A new leader assumed command of Vandenberg Space Force Base’s primary unit on Thursday.
Col. Mark Shoemaker became the commander of Space Launch Delta 30 during a ceremony where Col. Robert Long relinquished his role as leader.
Lt. Gen. Michael Guetlein of Space Systems Command presided over the ceremony.
Shoemaker previously served as the vice commander for operations, Space Launch Delta 45, Patrick Space Force Base and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, both in Florida.
The new job marked his second assignment at Vandenberg during his career which began in 1997 after being commissioned through ROTC at Iowa State University.
His prior assignments at Vandenberg occurred from August 2003 to September 2006 when he served as Titan IV Operations Flight commander for the 2nd Space Launch Squadron and Mission Support Flight commander, 4th Space Launch Squadron.
Other assignments include stints with the National Reconnaissance Office, the Pentagon and at Los Angeles Air Force Base.
Long has led Space Launch Delta 30 since June 2021, the last of several assignments at the base where he attended advanced training in 1998.
After several stints with intercontinental ballistic missile units followed by multiple space assignments, he returned to Vandenberg in July 2014 leading the 30th Operations Support Squadron for two years and then the Commander’s Action Group for 14th Air Force.
He left the base again only to return in September 2020 to serve as squadron commander at Vandenberg before assuming command of the main unit nine months later.
Commanders of Vandenberg’s main unit typically fill the role for two or maybe three years before moving to a new military job or retiring.
The leader of Vandenberg’s main unit is responsible for $8.4 billion in assets, a $280-million annual budget, an installation spanning approximately 100,000 acres, and a base with 11,000 military, civilian and contractor personnel.