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CSO visits SMC: 'Space starts here'

CSO visits SMC: 'Space starts here'

Air Force meeting 072420

Gen. Jay Raymond (left), U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations and commander of U.S. Space Command, is welcomed by Brig. Gen. D. Jason Cothern (center), Space and Missile Systems Center vice commander, and Joy White (right), SMC executive director, during his first official SMC immersion since the USSF activation, July 15, at Los Angeles Air Force Base. Raymond met with SMC leaders to discuss the USSF organizational structure update and how the SMC mission impacts critical overarching space operations. 

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE — Space and Missile Systems Center hosted Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, chief of space operations, U.S. Space Force and Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman, USSF senior enlisted advisor here July 15-16, for their first SMC immersion since the creation of USSF.

Their visit included various mission and program briefings, as well as a deep dive into the USSF organizational structure.

“The work you are doing at SMC directly impacts the United States Space Force’s and United States Space Command’s ability to respond to the current strategic environment,” Raymond said. “The work you are doing to be more lean and agile in our delivery of space systems is critical to our warfighting success. Space capabilities start here at SMC, and as we press forward together toward a more modernized, state-of-the-art ecosystem, let’s not forget that space warfighting starts here, too.”

Over the course of the two-day visit, Raymond and Towberman also hosted a diversity luncheon attended by a handful of installation members.

Raymond, who assumed command of the USSF Dec. 20, 2019, listened to shared experiences and encouraged continued dialogue regarding diversity and inclusion. He also outlined the work the recently stood-up task force is doing to address racial, ethnic and other demographic disparities and their impact on the force.

As the senior enlisted member for the service, Towberman engaged with 61 ABG enlisted members and offered his unique perspective on growing the USSF, as well as creating a culture of professionalism and pride.

“I am so excited to be able to visit these Total Force Airmen,” said Towberman. “These SMC space professionals have ensured the sustained superior performance and unwavering excellence of our space operations during the current global crisis.”

One of the Airmen Towberman met with was Senior Airman Erika Parungao, 61st Medical Squadron Command Support Staff and Medical Command Center technician, who was coined for her outstanding contributions to the overall continuity of operations of Los Angeles Air Force Base during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Towberman touted this recognition as one of many linked with the overall evolution of the enterprise.

“We are now building on the legacy of the U.S. Space Command and the United States Air Force,” said Towberman. “Now, it’s about elevating those priorities and really specializing in this new and emerging warfighting domain with talented and technically-proficient young people.”

“What we want is a unique service with unique opportunities,” Towberman continued. “We are focusing on that high-tech person who has a fluency in the digital world that wants to be creative and innovative and a part of something special.”

When asked for his impression of the popular Space Force show on Netflix, Towberman expressed his excitement that the Department of Defense’s newest branch was being highlighted in such a major way.

“How could I miss it?” said Towberman. “Honestly, how exciting is it to be in a business that is so popular across the various spectrums? We aren’t just in the news or in the military trade papers but here is this popular platform talking about space. It’s really exciting and it doesn’t matter if it’s a comedy or a documentary to me. What’s awesome is that we have people excited about the U.S. Space Force and about the business of space.”

“It’s a popular TV show so I’m hoping to get that call for a cameo to play myself,” he joked.

SMC, alongside the 61st Air Base Group, will continue to deliver resilient, affordable and sustainable space capabilities.

“The men and women of SMC are more than ready to meet any challenge and will expertly continue to develop, acquire and field lethal and resilient space capabilities,” said Thompson. “We are proud to contribute to the critical USSF mission that protects the global commons of space.”

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