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Vandenberg celebrates 50 years of heritage

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A barbecue is scheduled to kickoff a celebration of Vandenberg's 50 year's of service. The barbecue is slated to be held at the Vandenberg Heritage Center, in the hangar across from the Heritage Museum, May 15.

"Due to seating constraints the barbecue will be split into three sessions of a hundred people each," said 2nd Lt. Kelsey Hayward, a 30th Medical Support Squadron information flight commander and project officer for the event. "The sessions will start at 11:30 a.m. and last until 2:30 p.m."

Tickets are $10 a person, and will be sold at the group level. Money made from the tickets will be used to lower the price of admission for junior enlisted members to Vandenberg's 50th Anniversary Ball scheduled for October.

Attendees will not only get Santa Maria Tri-Tip but they will also have a chance to visit the heritage museum and see Vandenberg's mission from a first-hand point of view. Kiosks with information on Vandenberg will be set up in the museum informing participants on satellites and launches, the key elements to one of Vandenberg's missions.
The barbecue will be used to kick off the next five months of learning about and honoring the past accomplishments that have taken place on Vandenberg.

Vandenberg's Airmen pride themselves in being stationed at one of the only sites in the world that can put a satellite into polar orbit. Vandenberg's successes during the Cold War and in space exploration are rivaled by few. Remembering and honoring past accomplishments are not only uplifting, but can be seen to give an Airman a sense of belonging.

"This is my third assignment to Vandenberg Air Force Base and the base has changed in many ways from each assignment," said Col. Steve Tanous, 30th Space Wing commander. "The one thing that has never, and will never, change is that Vandenberg is the leader in space exploration and launch."

Recognizing and realizing Vandenberg's heritage can be used as a tool to motivate Airmen to continue performing at the highest level possible.

"Through visual depictions of heritage, Airmen are better able to identify with their unit mission and goals and are reminded their sacrifices are not forgotten. Think of the pride an Airman would feel pointing to a photograph hanging on the wall and saying, 'Look! I was there - I took part in that operation!'" said Chief Master Sgt. of the AF Rodney J. McKinley.

Team Vandenberg members can participate in several upcoming events including a golf tournament, a Gathering of Space Pioneers and the finale Anniversary Ball scheduled for Oct 4.