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Col. Hough, 30th Space Wing commander Farewell

Col. Michael Hough, 30th Space Wing commander, holds a ribbon as Airman 1st Class Aubree Milks, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, cuts the ribbon during the grand opening of a new room within the dormitories August 23, 2018, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Since one of Hough’s main priorities is to take care of the Airmen, he allowed Airmen to renovate a room within their living quarters to better their quality of life. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hanah Abercrombie)

Col. Michael Hough, 30th Space Wing commander, holds a ribbon as Airman 1st Class Aubree Milks, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, cuts the ribbon during the grand opening of a new room within the dormitories August 23, 2018, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Since one of Hough’s main priorities is to take care of the Airmen, he allowed Airmen to renovate a room within their living quarters to better their quality of life. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hanah Abercrombie)

Col. Michael Hough, 30th Space Wing commander, and his wife Leslie speak with Alice Patino, Santa Maria mayor, during the Joint Chambers of Commerce luncheon March 7, 2019, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The luncheon was established 10 years ago as a way for the base commander to continually update local communities with the mission, priorities and upcoming projects on Vandenberg AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aubree Milks)

Col. Michael Hough, 30th Space Wing commander, and his wife Leslie speak with Alice Patino, Santa Maria mayor, during the Joint Chambers of Commerce luncheon March 7, 2019, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The luncheon was established 10 years ago as a way for the base commander to continually update local communities with the mission, priorities and upcoming projects on Vandenberg AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aubree Milks)

Col. Michael Hough, 30th Space Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Diena Mosely, 30th Space Wing command chief, take a group photo with 12 Airmen from the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron March 12, 2019, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. After a storm hit Vandenberg AFB on March 8, 2019, Hough and Mosely visited to the 30th CES to thank each Airmen who worked long, tedious hours during the storm. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aubree Milks)

Col. Michael Hough, 30th Space Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Diena Mosely, 30th Space Wing command chief, take a group photo with 12 Airmen from the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron March 12, 2019, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. After a storm hit Vandenberg AFB on March 8, 2019, Hough and Mosely visited to the 30th CES to thank each Airmen who worked long, tedious hours during the storm. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aubree Milks)

Col. Michael Hough, 30th Space Wing commander, tightens the straps on his respirator during a fire training exercise with the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department March 21, 2019, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Hough embedded with the 30th CES during an exercise to see firsthand what his Airmen do each and every day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Clayton Wear)

Col. Michael Hough, 30th Space Wing commander, tightens the straps on his respirator during a fire training exercise with the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department March 21, 2019, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Hough embedded with the 30th CES during an exercise to see firsthand what his Airmen do each and every day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Clayton Wear)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

“When I became the commander of the 30th Space Wing, I realized that we needed to fundamentally change how we do business when it came to launches,” said Col. Michael S. Hough, 30th Space Wing commander. “We needed to be quicker and more attentive to launch providers in order to help them be successful with the goal of being more agile and lethal as a military and nation.”

Prior to the 30th Space Wing change of command ceremony, scheduled for July 12, 2019, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Hough reflects on the past 2 years.

Serving as the base commander since July 2017, Hough oversaw countless changes and improvements across the installation. With the help of more than 2,500 people throughout 15 squadrons that he commands, 25 space assets were launched from Vandenberg AFB, accomplishing the 30th Space Wing mission as well as contributing towards the nation’s space superiority.

“The 30th Space Wing has an important mission, as we enable space superiority by putting assets into orbit,” said Hough. “With the Air Force’s motto of Fly-Fight-Win, we [members of Vandenberg AFB] certainly have a large part in the winning aspect of it when it comes to sustaining the assets that we have in space.”

Vandenberg AFB has achieved a lot of firsts during Hough’s time here. Some of which include the first interplanetary mission to Mars, the last Delta II mission, the dual-range launch for the ground base inceptors and the first booster land-landing at Vandenberg AFB. Throughout his time, Hough encouraged members of Vandenberg AFB to innovate their processes due to an increased tempo, making way for future launches.

However, it wasn’t all business during Hough’s time here because if there is one thing that truly means something to him, it is the Airmen. While every commander has a set of priorities, Hough’s number one is to care for our Airmen.

According to Hough, some of his favorite moments as the installation commander were when he visited squadrons to meet with and learn about the Airmen that contribute to the success of the 30th Space Wing. From pulling cables with 30th Communication Squadron Airmen, to standing at the gate or patrolling with the 30th Security Forces Squadron defenders and embedding with the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters, he got to see firsthand what his Airmen do each and every day.

“I wasn’t able to do it often but anytime I was able to go out and have some dedicated time with the Airmen it was precious to me and I really got a lot out of just spending time with them and learning what they do,” Hough said.

As Hough’s time at Vandenberg comes to an end and he departs to become the Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps commander for the University of Virginia, he appreciates all the backing he received from his fellow commanders, the subordinates, members who contribute towards the mission, as well as the local community, as their support is indispensable towards the base’s mission.

“We have a very supportive community here, and I can’t say enough of how good they’ve been to me and Vandenberg Air Force Base,” said Hough. “We could not do what we do here on this base without their support.”

Although Hough is leaving, his hope for everyone at the 30th Space Wing is to continue his number one priority by caring for one another.

“You don’t have to be a commander or a supervisor to care for one another, because all you need to be is a wingman,” said Hough. “If you care for your Airmen no matter what the rank is on your uniform, then everything we want to achieve within our mission and vision will happen.”