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LAAFB Celebrates Third Birthday of U.S. Space Force

Col. Mia Walsh, commander Space Base Delta 3, reflects on the United States Space Force achievements and the contributions of Space Systems Command and SBD 3 during her opening remarks for the USSF third birthday celebration at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., on Dec. 20, 2022. (U.S. Space Force photo by Kevin Gonzalez).

Col. Mia Walsh, commander Space Base Delta 3, reflects on the United States Space Force achievements and the contributions of Space Systems Command and SBD 3 during her opening remarks for the USSF third birthday celebration at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., on Dec. 20, 2022. (U.S. Space Force photo by Kevin Gonzalez).

The four United States Space Force (USSF) Core Values were featured on posters displayed at the USSF’s third birthday celebration held Dec. 20 on Los Angeles Air Force Base. Courage, the fourth USSF Core Value, is represented by Maj. Aaron Rhoads, who is part of the Space Sensing Program Executive Office for Space Systems Command. To Rhoads, Courage is “keeping a focus on the current and future threats in the space domain gives me the courage to take smart risks to get capabilities in the hands of our warfighters."

The four United States Space Force (USSF) Core Values were featured on posters displayed at the USSF’s third birthday celebration held Dec. 20 on Los Angeles Air Force Base. Courage, the fourth USSF Core Value, is represented by Maj. Aaron Rhoads, who is part of the Space Sensing Program Executive Office for Space Systems Command. To Rhoads, Courage is “keeping a focus on the current and future threats in the space domain gives me the courage to take smart risks to get capabilities in the hands of our warfighters."

The four United States Space Force Core Values were featured on posters displayed at the USSF’s third birthday celebration held Dec. 20 on Los Angeles Air Force Base. Commitment is among the four USSF Core Values and is represented by 1st Lt. Rina O’Donnell, Assured Access to Space, Space Systems Command. For O’Donnell, “Commitment is the dedication to our mission and teammates, even when it gets tough. That dedication and unrelenting pursuit is the foundation for our culture and success as a service.”

The four United States Space Force Core Values were featured on posters displayed at the USSF’s third birthday celebration held Dec. 20 on Los Angeles Air Force Base. Commitment is among the four USSF Core Values and is represented by 1st Lt. Rina O’Donnell, Assured Access to Space, Space Systems Command. For O’Donnell, “Commitment is the dedication to our mission and teammates, even when it gets tough. That dedication and unrelenting pursuit is the foundation for our culture and success as a service.”

The four United States Space Force Core Values were featured on posters displayed at the USSF’s third birthday celebration held Dec. 20 on Los Angeles Air Force Base. Connection, another of the four USSF Core Values, is represented by civilian employee Mr. Moises Rosales, military personnel flight chief for the 61st Force Support Squadron, Space Basse Delta 3. He reflects on his position serving the USSF, “it's an exciting time to be a civilian and supporting the USSF. Our future is in good hands.“

The four United States Space Force Core Values were featured on posters displayed at the USSF’s third birthday celebration held Dec. 20 on Los Angeles Air Force Base. Connection, another of the four USSF Core Values, is represented by civilian employee Mr. Moises Rosales, military personnel flight chief for the 61st Force Support Squadron, Space Basse Delta 3. He reflects on his position serving the USSF, “it's an exciting time to be a civilian and supporting the USSF. Our future is in good hands.“

The four United States Space Force Core Values were featured on posters displayed at the USSF’s third birthday celebration held Dec. 20 on Los Angeles Air Force Base. Character, one the four USSF Core Values, is represented by Sgt. Tarek Salem, NCOIC client systems, 61st Communication Squadron, recent recipient of the Space Force’s first Polaris Award for character. For Salem, “Character is a much-needed trait in the Space Force, as it's recognized through leadership, shines through wingmanship, and becomes your reputation through relationships."

The four United States Space Force Core Values were featured on posters displayed at the USSF’s third birthday celebration held Dec. 20 on Los Angeles Air Force Base. Character, one the four USSF Core Values, is represented by Sgt. Tarek Salem, NCOIC client systems, 61st Communication Squadron, recent recipient of the Space Force’s first Polaris Award for character. For Salem, “Character is a much-needed trait in the Space Force, as it's recognized through leadership, shines through wingmanship, and becomes your reputation through relationships."

El Segundo, Calif. --

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 [https://fb.watch/hxYHq23GdN/] is available.