Vandenberg to Be Renamed Space Force Base

Its geographical location made the former Army garrison ideal for missile tests and launches into polar orbit.

An unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile launches during a test at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Feb. 23, 2021.
An unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile launches during a test at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Feb. 23, 2021.
Brittany E. N. Murphy, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command via AP, File

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base was renamed Friday as a U.S. Space Force Base.

The name was changed to Vandenberg Space Force Base during an afternoon ceremony on the parade field at the sprawling base on the state's Central Coast, which tests ballistic missiles and conducts orbital launches for defense, science and commercial purposes.

The Space Force was created as the sixth uniformed military branch in 2019 during the administration of former President Donald Trump. Personnel assigned to the Air Force Space Command were reassigned to the Space Force, ending its Air Force lineage.

“Redesignating Air Force installations as Space Force installations is critical to establishing a distinct culture and identity for the Space Force,” a base statement said.

Vandenberg’s host unit, the 30th Space Wing, is being renamed Space Launch Delta 30, under Space Operations Command.

Vandenberg was originally established in 1941 as Camp Cooke, an Army garrison for tank, infantry and artillery training.

Its geographical location made it ideal for missile tests and launches into polar orbit. During the Cold War, it was relabeled Cooke Air Force Base and then Vandenberg in honor of Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, the second chief of staff of the Air Force.

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