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Vandenberg Air Force Base renamed to Vandenberg Space Force Base in historic ceremony

Video still: 30th Space Wing, Vandenberg AFB
Vandenberg Air Force Base is officially renamed Vandenberg Space Force Base

After 63 years, Vandenberg Air Force Base is now officially renamed Vandenberg Space Force Base.

A ceremony was held Friday, May 14 to rename the base, deactivate the 30th Space Wing and activate Space Launch Delta 30 under the United States Space Force.

The ceremony honored General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, for whom the base is named, and personnel unveiled signage with the new name.

On Thursday, May 13, Anthony Mastalir was Commander of the 30th Space Wing at the base. His title is now Commander of Space Launch Delta 30.

Mastalir said a major reason for Vandenberg’s renaming is to identify the base and its Space Force personnel — who are known as “Guardians” — as being uniquely in support of military space operations.

“Now we are at this point of inflection where it really makes sense to stand up Vandenberg Space Force Base and to cement that identity that we have here as Guardians and airmen that will continue to live and work on the installation in support of those space mission areas,” Mastalir said.

Mastalir said the renaming of the base means job titles are changing and some areas of command will shift. Some group commanders are resigning but they are being rehired as vice commanders who will continue to help run the base.

Mastalir said no one is losing a job.

“It’s no net gain or loss in terms of the number of personnel,” Mastalir said.

Some jobs may be relocated over time but Mastalir said those positions are typically identified ahead of time and then moved through attrition.

“As folks retire or move on, we minimize any impact to personnel or families,” Mastalir said. “Whenever possible we try to make these kinds of transitions as painless as possible.”

Vandenberg is one of just two space launch bases in the country, the other being at Cape Canaveral.

The Space Force exists under the Department of the Air Force. Despite the name change, thousands of airmen still occupy the base and will continue to run it alongside hundreds of Guardians of the Space Force.

Rachel Showalter first joined KCBX as an intern from Cal Poly in 2017. During her time in college, she anchored and reported for Mustang News at Cal Poly's radio station, KCPR. After graduating, she took her first job as a Producer at KSBY-TV. She returned to the KCBX team in October 2020, reporting daily for KCBX News until she moved to the Pacific Northwest in July of 2022. Rachel spends her off-days climbing rocks, cooking artichokes and fighting crosswords with friends.
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