Connecting with industry partners a priority for Space Systems Command

  • Published
  • By Brad Smith
  • Space Systems Command Public Affairs

In remarks to the Los Angeles chapter of the Air & Space Forces Association, Lt. Gen. Philip Garrant, commander of Space Systems Command, said SSC’s focus on acquiring and delivering resilient war fighting capabilities to protect the nation’s strategic advantage in, from, and to space, is nearly impossible without the relentless dedication of its workforce, allies and industry partnerships.

“We all know the change never stops, but in the past two to three years SSC has seen a lot,” Garrant said. “We need to continue refining what a field command for an acquisition organization looks like, get after developing our workforce, and focus on delivering capabilities – most importantly, we need clear cut priorities when it comes to our programs.”

Garrant stressed to attendees the importance of fortifying connections across all spectrums within the service, as well as between SSC and the commercial aerospace industry.

“One of the Space Force’s four core values is connection and that is exactly what I want to foster,” Garrant stated. “Industry plays a huge role in SSC’s preparation for being resilient by 2026. My promise to industry is [that] you do have my ear. You’ll have a chance to talk to me – that’s my commitment to you. We have a lot of new programs, [and] we are not getting new resources to staff those programs, so we've got to do things differently.”

With a workforce of more than 15,000 personnel across 29 geographically separated units, SSC’s presence and drive to be ‘ready-to-go’ strengthens deterrence. The command expects to support more than 150 launches in 2024 and as many as 200 in 2025. Garrant credited the Space Force’s total force of military, civilian and contracted personnel for the service’s success in meeting the growing threats to national security interests.

The event included recognition of 16 Guardians for their achievements in advancing SSC’s mission from 2023 – 2024 in categories ranging from mission assurance to program management. U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman received the 2024 Schriever National Space Leadership Award, named for Gen. Bernard Schriever, who led the U.S. Air Force’s Western Development Division organized in 1954 as a crash effort to manage the Air Force’s ballistic missile projects.

Along with Saltzman were the following honorees:

  • Lt. Gen. O’Neill Award for Outstanding Senior Leader: Col. Heather Bogstie (Space Sensing)
  • Lt. Gen. Schultz Award for Outstanding Program Manager: Maj. Simone Zacharias (Space Systems Integration Office)
  • Lt. Gen. Henry Award for Outstanding Leadership: Senior Master Sgt. Katie Coble (Space Launch Delta 30)
  • General Phillips Award for Young Engineer/Scientist: Ms. Salome Pajon (Space Sensing)
  • Dr. Alfred Rockefeller Award for Outstanding Civilian: Ms. Angela Lindemuth (Space Systems Integration Office)
  • Lt. Gen. McCartney Award for Outstanding CGO (>4 Years of Service): Capt. Collin Parsons (Assured Access to Space)
  • Lt. Gen. DeKok Award for Outstanding Airman/Guardian: Senior Airman Vincent Bobbitt (Space Systems Integration Office)
  • General Schriever Chapter’s Award of Excellence for Outstanding Staff/Support: Senior Airman Deisya Long (Director of Staff)
  • Chairman’s Award for Outstanding FGO: Maj. Orlando Martinez, Jr (Space Sensing)
  • General Schriever Chapter’s Award for Outstanding CGO (<4 Years of Service): Capt. Heather Baughman (Space Base Delta 3)
  • President’s Award for Outstanding NCO: Tech. Sgt. Michael Thompson (Space Domain Awareness & Combat Power)
  • Maj. Gen. Taverney Award for Outstanding Reservist: Master Sgt. Michael Voutila (Space Launch Delta 45)
  • General Schriever Chapter’s SSC Unit of the Year Award: Tactically Responsive Space Team (Space Domain Awareness & Combat Power) – Lt. Col. MacKenzie Birchenough (Team Lead)
  • Kathleen Landis Award for Outstanding Volunteer of the Year: Ms. Julie Dennis (Space Launch Delta 30)
  • Col. Larry C. Jackson Award for Mission Assurance Excellence: Falcon Flight Team (Space Launch Delta 45) – Lt. Col. Jae Jeon (Team Lead)
The awards came after a series of panel discussions involving Space Force officials and multiple industry partners on topics focused toward integrating commercial space, dynamic space operations, transitioning to integrated mission deltas, and on how those areas – and their personnel – are addressing the Force’s overall plans to reorganize, restructure and reoptimize for Great Power Competition.

The annual “Salute to Space Systems Command” is hosted by the Los Angeles chapter of the Air & Space Forces Association.