By Major Cody Chiles
14th Air Force Public Affairs
For the first time ever, three Canadian space operators assigned to Vandenberg AFB, Calif., were certified and formally awarded the U.S. Air Force Space Operations Badge in the Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC) 25 Jan. 2019.
The newly certified space operators, along with one senior space operator, were recognized and formally presented basic and senior space badges by Col. Scott Brodeur, Director of the CSpOC and Commander of the 614th Air Operations Center.
“This is the first time we’ve officially pinned space wings on our coalition partners in the CSpOC. Today’s winging recognized the fact that our newest coalition teammates are being trained, certified, operating and fully integrated into every aspect of what we do here at the CSpOC,” said Brodeur.
International exchange and liaison operators were previously trained by Air Education and Training Command. After completion of Initial Qualification Training (IQT) the operators were officially awarded the USAF Space Operations Badge by the 533rd Training Squadron Commander.
The certification criteria for coalition members to officially receive and wear the USAF Space Operations Badge is specified and agreed upon between liaison and exchange operators’ respective nations and Air Force Space Command. The 614th Combat Training Squadron at the CSpOC validates coalition and U.S. personnel have met or exceeded IQT requirements prior to formal approval and issuance of the space badge.
“As allies and partners, we are all in at the CSpOC. It’s great to see Canadian operators receiving the same formal recognition as our U.S. counterparts. We’re also working to award space wings to our United Kingdom and Australian partners here soon,” said Royal Canadian Air Force LCol Alain Dallaire, Deputy Director of the CSpOC and Commander of the Canadian Space Detachment. “Training together, fighting together, and winning together – we’ve been doing it in every other domain for decades; and now we’re doing it in, with and through space.”
The following Royal Canadian Air Force space operators were recognized during the ceremony:
LCol Alain Dallaire: Senior Space Operations Badge
Maj Stephen Walsh: Basic Space Operations Badge
Capt Ian Mok: Basic Space Operations Badge
MCpl Mark Goldade: Basic Space Operations Badge
Formerly named the Joint Space Operations Center, the center transitioned to a CSpOC after decades of space cooperation between the U.S., Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. The formal transition to a CSpOC was designed to improve coordination between the U.S., allies, commercial and civil partners for defensive space efforts, and to enhance individual and collective space capabilities, thereby expanding overall multi-domain military effectiveness.
“We enhance our capabilities to deter, fight and win by investing in the development of our warfighters and by building strong partnerships with our international partners and Allies. That’s exactly what we’re doing in the CSpOC,” said Brodeur. “It’s an honor and privilege to pin U.S. Air Force space wings on our international partners. I look forward to pinning space wings on more of our international partners as we continue to grow their presence here at the CSpOC.”