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By 2nd Lt. Sean Carter, Peterson-Schriever Garrison
/ Published February 05, 2021
Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, Space Operations Command commander, administers the oath of enlistment to former Airmen for their transfer into the U.S. Space Force, Feb. 3, 2021, at Peterson Air Force Base. The oath of office was also administered to two former U.S. Air Force officers. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Wise)
Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, Space Operations Command commander, addresses Airmen before their transfer into the U.S. Space Force, Feb. 3, 2021, at Peterson Air Force Base. Nearly 40 Guardians were transferred into the Delta 6, 61st Cyberspace Squadron. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Wise)
The newest U.S. Space Force Guardians pose for a photo, Feb. 3, 2021, at Peterson Air Force Base. During the Delta 6 transfer ceremony the 28 Guardians received their new USSF ranks and name tapes. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Wise)
U.S. Space Force Sgt. Daniel Shanks, Delta 6, 61st Cyberspace Squadron infrastructure watch officer, has his U.S. Air Force name and rank with U.S. Space Force patches by his wife, Feb. 3, 2021, at Peterson Air Force Base. The new Guardian will keep his pay grade, however, his title changes from USAF Staff Sgt. to USSF Sgt. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Wise)
The U.S. Space Force has officially welcomed its newest batch of Guardians. Space Delta 6, headquartered at Schriever Air Force Base, officially transferred roughly 40 new Guardians into the service during a COVID-safe ceremony Feb. 3, 2021. While they may wear the same USSF uniform, the mission set of the Guardians of Space Delta 6 is a little different from the other eight Deltas. These Guardians are not just space warriors, but masters of the cyberspace domain.
Space Delta 6 executes cyber operations to protect space operations, networks and communications, in addition to operating the Air Force Satellite Control Network. Working day and night to ensure Space Delta 6’s success, members of the 61st Cyber Squadron, located at Schriever AFB, were among the many new Guardians to be brought under the USSF banner.
“It's a mixture of excitement and pride,” said Sgt. Daniel Shanks, 61st CYS Infrastructure Watch Officer. “I have always had a passion for things space related, and knowing that I get the chance to work each day with something that has an impact on our country’s endeavors in that theatre is amazing.”
A change of this magnitude does not happen overnight. More often than not, the working pieces behind the scenes are set in motion months, even years in advance, and represent the total cumulative effort of hundreds of individuals. For Shanks, it represents a chance to build a new culture of excellence.
“The squadron has the opportunity to develop standards and procedures that affect not just the 61st [CYS] but all future USSF Cyberspace Squadrons,” Shanks said. “As for myself, my family has a history of military service, and I look forward to being the first member of the USSF in that legacy.”
The magnitude of serving as Guardians in the USSF’s first cyberspace operations-dedicated Delta was not lost on the newly transferred. Shanks urged all current and future Guardians to seize the path ahead and make the most of it.
“For anyone that is also transferring or planning on joining the USSF, I want to motivate them to take advantage of what this opportunity means. The last time this happened was with the Air Force in 1947 and to be able help shape the culture and early years of the Space Force into something we are proud of is an opportunity we shouldn't let pass us by.”