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By 2nd Lt. Idalí Beltré Acevedo, United States Space Force Public Affairs
/ Published July 16, 2020
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Space Warfighter Follow-on course students, Airman 1st Class Nathaniel Guerrero, left, 2nd Lt. Austin Grant, center, and 1st Lt. Joshua Lewis, right, showcase their training certificates and coins awarded for graduating as top performers from their respective SWF courses during the SWF course graduation at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, June 12, 2020. SWF leads selected top performers based on their outstanding academic performance and exemplary contribution to their class, with Guerrero graduating from Space Electronic Warfare, Grant graduating from Space Battle Management and Lewis graduating from Orbital Warfare. (U.S. Space Force photo by 2nd Lt. Idalí Beltré Acevedo)
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Brig. Gen. Deanna Burt, U.S. Space Force director of operations and communications, addresses students and attendees during the Space Warfighter Follow-on course graduation at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, June 12, 2020. Burt encouraged the graduates to be inquisitive, ask questions and lead the change into the space warfighting mentality the USSF needs to address current and emerging threats in the space domain. (U.S. Space Force photo by 2nd Lt. Idalí Beltré Acevedo)
Twenty-eight personnel newly assigned to the U.S. Space Force made history as the first group of students to receive formal training in specific space warfighting disciplines – Orbital Warfare, Space Electronic Warfare and Space Battle Management – graduating from the inaugural Space Warfighter Follow-on class 20-A, June 12, at the Moorman Space Education and Training Center, here.
The three curriculum tracks were developed to better integrate military space into expanding joint and combined operations conducted by U.S. Space Command and our Allies to protect and defend freedom of action in, from and to the space domain.
“Our modern lives depend on our space capabilities, and potential adversaries are actively attempting to exploit the benefits space provides us,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Sebeck, 319th Combat Training Squadron commander, when the disciplines were announced in May. “Every day our space warfighters purposefully prepare to negate potential adversaries’ attempts to claim space superiority over us.”
Sebeck said the 319th CTS is scheduled to support 31 of the 15-day SWF courses per year.
“The 319 CTS is on a tight schedule to keep up with USSF needs,” Sebeck said. “The SWF courses will run nearly back to back to support the growing cadre of space warfighting professionals needed to meet USSF mission demands.”
Brig. Gen. Deanna Burt, USSF director of operations and communications, congratulated the 12 officer and 16 enlisted students on their historic accomplishment during the graduation ceremony.
“This is a history making event,” she said. “It’s amazing what these students have done. They are the first of their kind.”
Burt highlighted how the class’s collective youth and innovative mindset made them the best candidates to complete the training program and how being pioneers in their field will allow them the time to affect how USSF accomplishes its mission.
“They are new, so they don’t have any preconceived ideas of these missions,” she said. “These operators will offer us a new perspective, and that’s what I am really hoping, [that] they hit the ground running and help change the way we do business.”
Burt expressed she has great expectations for class 20-A, who will soon get to hone their newly acquired skills by specializing in different weapons systems on their next assignments.
“I think they will see that first wave of change” she said. “I hope they take my charge seriously to go out and really dive into their weapons systems and ask questions about why we do the things we do based on what they have learned.”
Airman 1st Class Bianca Ek, SWF SBM course 20-A graduate, expressed her pride in being part of a class that made history.
“When I first joined the Air Force [in August 2019], I didn’t expect to be making history going into the Space Force,” she said. “It’s really cool that it was something I didn’t expect, and now I am the first class graduating from the [SWF course].”
Sebeck was also present to congratulate the graduates and encourage them to be the catalyst behind the change the USSF will bring to the space mission.
“Over the next couple of years there will be a lot of changes, and you will be the start of it,” he said. “I can’t wait to see how your generation disrupts, builds and reorganizes the USSF and how we accomplish space operations on the ops floor.”
This class was also one of the first to graduate from the new line of Undergraduate Space Training Next courses offered by the 533rd Training Squadron at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., which trains approximately 435 new officer and enlisted students each year.
After completing UST Next, and now specialized training in either OW, SEW or SBM disciplines at the SWF course, USSF space professionals will head to their respective assignments for additional weapons-systems-specific training and execution of the missions for which they have been prepared.