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The space mission continues during COVID-19; USSF leaders visit VAFB

Senior Airman Avery Lake, 30th Medical Group mental health technician, checks the temperature of Gen. Jay Raymond, U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations and U.S. Space Command commander, before entering the 30th MDG for a tour, May 7, 2020, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. During the visit, Raymond observed and commended the members of Vandenberg AFB for their response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aubree Owens)

Senior Airman Avery Lake, 30th Medical Group mental health technician, checks the temperature of Gen. Jay Raymond, U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations and U.S. Space Command commander, before entering the 30th MDG for a tour, May 7, 2020, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. During the visit, Raymond observed and commended the members of Vandenberg AFB for their response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aubree Owens)

Airman First Class Nicholas Huonder, 30th Medical Group medical logistics technician, sprays hand sanitizer onto the hands of Gen. Jay Raymond, U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations and U.S. Space Command commander, May 7, 2020, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Huonder sprayed hand sanitizer on Raymond’s hands to showcase the quality of the product during the tour of the 30th MDG where Raymond was briefed on the ongoing efforts put forth in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aubree Owens)

Airman First Class Nicholas Huonder, 30th Medical Group medical logistics technician, sprays hand sanitizer onto the hands of Gen. Jay Raymond, U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations and U.S. Space Command commander, May 7, 2020, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Huonder sprayed hand sanitizer on Raymond’s hands to showcase the quality of the product during the tour of the 30th MDG where Raymond was briefed on the ongoing efforts put forth in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aubree Owens)

Members of 30th Security Forces Squadron, brief Gen. Jay Raymond, U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations and U.S. Space Command commander, on the implementation of an augmentee training program to sustain operations during COVID-19, May 7, 2020, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. During the visit, Raymond observed and commended the members of Vandenberg AFB for their response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aubree Owens)

Members of 30th Security Forces Squadron, brief Gen. Jay Raymond, U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations and U.S. Space Command commander, on the implementation of an augmentee training program to sustain operations during COVID-19, May 7, 2020, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. During the visit, Raymond observed and commended the members of Vandenberg AFB for their response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aubree Owens)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

Gen. Jay Raymond, U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations and U.S. Space Command commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Roger A. Towberman, USSF Senior Enlisted Advisor and USSPACECOM senior enlisted leader, visited different units across Vandenberg Air Force Base, May 6, 2020, to observe how the members of the space community have implemented measures to continue the base’s missions and the Range of the Future initiative while responding to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

While at Vandenberg AFB, various units who were key to the COVID-19 response, such as the Emergency Operation Center, 30th Medical Group, 30th Security Forces Squadron, 381st Training Squadron, Remote Launch Control Center and the Combined Space Operations Center, briefed Raymond and Towberman on specific efforts to mitigate the virus, challenges and successes throughout the pandemic response, and a way forward for the entire installation.

During the visit at the EOC, Capt. Christopher Menino, 2nd Space Launch Squadron flight commander, explained how his unit had a hand in the COVID-19 response. Menino shared with USSF leadership a program called Perimeter 9, which was created to help 30th SW leadership track data surrounding COVID-19 and its impact around base.

“Perimeter 9 gives medics and commanders instantaneous and simultaneous awareness of any member of their team impacted by COVID,” said Col. Raymond Clydesdale, 30th MDG commander. “Perimeter 9 is superior and more secure than any existing platform, and it has the potential to contribute to COVID-19 response and overall medical patient care at a much greater scale.”

Subject matter experts also briefed the USSF leaders throughout the day on current VAFB operations, such as 30th Civil Engineer Squadron contracts, how the 30th Space Communications Squadron is working on providing higher quality internet coverage, and future launch operations.

“Vandenberg hasn’t missed a beat during the response to COVID-19,” said Col. Anthony Mastalir, 30th SW commander. “While our operations may look a little different on the outside with masks and physical distancing, we are absolutely continuing to carry out the mission through innovative solutions and response efforts.”