LAAFB Celebrates Third Birthday of U.S. Space Force

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  • SBD 3

It was in 1954 when the first military space organization, the Western Development Division, was created to manage the U.S. Air Force’s ballistic missile program. Now, 68 years later, on Dec. 20, 2022, members gathered to celebrate the third anniversary of the United States Space Force – a service that was once a distant dream, yet now a reality.

For this celebratory day, Airmen, Guardians, civilian personnel, contractors, and community leaders united in the base’s courtyard for a moment to reflect on the service’s rich history, celebrate its barrier-breaking successes, and explore future advancements.

“It’s amazing to think that on this third birthday, we are celebrating where it all started, under the heritage of great leaders like Gen. Bernard Schriever, the first commander of the Western Development Division,” said Col. Mia Walsh, Space Base Delta 3 commander.

Following the establishment of the WDD, Schriever’s vision evolved through three different organizational name changes and mission specialties to what we now call Space Systems Command.

“Throughout the years, SSC’s mission to develop, acquire, field, and sustain military space systems has continued,” said Erik Figi, SSC deputy command historian.

Despite having a continued mission focus, escaping change was not possible for SBD 3 or SSC during the launch of the USSF.

After establishing the service in 2019, the installation transitioned from its Air Force legacy construct to an alignment known as the Delta structure – a journey that impacted the entire command.

“Within the first year of establishing SSC, major milestones were reached across the command,” said Brig. Gen. Cothern, SSC deputy commander, as he commended LAAFB personnel for their support to the USSF mission and SSC as organizational changes took place.

As a critical component to supporting the USSF, Cothern expressed how LAAFB personnel are instrumental in enabling the command to get after Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall’s intent for SSC, which had three elements: have program executive officers focused on end-to-end, cradle-to-grave capability delivery; systems of systems integration; and unity of effort.

The command’s ability to champion the SecAF’s intent fostered individual program successes, strengthened allied partnerships, increased operational capability and support to the warfighter.

“Space continues to be a warfighting domain,” said Walsh. “Every effort pursued to transform and modernize the force ensures our access to space.”

Considering the service’s ability to access space starts with SSC, members had an opportunity to walk through a small key mission exhibit, which provided insight into what the command has on manifest, as

well as see how the command directly ties into upholding the USSF Core Values. Participants were also authorized to wear heritage uniforms for the event.

To learn more about Guardian Values, the following video [] is available.