VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
In July of 2012, General William Shelton, then the commander of Air Force Space Command, made the strategic decision to move everything out of Building 7000 and renovate in order to co-locate the 14th Air Force Joint Functional Component Command for Space headquarters, the Joint Space Operations Center and the 614th Air Operations Center into one building. With all the mission functions under one roof, a synergistic battle system and command and control is hoped to be achieved.
After several years of planning and logistics, the ambitious project is now well underway, with the 30th Space Wing providing critical support in multiple capacities.
“The project has been moving forward successfully and we could not have gotten this far without support from the 30th Space Wing,” said Col. Barnabas Dudas, 14th AF, JFCC Space and JSpOC consolidation program director. “The 30th Security Forces Squadron are instrumental in providing a secure site as well as working with us on the different security requirements. The 30th Civil Engineer Squadron has detailed out the utility locations, resolved power concerns, and have supported us for the systems furniture contract. We have worked closely with the 30th Operations Group, and the Space and Missile Center, in making sure the Western Range Systems move hasn’t impacted our construction efforts and vice versa in regards to their bringing the Western Range back on-line as they are finishing up their integrated system testing.”
With the displacement of multiple units and systems, the renovation of other buildings had to take place, limiting the range down-time as much as possible.
“Prior to Vacating Building 7000, Building 7025, the Western Range Operations Control Center, and Building 7015 required re-design and renovation,” said Capt. Andrew Beckman, Space and Missile Center Program Manager Range Systems Consolidation. “The construction of Building 7025 and Building 7015 ended in the last quarter of 2015. Also, Building 7000 construction started in November 2015. The estimated completion date of Building 7000 is November 2018 and then the JSpOC will need to move their systems into the building.”
As an interdependent ecosystem, Vandenberg feels the ripples of change base-wide, but for the 30th SW it is felt most heavily in the Western Range.
“The project impacts the entire Western Range,” said Beckman. “When the project kicked-off there were 12 Range systems and over 500 personnel affected by the move. Nine Range systems were relocated prior to the downtime and during the Range Downtime we have moved the remaining three major systems from Building 7000 to Building 7025. The three major systems are the data center, the telemetry system, and the simulation center for the Western Range. We cannot launch without the support of those systems.”
The possibility of such an ambitious and largescale project was at one time thought to be impossible, but with teamwork and dedication on a grand scale, Vandenberg is making history.
“The move entails moving three major systems that are over 40 years old,” said Beckman. “Logistically it was very difficult and many believed it could never be done due to the sensitivity and age of the equipment. We needed to be very smart about how we moved from Building 7000 and how it was installed in 7025. Planning the logistics part of the project was the most critical aspect of the planning phase, due to the fact that we were moving the systems into Building 7025, the infrastructure to hold the equipment had to meet earthquake and fire standards.”
Though the overall project has several more years before completion, every day brings Vandenberg closer to improved systems functionality, for not only the 30th SW but for the tenant units and contractors that comprise Team V.
“During the range downtime, the entire team has worked hundreds of hours of overtime and a majority of the weekends,” said Beckman. “To be where we are today is a remarkable feat that many believed was impossible. The team has done the most amazing job possible. We are all looking forward to future missions with the newly relocated systems and outstanding team we have here at Vandenberg Air Force Base.”