Military displays varied from rockets to tanks and were open for the public. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran)

TORRANCE, Calif. -- Ayden Meyn, a two-year old Torrance native, learns about rockets with Capt. Pierre Gregoire, a 2nd Range Operations Squadron mission flight control officer, during the 53rd Annual Armed Forces Day here Friday, May 18, 2012. Military displays varied from rockets to tanks and were open for the public. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran)

TORRANCE, Calif. -- Team V members inform the public about Vandenberg's launch missions during the 53rd Annual Armed Forces Day here Friday, May 18, 2012. Military displays varied from rockets to tanks and were open for the public. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran)

TORRANCE, Calif. -- Team V members inform the public about Vandenberg's launch missions during the 53rd Annual Armed Forces Day here Friday, May 18, 2012. Military displays varied from rockets to tanks and were open for the public. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran)

TORRANCE, Calif. -- Visitors view  displays during the 53rd Annual Armed Forces Day here Friday, May 18, 2012. Military displays varied from rockets to tanks and were open for the public. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran)

TORRANCE, Calif. -- Visitors view displays during the 53rd Annual Armed Forces Day here Friday, May 18, 2012. Military displays varied from rockets to tanks and were open for the public. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran)

TORRANCE, Calif. -- 2nd Lt. Brad Pingel, 2nd Range Operations Squadron range control officer, informs military members and the public about Vandenberg's launch mission during the 53rd Annual Armed Forces Day here Friday, May 18, 2012. Military displays varied from rockets to tanks and were open for the public. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran)

TORRANCE, Calif. -- 2nd Lt. Brad Pingel, 2nd Range Operations Squadron range control officer, informs military members and the public about Vandenberg's launch mission during the 53rd Annual Armed Forces Day here Friday, May 18, 2012. Military displays varied from rockets to tanks and were open for the public. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran)

TORRANCE, Calif. --Capt. Michael May, a 30th Operations Group deputy chief of standardization and evaluation, talks about the Delta IV rocket with Marcel Blake, a four-year old Torrance native, during the 53rd Annual Armed Forces Day here Friday, May 18, 2012. Military displays varied from rockets to tanks and were open for the public. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Levi Riendeau)

TORRANCE, Calif. --Capt. Michael May, a 30th Operations Group deputy chief of standardization and evaluation, talks about the Delta IV rocket with Marcel Blake, a four-year old Torrance native, during the 53rd Annual Armed Forces Day here Friday, May 18, 2012. Military displays varied from rockets to tanks and were open for the public. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Levi Riendeau)

TORRANCE, Calif. --Capt. Michael May, a 30th Operations Group deputy chief of standardization and evaluation, learns about Navy diving equipment during the 53rd Annual Armed Forces Day here Friday, May 18, 2012. Military displays varied from rockets to tanks and were open for the public. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Levi Riendeau)

TORRANCE, Calif. --Capt. Michael May, a 30th Operations Group deputy chief of standardization and evaluation, learns about Navy diving equipment during the 53rd Annual Armed Forces Day here Friday, May 18, 2012. Military displays varied from rockets to tanks and were open for the public. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Levi Riendeau)

TORRANCE, Calif. --Capt. Michael May, a 30th Operations Group deputy chief of standardization and evaluation, plays tic-tac-toe with a Navy diver at the Navy Diver Tank display during the 53rd Annual Armed Forces Day here Friday, May 18, 2012. Military displays varied from rockets to tanks and were open for the public. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Levi Riendeau)

TORRANCE, Calif. --Capt. Michael May, a 30th Operations Group deputy chief of standardization and evaluation, plays tic-tac-toe with a Navy diver at the Navy Diver Tank display during the 53rd Annual Armed Forces Day here Friday, May 18, 2012. Military displays varied from rockets to tanks and were open for the public. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Levi Riendeau)

TORRANCE, Calif. -- Approximately six representatives from Vandenberg Air Force Base manned a static display booth, highlighting various aspects of the 30th Space Wing's mission, in support of the 53rd Annual Armed Forces Day here May 18 - 20.

Exhibits from each branch of the United States military were displayed for the public outside the Del Amo Fashion Center.

Presentations included military aircraft, vehicles, support equipment and other defense hardware. Event organizers erected a rock climbing wall and other service-specific games for the children during the 3-day event.

Vandenberg's booth held a variety of displays, to include models of a Delta IV and Atlas V, as well a collection of mission patches.

"This year we brought smaller displays and a lot of cool goodies for the kids," said Capt. Pierre Gregoire, a 2nd Range Operations Squadron mission flight control officer.

Vandenberg representatives answered questions and talked with visitors about Vandenberg's role in providing combat capability to the joint warfighter through assured access to space and combat ready Airmen.

"Our top priority is to meet people that don't get to see spacelift on a daily basis like we do," said Gregoire. "When people ask questions and are genuinely interested, it reminds you of how cool our job really is and how lucky we are to have it."

Not only did the team get to talk about Vandenberg operations, but they were also able to correlate what they do with displays from other local Air Force bases.

"These are the missions that happen after we get done with our portion," said 1st Lt. Brady Urbanovsky, a 30th Operations Group range operations commander. "It's stepping into the next realm, seeing the grand picture of what Space Command is actually doing."

Vandenberg supports national security by managing space and missile testing for the Department of Defense and placing satellites into polar orbit from the West Coast.

Gregoire said that talking to people and educating them on Vandenberg's role in space was a good way to give back to the community.

"It's nice to be able to reassure them and let them feel confidence and pride in their nation's military," said Urbanovsky. "They're thanking us for our service at the same time we're thanking them for their support."