Tuesday, November 13 , 2018, 8:55 pm | Fair 53º

 
 
 
 

New Leader Assumes Command of Vandenberg AFB’s Main Unit

Col. Michael Hough succeeds Col. Chris Moss during ceremony Friday morning

Lt. Gen. David Buck, commander for 14th Air Force and Joint Functional Component Command for Space, presents the 30th Space Wing guidon flag to the incoming 30th Space Wing commander, Col. Michael Hough, during a change of command ceremony Friday Vandenberg Air Force Base. Click to view larger
Lt. Gen. David Buck, commander for 14th Air Force and Joint Functional Component Command for Space, presents the 30th Space Wing guidon flag to the incoming 30th Space Wing commander, Col. Michael Hough, during a change of command ceremony Friday Vandenberg Air Force Base. (Michael Peterson / U.S. Air Force photo)

The primary unit at Vandenberg Air Force Base got a new boss on Friday.

A traditional change-of-command ceremony for the leader of the 30th Space Wing took place at the base parade grounds, where dozens of airmen stood in formation.

Col. Michael S. Hough assumed command of the 30th Space Wing, replacing Col. Chris Moss, who held the job for two years. 

The officer presiding over the ceremony was all too familiar with the job since Lt. Gen. David Buck, who currently helms the 14th Air Force and Joint Functional Component Command, served as 30th Space Wing commander from June 2008 through April 2010.

Buck noted the history-making aspects during the ceremony that was filled with military tradition, including passing the unit guidon to symbolize the switch of leadership.

“Wing command is the toughest, the most rewarding and the most coveted job in our Air Force,” said Buck, whose current job brought him back to Vandenberg. “This is especially true at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Not only are you responsible for a myriad of complex launch and range operations, but Vandenberg is the third largest installation in the entire Air Force. It’s not easy, but that is why we choose leaders like Col. Moss and Col. Hough.”

The 30th Space Wing is the primary unit at the base and oversees the launch of satellite-carrying rockets and missiles being tested, with the Western Range monitoring the just-launched boosters to ensure they remain safely on their flight paths.

The new commander comes to Vandenberg after a stint as director of space forces stationed in Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. He also previously served as vice commander of the 21st Space Wing in Colorado.

Hough's first assignment after entering the Air Force as a graduate of Texas Tech University in 1992 landed him at Vandenberg in 1993 for undergraduate missile training. He later held several jobs with the intercontinental ballistic missile units before entering the space career field.

“I am indeed privileged, and words cannot express how excited I am to be here now,” Hough said. “This is an incredible place. The mission of launching rockets and putting satellites into orbit is certainly one of the most rewarding, tangible missions anywhere in the Air Force. But none of this is possible without the incredible hard work of the men and women of the 30th Space Wing.”

Moss led the 30th Space Wing during an incredibly busy period as he conducted 16 successful launches, ensured on-time and on-budget transition of the Western Range, and coordinated efforts to fight the Canyon Fire, the largest in base history.

Under his leadership, the wing captured the General Robert T. Herres Award, recognizing the Air Force’s top space wing.

A retirement ceremony for Moss occurred June 2, culminating his 26 years in the Air Force.

Moss intends to relocate to Arizona to become the principal of a combined junior and senior high school, he told Air Force public affairs staff.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

A traditional change-of-command ceremony took place Friday for the leader of the 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Click to view larger
A traditional change-of-command ceremony took place Friday for the leader of the 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg Air Force Base. (Senior Airman Kyla Gifford / U.S. Air Force photo)

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