The U.S. Air Force recently announced that 2nd Lt. Olivia Gillingham has become the first member of the U.S. Space Force assigned to Vandenberg Air Force Base.
After receiving her commission from the U.S. Air Force Academy on April 18, 2nd Lt. Gillingham is now serving as an acquisitions manager assigned to the 2nd Space Launch Squadron as a project officer at Vandenberg.
A Thousand Oaks native, the release states 2nd Lt. Gillingham’s duties at Vandenberg will include handling space acquisitions contracts and services that will meet mission requirements.
“A week before graduation my commander called me into his office,” said 2nd Lt. Gillingham. “He asked if I would like to commission into the Space Force as an acquisitions manager and I said ‘yes!’ I am very grateful to be assigned to the 2 SLS at Vandenberg for my first duty station.”
Made up of five flights carrying out diverse mission sets, one of the 2nd Space Launch Squadrons missions is to ensure the success of the 30th Space Wing’s mission during its respective launches.
“The 2 SLS is extremely excited to welcome Lt. Gillingham to our team,” Lt. Col. Brian Chatman, 2 SLS Commander said in a statement. “Her addition to our team marks the first official steps as we make the transition to the USSF. The 30th Space Wing will continue to lead the way in launch and test above the rest. Flexibility will be a key factor as we migrate the wing into the USSF. As we do, the 2 SLS will continue to drive USSF innovation by evaluating, integrating, operating, and facilitating emerging and current space launch and landing operations with USSF, like Lt. Gillingham.”
As outlined in the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, the U.S. Space Command was re-designated as the U.S. Space Force on Dec. 20, 2019.
While the Air Force and Space Force continue to “diverge into two separate warfighting entities,” the release states many Air Force members have already begun volunteering for the U.S. Military’s newest branch. According to the U.S. Space Force website, after the initial May application window, 2,410 active-duty Airmen were selected to transfer to the U.S. Space Force from space career fields.
Going forward, the space operators will officially commission or enlist into the Space Force and begin growing the ranks of the new branch sometime in September. As the newest branch of the Armed Forces, the U.S. Space Force will organize, train, and equip space forces in order to protect U.S. and allied interests in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force.
While expressing her excitement about joining the Space Force, 2nd Lt. Gillingham stated, “I am looking forward to being a part of such a pioneering mission.”