NASIC space operators transfer to Space Force

  • Published
  • By Michelle Martz

WRIGHT- PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Nine members of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center transferred to the U.S. Space Force during a Sept. 1 ceremony in the Benson Auditorium here.

The space operators – one officer and eight enlisted – are among the first of more than 2,400 personnel transferring from the U.S. Air Force to the U.S. Space Force beginning in September and continuing throughout the fall. They will remain in their current positions, working alongside their Air Force counterparts.

“What a historic day,” said Col. Maurizio Calabrese, NASIC commander. “It’s fitting that NASIC personnel would be in the front of the line for space – because NASIC has focused on space since March 1956.”

The Air Technical Intelligence Center, NASIC’s predecessor organization, began assessing the probability of a Soviet space launch in the mid-1950s. In 1959, ATIC was renamed the Aerospace Technical Intelligence Center in recognition of the Center’s role in space analysis. More than 60 years later, space is still represented in both NASIC’s name and mission.

Calabrese, who presided over the ceremony, connected this heritage to the responsibilities and challenges facing the new Space Force members today.

“You’ll be wearing brand new uniforms and representing a brand new military branch, but you carry forward a proud tradition of NASIC support to space,” he said.

During her address to the transferring members, Chief Master Sgt. Kimberly Pollard focused on the joint fight, recalling her own early experiences working alongside other service members.

“Back then we all wore the same utility uniform,” said Pollard, NASIC Command Chief. “Other than the differences of the blouse name tags, we all looked alike.”

“Now it is 2020. Air Force and Space Force brothers and sisters stand next to each other with no difference in the uniform except for blue and spice brown name tags,” she said. “I am reminded that together we are the National Air and Space Intelligence Center.”

The two pinnacle moments of the ceremony came when Calabrese administered both the oath of office and oath of enlistment to the newly minted space professionals. This military tradition provided an opportunity for the members to reaffirm their commitment to the armed services.

Since its establishment on December 20, 2019, the Space Force continues to stand up as a separate service to organize, train, and equip agile, lean and forward-looking space forces to defend our nation, allies, and American interested in space.

“Our nation has to be prepared to defend the ultimate high ground, and the Space Force, led by you all, will make sure we do that,” said Calabrese. “And NASIC and the Air Force will be alongside you, on the same team, making sure we are prepared to win in air and space.”

“This is a team sport and while you’re leaving the Air Force, you’re staying on our team.”