Vice President Pence to Visit Vandenberg

Vice President Mike Pence visited with airmen during a luncheon at Schriever AFB, Colo., on June 23, 2017. During his visit, Pence spoke with base personnel on topics such as the the Air Force Space Command budget and thanked the members present for their service and dedication to duty. Air Force photo by Christopher DeWitt.

Vice President Mike Pence plans to visit Vandenberg AFB, Calif., on July 10 during a three-day swing through California and Texas, a White House official tells Air Force Magazine.

Pence’s schedule includes a tour of the Combined Space Operations Center, an address to thank airmen for their service, and discussion of the Trump administration’s space infrastructure modernization efforts.

“He will learn about evolving launch operations at the Western Range to include test and evaluation, ground-based interceptors, and commercial satellites,” a White House official said July 9. “He will be briefed on CSpOC operations, which will include training and future presence of the Department of Commerce and its contribution to space traffic management.”

It is Pence’s first time at Vandenberg, though he has traveled to other key space facilities, including Peterson AFB; Schriever AFB; Cheyenne Mountain AFS, Colo., and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. As chair of the National Space Council, Pence is one of the Trump administration’s top advocates pushing to revamp the military space enterprise and achieve new milestones in civilian space research and travel. He announced President Donald Trump would revive US Space Command in a speech last December, and is a proponent of creating a new military service to oversee space.

Vandenberg is slated to house SPACECOM’s Combined Forces Space Component Command, according to SpaceNews. The CFSCC will handle GPS navigation services, space-based data, communications, and missile warning for commanders stationed around the globe.

The related CSpOC at Vandenberg evolved from a Joint Space Operations Center last summer to reflect the growing role of foreign nations in coalition-based space defense. It manages missile warning, military satellite communications, defensive space situational awareness, and more.

Base officials did not respond to a request for comment on the upcoming visit.

During the trip, Pence will also visit Naval Amphibious Base Coronado and the Coast Guard Cutter Munro as part of federal drug interdiction efforts, among other events.