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14th Air Force welcomes new Vice Commander

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Brig. Gen. Steve DePalmer became the vice commander of the 14th Air Force  in May. General DePalmer looks forward to bringing his experiences in the cockpit of F-15's to the space mission.

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Brig. Gen. Steve DePalmer became the vice commander of the 14th Air Force in May. General DePalmer looks forward to bringing his experiences in the cockpit of F-15's to the space mission.

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The 14th Air Force recently added a new picture to its leadership board.

Brig. Gen. Steve DePalmer became the new vice commander of the 14th Air Force June 30. He is taking the position after a stint as the 53rd Wing commander at Eglin AFB, Fla.

"I am excited to be here at Vandenberg," General DePalmer said. "The people I have met have positive attitudes and really enjoy the mission."

Enjoying the mission is a mindset that this former F-15 pilot shares with those people. General DePalmer has spent more than 3,000 hours in the air, not only as a pilot, but also as an instructor. That personal history is something he is ready to share with Air Force Space Command.

"I love the space mission," he said. "I have been an operator most of my life, and I look forward to bringing those experiences to Space Command."

Those experiences from the cockpit might transfer over to the space world a little easier than one might think, according to the general.

"In my career, I have met many operators on the ground and in the air who are very credible in their jobs," General DePalmer said. "It takes the same type of skills to be successful. I look forward to working with the operators of 14th Air Force and JFCC SPACE."

One of the key mission areas for 14th Air Force operators is space situational awareness.
"Approximately thirty years ago there were nine nations in space," General DePalmer said. "Today there are over 60. The playing field is more crowded, which means more planning and communication for us."

As more countries get involved in space, it forces the United States to be more engaging and more transparent

In addition, as a force provider to JFCC SPACE, "14th Air Force has to stay 'strong, adaptable and lethal,' when it comes to the mission," General DePalmer said. "We have an opportunity to increase cross domain capabilities, not only with cyber and space power, but also with air power."

Achieving the "strong, adaptable and lethal" mindset requires every Airman to be engaged regardless of rank or position.. The 24-year Airman relayed his secret to success in the Air Force.

"Know your job, communicate and win," he said. "Strive every day to improve your performance while being humble and helpful."