Science and Technology News

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Travis Civic Leaders Get Taste of Space Wing Mission

by Senior Airman Nicole Leidholm
60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

7/21/2015 - TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- More than 40 of Travis' civic leaders and honorary commanders visited and toured Vandenberg Air Force Base's facilities July 14 to learn about the mission during a fly-away civic leader tour.

The group was welcomed by 30th Space Wing leadership before heading to the Western Range Operations Control Center for a briefing on the unique mission as well as what they would see on the tour.

The first stops in the morning included briefings at Space Launch Complex-6 and the SpaceX facility.

SLC-6 is a United Launch Alliance facility for the Delta IV rocket, an Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle. SpaceX is an aerospace manufacturer and space transport service company developing reusable rocket launching systems and supports the Falcon family of commercial space launch vehicles.

"I was awed by what I saw; the complexity and geographical spans of the base," said Tom Gamble, 60th Air Mobility Wing honorary commander and Gamble Family Vineyards owner and manager. "The whole thing was neat to see how everything was put into perspective, from past to present. I was honored to be asked to be an honorary commander and won't be able to stop talking about the trip. This visit was definitely worth it."

After lunch with local Vandenberg civic leaders, the group headed back to the WROCC for an in-depth tour of the facility.

The 30th SW's Western Range is the Department of Defense's West Coast Launch and Test Range system supporting polar launch, intercontinental ballistic missile testing, missile defense operation, aeronautical support, weapons system development, orbital recovery and military exercise. It extends 6,000 miles along the Pacific Ocean. Following the WROCC, the civic leaders visited the Space and Missile Heritage Center.

"This was a fantastic tour and it opened my eyes to the possibilities for young people in (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers," said Kristin Corey, 60th Force Support Squadron honorary commander and Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District superintendent. "There are so many opportunities not only in the Air Force but potential professions as well that I want to be able to promote to students."

The purpose of fly-away civic leader tours is to give community leaders an opportunity to better understand the home unit and other Air Force installation's missions.

"Every once in a while I do something cool in this job," Corey said. "Yesterday was one of those days."

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