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Leadership Santa Maria Valley visits Vandenberg Air Force Base

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Eighteen members of the Leadership Santa Maria Valley Class of 2014 visited Vandenberg Air Force Base Sept. 6, 2013, for a comprehensive look into operations at the 30th Space Wing.

Leadership Santa Maria Valley is considered California Central Coast's premiere leadership program. The program is sponsored by the Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce and designed to foster and create future community leaders and trustees.

Founded in 1995 on the premise that citizens with a deep knowledge of their community will become better leaders and more informed decisions makers, LSMV has more than 280 graduates serving in a variety of leadership roles in the government, service and business sectors today.

Col. Brent McArthur, 30th Space Wing vice commander, welcomed the group and provided a detailed briefing on the wing's mission.

"Our relationship with the surrounding community here at Vandenberg is so important," said McArthur. "I want to thank you for taking the time to come out and visit us today."

During his presentation, McArthur covered a host of topics ranging from the 30th SW mission of "assuring access to and from space for the joint force and our nation," to Vandenberg's impressive $1.75 billion annual economic impact in the local area.

In addition to hearing from the wing's vice commander, the group also toured the Western Range Operational Control Center, Space Launch Complex-3 and the Vandenberg Heritage Center.

Each stop offered an in-depth look at how the 30th SW commands and controls the Western Range and directs resources in support of space launches, missile test launches and aeronautical and space surveillance operations.

"The wonderful relationship between Vandenberg and the Santa Maria Valley stretches back decades," said Judi Kincaid, LSMV executive director. "We always begin the LSMV year by taking each class to Vandenberg so they can see first-hand how special that relationship is. We feel it is important for the class to realize what all goes on at the base and what the mission is not only locally, but globally."

For more information about Leadership Santa Maria Valley, visit their website at