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Edwards AFB conducts Space Force Transfer Ceremony

  • Published
  • By Giancarlo Casem
  • 412th Test Wing Public Affairs

The 412th Test Wing hosted a ceremony for 17 Airmen who have transferred as Guardians in the Space Force at Edwards Air Force Base, California, Feb. 11.

The Airmen were assigned to the 412th TW as well as those assigned to different mission partners stationed at Edwards AFB. The ceremony took place in front of the historic Hangar 4305 where the first U.S. jet aircraft, the Bell P-59 Airacomet, was assembled and housed during developmental flight tests.

“It’s our ability to lean forward into the straps to explore new domains and we can have confidence in knowing that we do dominate the air ways, we dominate the seas, and we will, here, because of everything you all are about to embark on, dominate space,” said Col. Randel Gordon, 412th Test Wing Vice Commander. “Thank you for having me to be in the cradle of such a historical base, where we’ve made so many strides within our own atmosphere, to be sitting here among heroes who are going to make significant strides outside of our atmosphere.”


Edwards AFB, also referred to as the Center of the Aerospace Testing Universe, has been historically linked to the Nation’s aerospace and space efforts.

Edwards AFB’s historic highlights feature the breaking of the Sound Barrier by Gen. Chuck Yeager in 1947, the “X” planes of the 50s and 60s which eventually led to NASA’s Gemini and Apollo missions in the 60s and 70s. Legendary aviators and astronauts also saw flight time at Edwards including the Apollo 11 mission commander Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon and also Test Pilot School graduate.

The Space Force is tasked with protecting U.S. and coalition forces interests in space and to deter aggression in, from and to space as well as to conduct space operations.

For 1st Lt. Craig Carlson, a Flight Test Engineer with the 412th Operations Group, 412th Test Wing, his foray into space started before he officially joined the Space Force.

“I’ve always been a space nerd, and the chance to use that passion in a professional setting is awesome,” said Carlson, originally from Boulder, Colorado. “I have a Master’s Degree in Space Systems Engineering and I’ve always wanted to get involved in the space community. Transferring into the USSF is a great way to do that.”

Besides transferring to the Space Force, Carlson was selected to attend the Space Test Fundamentals course at the Air Force Test Pilot School and also received an Education within Industry fellowship with a civilian launch provider to further strengthen his space career skillset.

Another future Space Test Fundamentals student, Capt. George Zeitler of Sunrise, Florida, said it was his father’s 20-year Coast Guard career that inspired him to join the military. But it was his membership in his high school’s rocketry team that spurned his interest in space.

“It is the foundation of my education and profession, past and now future,” said Zeitler, 15th Test Flight Detachment 2, 53rd Wing, Air Force Air Combat Command. “I was an Astronautical Engineering major at the Air Force Academy and have done work as a satellite engineer and orbital analyst. I enjoyed my time working with space systems as much as I do my time working Test & Evaluation. I hope to work some combination of the two in the future. Encouragement and advice from close friends and family also helped.”

In May 2020, active-duty Air Force personnel in specified “Organic Space” career fields were able to officially apply to transfer to the Space Force. The 13S (space operations) and 1C6 (space systems operations) Air Force Specialty Codes were identified as Organic Space career fields. Airmen in AFSCs common to the Air Force and Space Force such as cyber, acquisitions, engineers and intelligence may also apply to transfer.

“When this opportunity arose, I had no reservations about pursuing it,” said Master Sgt. Sheldon Newton, Operations Flight Superintendent, 412th Communications Squadron, 412th Test Wing.

Newton, originally from Watha, North Carolina, began his service with the Air Force in 2005. He said he felt that the Air Force offered him an opportunity to learn more about himself and to interact with people from around the world. Now as a Guardian in the Space Force, new challenges await him.

“This is a unique opportunity; a chance to get outside of my comfort zone and to lead in an unfamiliar territory,” Newton said.

Edwards provides care, opportunities for children aged six weeks through high school graduation

Edwards provides care, opportunities for childrenaged six weeks through high school graduation

The Child and Youth Program at Edwards AFB provides care and opportunities for kids ages six weeks old through high school graduation. A brief summary of those services follows:

  •                    The Child Development Center cares for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, with a DOD-wide curriculum. The curriculum is focused on learning through play activities supporting social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. Installations across DOD follow the curriculum on the same timeline to allow seamless permanent change-of-station transitions for youth enrolled in care.
  •                    The School Age Center provides before and after-school care and summer camp for children ages 5 to 12. During school breaks, full-day camps are offered. SAC promotes cognitive, social, emotional, cultural, language and physical development through programs that encourage self-confidence, curiosity, self-discipline and resiliency.
  •                    The open recreation program at the Main Youth Center provides a safe space for ages 9 to 12 to attend after school. Programs include Power Hour, STEM, Torch Club, social recreation, youth camps, special events and more.
  •                    The youth sports program provides intro and league opportunities for ages 3 to 12, and promotes inclusiveness, self-discipline, commitment, resiliency and social skills. There are four sports offered annually for ages five to 12: baseball/softball, soccer, flag football and basketball. Smart start programs are available to ages 3 to 5. There are many other sports and camps offered throughout the year.
  •                    The Teen Center is available for ages 13 to 18 during the school year. Programs offered include Military Youth of the Year, Keystone Club, social recreation, STEM activities, college trips, leadership camps and more.
  •                    Youth programs (SAC, open rec and teen) are affiliated with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and 4-H.
  •                    Family Child Care homes – there are currently three FCC homes on the installation. They can provide care for ages two weeks to 12 years. FCC providers are trained by Child and Youth Program training and curriculum specialists and have the flexibility to determine their hours of operation and the ages of youth within their care. The program’s new dedicated manager, Jennifer Stegmann, may be reached at 661-275-7529.

Although CDC enrollment capacity is 317, not all slots are currently filled because of a shortage of childcare workers. School Age Center enrollment capacity is 156. After-school care enrollment is 130. Before-school care enrollment is 75. Summer Camp 2022 was at its capacity and enrollment for Summer Camp 2023 opens April 3.