HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Hanscom officials held a number of ceremonies Feb. 1 to officially commission more than 25 personnel from the acquisition directorates here transferring from the Air Force to the U.S. Space Force.
According to Col. Amanda Kato, Air Force program executive officer for Nuclear Command, Control and Communications and director of the NC3 Integration Directorate here, who was the presiding official for the first ceremony, the new Guardians will ensure America remains dominant in space.
“These members were selected for their expertise, experience and dedication to advancing U.S. space technologies to support our warfighters,” she said. “We now entrust them with the mission of the U.S. Space Force.”
Second Lt. Brenden West, an acquisition officer from the Digital Directorate, said he’s been interested in space since he was young.
“As an acquisitions officer in the Air Force, I haven’t had the opportunity to work on any space-related efforts. I decided to transfer so that I could align my interest in space with my profession,” he said.
West added that he was “grateful” for the opportunity and will use what he has learned about acquisitions from the Air Force in his new role.
Lt. Col. Kathryn Cantu, from the NC3 Integration Directorate, who also presided over a ceremony, and will officially be transferring to the Space Force herself later this month, said the transferees had a choice to stay on clear, defined paths as officers in the Air Force or try something new and different.
“You volunteered to jump into this unknown thing called the Space Force and help us build it from the ground up,” she said. “It’s a little bit scary but it’s also a huge opportunity.”
Capt. Kevin Bess, Digital Directorate, said that he went back and forth about the decision but thought with the Space Force being a new service, it would be historic.
“I feel like one of the trailblazers, like from when the Air Force was starting up,” he said.
Kato said it was a “momentous” day.
The new Guardians will join about 4,000 personnel who are already part of the U.S. Space Force.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, in-person attendance was limited at the ceremonies, but families and friends were able to participate virtually.
Additional ceremonies for other transferees, including those assigned to the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Detachment 12, Kessel Run, in Boston, are taking place throughout February. In all, 48 personnel assigned to Hanscom will transfer to the new service.