WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Airmen from the 88th Communications Squadron became the first set of 88th Air Base Wing members to join the U.S. Space Force during a ceremony Feb. 11 in the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force’s Space Gallery. Most fittingly, the event took place in front of the Apollo 15 Command Module Endeavor.
Sworn in as Space Force “Guardians” by Lt. Col. Jeff Crépeau, 88 CS commander, were 1st Lt. Wyatt Chen, a cyber defender, and 1st Lt. Kyle McReynolds, an acquisitions officer training as a cyber operations officer. Airman 1st Class Noah Goethal, a communications infrastructure technician, was subsequently sworn in by McReynolds after he took his oath of office.
“We’re very excited and very honored they are a part of our unit,” Crépeau said.
“The Space Force had its initial transfer of space professionals last fall; this is the second round where it is transferring professionals in support career fields. We’re a communications squadron so we had a lot of people interested.”
Four additional 88 CS members who are currently deployed were sworn in at their locations.
The three new Guardians will remain in current duties until their next change-of-station cycle, when they will move to a Space Force duty station.
“Since its establishment on Dec. 20, 2019, the U.S. Space Force continues to stand up as a separate service to organize, train and equip agile, lean and forward-looking space forces to defend our nation, allies and American interests in space,” said 88 CS Chief Master Sgt. Zachary Pate, who served as emcee. “Through the next several months, more than 2,400 members in space-related career fields around the globe will separate from the U.S. Air Force and transfer into the Space Force, becoming Space Force ‘Guardians.’”
The 88 ABW members who separated will join more than 2,400 members who already are Guardians, he said.
“Being part of a new force feels amazing,” said Chen, who added he hopes to continue to work in cyber operations defense. “This is an amazing opportunity and I look forward to serving with everyone in the Space Force and the Air Force, of course.”
McReynolds said he applied to join the Space Force to make even more of a difference.
“Seeing how lean, agile and small it will be and how big of an impact you can make at such a low level is very appealing to me,” he added.
He thanked his family; his wife, Evelyn, who works at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center; and second family – Air Force leadership and members – who have supported his career.
“It’s going to be new and exciting, and we’re going to be building from the ground up,” McReynolds said.
Goethal, now a Space Force specialist 3, expressed gratitude for his wife, Amaya Hagler, family and leadership.
“This is a historic event,” he said. “When was the last time a service branch was created? I’m excited for the adventure and to see where it will take me. I am thrilled.”
Crépeau said the museum provided the perfect backdrop for the event.
“Although I am not transferring to the Space Force, I am honored to be a part of the ceremony,” he said. “This is something I will remember for a very long time.”