Colonel Eric Felt is the Director of Architecture in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration at the Pentagon, Virginia. He leads a team of 25 military, civilian, and on-site contractors responsible for developing and integrating the Department of Defense, Department of the Air Force, and United States Space Force space architectures. His organization focuses on optimizing the Space Force’s $15B portfolio of resilient space capabilities: communications; position, navigation, and timing; remote sensing; space access, mobility, and logistics; and space control.
Colonel Felt received his commission in 1991 from Duke University Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. He entered active duty in 1996 after completing Master of Science and Doctorate degrees in electrical engineering. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School and has served as a developmental engineer and program manager in lab, test, program office, and staff assignments. Prior to his current position, Colonel Felt served as Director, Air Force Research Lab Space Vehicles Directorate, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.
Mr. Chirag Parikh was appointed by the President as the Executive Secretary of the National Space Council on August 2, 2021. As Executive Secretary, he is responsible for advising the Vice President, in her role as Chair of the National Space Council, on developing national policies and strategies across the civil, commercial, and national security sectors. He is also responsible for overseeing the implementation of United States space policies and strategies and working across the United States Government as well as with industry, international, and academia partners to meet Administration objectives through the space sector.
Mr. Parikh joined the Administration from Microsoft Azure, where he led the creation of a company-wide business unit, known as Azure Space, to bring together the power of global cloud capabilities with evolving space sector. Prior to Microsoft, he had a U.S. government career that spanned more than two decades. He has served as a Senior Executive at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) leading collection and tasking of geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) sensors and the analysis of GEOINT data. From 2010-2016, he served as the Director of Space Policy on the White House National Security Council overseeing U.S. national security space efforts. He has also served as the Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Science and Technology and as an aerospace engineer at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center. He holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Cincinnati.
Col Gardner is the Director of Space Strategy, Policy, and Plans at Headquarters US Space Force, the Pentagon. In that role he is responsible for the development, synchronization, and publication of Space Force institutional visions, strategies, policies and campaign plans to support national security objectives and policies. Prior to his current role Colonel Gardner served as Space Force service chair, National Security Studies Department Chair, and Assistant Professor at The Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy. While at the Eisenhower School he taught a range of topics including Space warfighting; Military Strategy; Strategic leadership; Industrial Mobilization; and Nuclear Command, Control, & Communications (NC3).
Colonel Gabe S. Arrington is the Chief, Disruptive Technology Division, Headquarters Air Force, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. Colonel Arrington graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with Military Distinction in 2003. As a commander and strategist, the Colonel was recognized by the Secretary of the Air Force for creating and leading the Air Force’s ‘Pilot Training Next’ program, positioning the Air Force for $320M in fiscal year savings annually. Additionally, Colonel Arrington has been awarded a secondary Air Force Specialty Code in Space Operations after completing the USAF Space Officer Course with the intent of developing all-domain leaders for the Joint Force. He is a senior pilot, having logged over 2,450 hours and 273 combat missions in both airlift and tanker aircraft. He has commanded at the squadron level and served in multiple positions at the Joint Staff, MAJCOM, AOC, wing, group, and squadron levels. Prior to his current assignment, he was a National Defense Fellow at the Center for a New American Security.
Colonel Erik S. Stockham is the Director of Space Warfighting Acquisition Delta, Space Domain Awareness and Combat Power, Space Systems Command, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. He leads a 72-person government and 950-person industry team of acquisition, engineering, operations, intelligence, and security specialists executing a multi-billion dollar budget. The Space Warfighting Acquisition Delta plans, develops, tests, deploys, and sustains Presidential priority classified programs that provide the nation with critical space warfighting capability.
Colonel (Ret.) Lee Rosen served over 23 years with the US Air Force where he was a commander, space operator and DoD certified acquisition officer, including tours at the Pentagon, National Reconnaissance Office and Air Force Space Command. As a former SpaceX VP of Mission and Launch Ops, and Customer Operations & Integration with more than 200 space launch missions completed successfully, Lee brings extensive experience with operations, engineering, program management and government relations. During his 10+ years at SpaceX, he led the build of 3 Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch pads, was responsible for operations & mission management of all military, civil and commercial missions, and the team that flew cargo & crew Dragon spacecraft, as well as Astronaut training. In 2022 he co-founded ThinkOrbital where he serves as President & Chief Strategy Officer building large, scalable, affordable, autonomously assembled infrastructure in space to ignite the new space economy. Lee’s been married for 30+ years, has 2 lovely daughters, and is an avid runner, cyclist, surfer, outdoorsman and brewer.
Dr. Kelly Hammett, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Director and Program Executive Officer (PEO) for the Space Rapid Capabilities Office (Space RCO), Kirtland Air Force Base (AFB), New Mexico. As Space RCO’s senior acquisition officer, Dr. Hammett is responsible for and oversees space-based research, development and acquisition activities for classified space acquisition programs assigned to the Space RCO. In this position, Dr. Hammett serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Space Operations, United States Space Force for the rapid development and fielding of classified critical space capabilities for the United States Space Command and Space Force. In his PEO capacity, he is responsible for a robust portfolio of major acquisition programs providing operationally dominant space capabilities that strategically enhance the Nation’s warfighting capabilities in the space domain.
Dr. Hammett entered the Air Force as a second lieutenant in 1988, receiving his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Oklahoma, Norman. His 20-year active duty career spanned a variety of positions mainly focused on directed energy weapon system technology development and acquisition, and culminated after serving as the Director of Engineering for the $7 billion Airborne Laser Program. His civilian career started at Kirtland AFB where he served in various positions to include the Chief Engineer for the Directed Energy Directorate’s Optics Division and the Directed Energy Directorate’s Chief Engineer, where he led engineering and program management activities and provided technical oversight of 30+ science and technology programs valued at over $300 million.
Dr. Greg Spanjers, a member of the U.S. Air Force’s cadre of scientific and technical senior executives, is the Chief Scientist of the Integrated Capabilities Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He is responsible for providing science and technology advice and counsel for supporting Air Force development planning efforts and conducting experimentation campaigns that will result in planning choices for senior Air Force-level resource decisions.
Dr. Spanjers research experience spans more than 33 years and includes work in academia and private industry developing advanced plasma confinement, plasma diagnostics and radiation source technology. Since 1995, he has served in various science and technology positions in Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). Early in his Air Force career, he served in the Electric Propulsion Group at AFRL’s Propulsion Directorate, Edwards AFB, California, as a principal scientist, research group leader, technical adviser, deputy branch chief and acting branch chief. In 2003, he became Program Manager for the Air Force’s PowerSail Program at AFRL’s Space Vehicles Directorate, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico. Since then he developed and led a series of research and development spacecraft programs including Demonstration and Science Experiment (DSX), Calibrated On-Orbit Objects Program (COOP) and the Third Generation
Infrared Surveillance System (3GIRS and CHIRP). He was promoted to Senior Executive Service in 2008, and selected as the Air Force’s Senior Scientist for Space Experiments at the Space Vehicles Directorate. He became Chief Scientist for the Directorate in 2012, and served in that capacity until assuming his current position in 2016.
Dr. Spanjers holds nine patents, has authored more than 30 journal articles, 70 contributed papers and two book chapters. He is a Fellow of the Air Force Research Laboratory and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics (AIAA), where he also serves as Associate Editor for the AIAA’s Journal of Propulsion and Power.
Dr. Rebecca Reesman is a space policy advisor in the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy. She has worked there since 2022, covering space debris, space mobility & logistics, and commercial issues.
Previously, Dr. Reesman was at the Aerospace Corporation providing on-site technical support to Pentagon customers including the newly formed U.S. Space Force. In addition to her technical role, Dr. Reesman contributed to Aerospace’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy. Through the Policy Center, she was the lead-author on their most downloaded report, Physics of War in Space: How Orbital Dynamics Constrain Space-to-Space Engagements.
Before joining Aerospace, Dr. Reesman was an American Institute of Physics Congressional Fellow working space, cybersecurity, and other technical issues for a member of Congress. Prior to the fellowship, she was a research scientist at the Center for Naval Analysis. There she designed, executed, and analyzed wargames on a wide range of national security topics.
Dr. Reesman holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and statistics from Carnegie Mellon University and a Ph.D. in physics from the Ohio State University.
Jeffrey D. Hill is Chief of the Ops Integration Branch for Headquarters, Space Operations Command, Deputy Commanding General for Operations, Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado. He serves as a first-level supervisor, planning, directing, organizing, and exercising control over nonsupervisory employees assigned to HQ Space Operations Command (HQ SpOC), DCG-Operations, S3/5P, Component Plans and Integration. Oversees the establishment of Operations and Integration Mission Delivery (OIMD) and Operational Acceptance (OA) processes supporting Mission Area Teams (MATs) and directs activities of government and contractor OIMD/OA personnel. He leads SpOC/CC Weapons System Readiness Review process, ensuring CC is aware of upcoming capabilities and program concerns. He also represents Hq SpOC for Space Access, Mobility, and Access matter, Current Launch Schedule Review Boards and leads the SpOC Resiliency Working Group Board of Advisors.
Christopher B. Ayres
Deputy to the HQ Space Operations Command (HQ SpOC), Deputy Commanding General for Operations, United States Space Force. Chris Ayres has over 35 years of operational space and missile experience for the United States Air Force and United States Space Force as a career military officer, and now as a civilian government official. In his current role, he is responsible for current space operations and near-future space capability delivery of new space capabilities and missions . He also focuses on the integration and delivery of advanced capabilities, Science and Technology, innovation, and protoyping into operational use for the new space service. He holds degree in engineering from Clemson University, masters of engineering from University of Colorado, and masters of national security policy from National Defense University.
Dr. Martin joined Astroscale U.S. in August 2019 as Executive Vice President. She brings many years of experience in space technology management, operations, and engineering to support the foundation and growth of Astroscale U.S.
Dr. Martin previously held the position of the Director, Orbital Solutions at General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS). She was responsible for the management and technical performance of the engineering staff and delivery of projects, including planning and managing technical and programmatic solutions to ensure quality, business, and financial objectives were met. Prior to joining GA-EMS, Dr. Martin was the Chief Operating Officer at Surrey Satellite Technology US, where she led the Surrey project management and engineering teams. As a member of the Surrey Satellite US Executive Team, Dr. Martin managed the bidding, negotiation, and execution of projects, and was responsible for ensuring the company’s cost-effective methods were appropriately applied to the execution of programs.
Dr. Martin earned a Master of Science in astrophysics and a Doctorate in mathematics and computational sciences from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She loves to explore and adventure the mountains in Colorado.
With over 20 years of success in engineering, ICT, and aerospace, I am a passionate and visionary leader who strives to make space accessible for everyone. As the CEO of Space Centre Australia, I oversee Australia’s first large-scale multi-use spaceport, designed to be a collaboration space for the advancement of the Australian and international space industry sector.
I have a proven track record of managing engineering departments, divisions, and operations, as well as shaping strategic engineering direction for high-performance ICT infrastructures and applications. I excel at team building, relationship management, communication, contracts, suppliers, technology vision, policy, statutory and regulatory requirements, risk management, resourcing, and delivering the best commercial results. I am also a Chartered Engineering Executive, a Companion of Engineers Australia, and a freelance consultant for various space-related projects. I am committed to fostering innovation, sustainability, and excellence in the space industry and beyond.
Colonel Richard Kniseley is the Senior Materiel Leader, Commercial Space Office, Space Systems Command, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. Colonel Kniseley leads a 90 personnel office that assesses, implements, integrates, and monitors commercial spaces capabilities for the Department of Defense. Charged with enacting a “Buy Before Build” paradigm shift, Colonel Kniseley executes over $1 Billion in investments mitigating critical capability gaps for the warfighter while interacting with senior Department of the Air Force members, Congressional Staff, and leaders of industry.
John Steinmeyer is the Executive Director for Assured Access to Space (AATS), USSF Space Systems Command (SSC). In this role he supports the PEO and Director of AATS in the acqustion, integration, operation and sustainment of the $13.5B National Security Space Launch Program, Rocket System Launch Program and other emerging Space Mobility and Logistics mission areas. Assured Access to Space provides reliable delivery of capability to orbit for the USSF and Intelligence Community, and is responsible for sustainment and modernization of the Eastern and Western Launch Ranges. AATS leverages space industry partners to develop, produce, and operate launch and space mobility systems. Mr. Steinmeyer is also a certified National Security Space Launch Mission Director.
Mr. Steinmeyer has over 35 years of experience in launch vehicle system program management, development, integration, operations, sales, and acquisition. Prior to his current role, he spent 10 years with Northrop Grumman Corporation and its affiliated entities. As Director and Sr. Manager of Space Launch Business Development for the Launch Vehicles Business Unit he led and coordinated business development for the Pegasus, Minotaur, Antares and proposed Omega launch systems, interfacing with both government and commercial customers. Prior to this, as Sr. Systems Engineering Manager, Mr. Steinmeyer supported the development, sales, and successful operation of the Antares launch system for the International Space Station Commercial Cargo Resupply Services program, and served as Integrated Product Team Lead for the Antares RD-181 main engine procurement from N.P.O. Energomash.
Preceding this, Mr. Steinmeyer was with Boeing and former McDonnell Douglas company for 22 years, supporting development, procurement, satellite integration, and operations of multiple space launch programs including Titan IV, Delta II, III & IV, Japanese H-IIA, and Sea Launch LLC. He held positions of increasing responsibility in……
Major General John M. Olson is the Mobilization Assistant to the Chief of Space Operations, Headquarters United States Space Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. In this position, he assists the CSO with responsibility to organize, train, and equip space forces; develop and acquire military space systems; and conduct space operations to advance and protect U.S. and allied interests. General Olson is the USSF lead for Joint All Domain Command and Control and the Advanced Battle Management System. General Olson also serves on the Office of the Secretary of Defense Operational Energy Innovation Technical Advisory Group and flies as an Airborne Emergency Action Officer on the Looking Glass Airborne Nuclear Command Post leading strategic deterrence missions.
General Olson was commissioned in 1992 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He has earned five engineering degrees, including two bachelor’s degrees from the U.S. Air Force Academy, master’s degrees in engineering from the University of Illinois and the University of Tennessee, and a Doctorate in Systems Engineering from Auburn University. He also completed Executive education programs at Harvard, MIT, and Stanford. General Olson has held numerous air, space, cyber, acquisition, test, weapons, political-military, intelligence, and technology command, staff, and leadership roles at all levels. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, a freefall parachutist, and a former European and Eurasian Foreign Area Officer. Gen. Olson deployed to Southwest Asia, supporting air and space operations for operations Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and New Dawn in Iraq, Odyssey Dawn in Libya, and Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. General Olson transitioned to the Air Force Reserve in 2004 after joining NASA, where he served as a Senior Executive Service leader in several civil space leadership roles for nearly a decade, earning the Presidential Rank Award.
Roosevelt “Ted” Mercer, Jr., Major General, USAF (Ret.), is the CEO and Executive Director of the Virginia Spaceport Authority. Since taking office on August 1, 2021, Mr. Mercer has made it the mission of the Virginia Spaceport Authority to serve the Commonwealth’s economy by providing safe, reliable, and responsive space launch services, ensuring access to space at competitive prices, and maintaining secure facilities for testing of unmanned vehicles for integration into the National Airspace System (NAS).
The Virginia Spaceport Authority is a political subdivision of Virginia. It owns and operates the MidAtlantic Regional Spaceport collocated at NASA Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Mr. Mercer is responsible for the expansion and promotion of the commercial and government space industry in the Commonwealth. He directly oversees successful launch to space, industrial and economic development, and scientific and technological research and development.
Under Mr. Mercer’s leadership, the Virginia Spaceport Authority continues to reach milestones that signify rapid expansion, including successful launches, the development of new facilities, a new launch pad, and outreach activities with domestic and international space industry organizations.
Prior to joining the Virginia Spaceport Authority, Mr. Mercer was the director of the Office of NextGen Collaboration and Messaging at the Federal Aviation Administration. He provided high-level leadership by managing and building relationships with a broad representation of stakeholders in the aviation community, federal agencies, and international air navigation service providers.
Mr. Mercer oversaw communication and outreach activities, including performance 2 reporting for the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). His organization supported the governance of the NextGen Executive Board, the NextGen Management Board, the NextGen Executive Weather Panel, and the NextGen Advisory Committ
Robert Hauge is president of SpaceLogistics, a Northrop Grumman company. In this role, Hauge leads the development of current and next-generation in-space satellite servicing products for government and commercial customers.
Prior to this appointment, Hauge served as strategy director for Space Mobility and Logistics for Northrop Grumman Space Systems.
Before joining Northrop Grumman, Hauge served for nearly 30 years in various roles across the department of defense and intelligence community including as a senior intelligence service officer, ground station commander, program manager with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and as an Air Force officer.
Hauge was awarded the national intelligence distinguished service medal from the United States Intelligence Community, exceptional public service medal from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and gold, silver and bronze medals from the National Reconnaissance Office. Hauge is also a graduate of the Walt Disney World College Program where he worked as a custodial host in the Magic Kingdom.
Hauge holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan.
SpaceLogistics, a Northrop Grumman company, is the global leader in the development and deployment of in-space satellite servicing systems and the first and only company performing in-space servicing for commercial satellites in geosynchronous orbit. Our planned series of vehicles will extend service life, provide enhanced capabilities and enable future missions for a variety of customers.
Mr. Mark D. Bontrager is the Technical Director, Launch and Range Operations, Space Systems
Command, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida.
Space Systems Command Launch and Range Operations provides policy, guidance, and resources
for all US Space Force launch and range operations including integration of operational priorities, system readiness, manifesting, and mission partner support across the Department of Defense and the interagency.
Mr. Bontrager serves as the senior civilian advisor to the Director, Launch and Range Operations on
matters relating to legislative authorities, policy, launch and range operations, resources, and
Mr. Bontrager entered the Air Force in 1987, where he served in a broad range of operational,
joint staff, policy, and command positions, including launch operations with the Delta II launch
vehicle and command of the 45th Mission Support Group, which provided critical support to
military, civil, and commercial space launch missions. He served as Vice President for
Spaceport Operations with Space Florida and led the development of Florida’s first Spaceport
System Plan, which resulted in over $1.5B of state and industry investment in Florida’s
spaceports at Cecil Spaceport in Jacksonville and the Cape Canaveral Spaceport on the Space
Coast. Mr. Bontrager returned to federal service in January 2022.
Col Christopher G. Seaman is the Chief, Strategy Division at United States Transportation Command. In this role, he oversees the development of strategies enabling the Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise to project national security capabilities, accurately sense the operating environment, and enable responsive support of Joint, US government and Secretary of Defense-approved multinational and non-governmental requirements. His team advocates for standardization and commonality of joint distribution capability development among the services, in addition to ensuring oversight, review, and coordination of National and DOD-level strategic documents.
Col Seaman received his commission as a graduate from the United States Air Force Academy in 2001. He is a Command Pilot with over 5,500 hours flying C-5, C-21, and various Special Operations aircraft supporting overseas contingency operations. Col Seaman has completed multiple staff tours and commanded the 375th Operations Support Squadron at Scott AFB, IL. He is a distinguished graduate of Air Command and Staff College, and a graduate of the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies and the Army War College.
Lieutenant Colonel Steve Crews is the Chief of Operations Integration at the Space Training and Readiness Command, where he shapes all aspects of STARCOM to make the USSF more ready for global competition and conflict. Starting in 2003, Steve served first in the Army Aviation Officer with roles such as Chinook pilot, aviation planner, NATO liaison, maintenance test pilot, and commander. While deployed, he flew over 65 combat missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He then became an Army Space Operations Officer, where he served in various command and control roles at the Joint Space Operations Center, from executing Global Space Coordinating Authority to Space Control Branch Chief of the Unified Space Vault. He then went on to become assistant professor at West Point, where he taught robotics-related coursework and founded the Modular Robotics Laboratory. In 2022, Steve made the transition to become a Guardian in the first year of interservice transfers to the USSF. Steve’s academic pursuits paralleled his military career. He graduated from the West Point with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, with a focus on Aeronautical Systems. In 2013, Steve graduated first in his class from the Naval Postgraduate School with three degrees: the Degree of Astronautical Engineer and dual Master of Science degrees in Astronautical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. He then went on to Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a member of the Biorobotics Lab in the Robotics Institute, achieving a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. At NPS he focused his research on the optimal attitude reorientation of spacecraft and his CMU research focus was on real-time planning of dynamic walking robots. He also has research interests in robotic automation, multi-agent synchronization, machine learning and AI, autonomous driving, and spacecraft manipulation/movement using inertial limbs.
Col Nathan P. Vosters is the Director of Requirements, Resources, and Programs (S8), Space Forces Indo-Pacific. As the S8, Col Vosters facilitates the development of requirements for the Future Years Defense Program, translates those requirements into material and non-material solutions through advocacy, science & technology, innovation, and experimentation, and is responsible for managing and directing the component’s annual budget.
Prior to this assignment, Col Vosters was assigned to U.S. Special Operations Command where he served as Director, Acquisition Operations, USSOCOM Director, Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities, and Remote Capabilities Program Manager in Special Operations Forces Acquisition, Technology, & Logistics.
Col Vosters served in several Space command, staff, and operations assignments. As a program manager, he held positions in the Global Positioning Systems Directorate at the Space and Missile Systems Center, the Communications Directorate at the National Reconnaissance Office, and while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom assigned to the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq and Operation FREEDOM’S SENTINEL assigned to United States Forces – Afghanistan. He also served a Program Element Monitor for the Next-Generation GPS Control Segment and as a Squadron Commander assigned to the National Reconnaissance Office.
Justin Fiaschetti is the CEO and Co-Founder of Inversion. Inversion was founded in 2021 and provides of rapid, responsive cargo delivery services to Earth from space using orbital re-entry vehicles. After being accepted to and completing Silicon Valley’s prestigious Y Combinator incubator program in 2021, Inversion secured $15 million in seed funding. Earlier this year, Justin and his co-founder were named to Forbes 30 Under 30 in the Manufacturing & Industry category for the successful and rapid growth of Inversion.
Mr. Rogers is responsible for Rocket Lab’s global launch portfolios across commercial and government customers. With a career spanning space and launch segments, Mr. Rogers brings a transformative perspective to U.S. Government and Allies’ developmental and operational systems.
Before joining Rocket Lab, Mr. Rogers was Advanced Systems Manager at Ball Aerospace, leading technology development programs for Defense and Intelligence customers across spacecraft and remote sensing payloads. Mr. Rogers’ aerospace career includes leadership roles in launch vehicle design, manufacturing, and launch support of the Atlas V, Delta IV, and Vulcan-Centaur launch vehicles with United Launch Alliance, and systems engineering of the Ares launch vehicles at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.
Mr. Rogers holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado, a Master of Science in Mechatronics Engineering from the University of Denver, and a Master of Business Administration from Colorado State University.
Chief Master Sergeant Ronald E. Lerch is the Senior Enlisted Leader for the Intelligence Directorate, Space Systems Command, Los Angeles AFB, CA. Chief Lerch is the top enlisted advisor to the Director for all issues affecting personnel readiness and welfare, and for talent management of assigned forces. He oversees intelligence efforts aimed at driving Space Force acquisition programs and instilling a threat-centric culture for over 19,000 military and civilian members.
Colonel Joyce Bulson is the Director for the newly established Servicing, Mobility, and Logistics Program Office, located at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. In this role, Colonel Bulson is responsible for addressing the Department of Defense’s In-Orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (ISAM) requirements as the U. S. Space Force has been designated as the lead service for these activities. Colonel Bulson is also responsible for addressing the service’s third of five core competencies of “Space Mobility and Logistics.”
Colonel Bulson was commissioned in 2002
through the Reserve Officer Training Corps
(ROTC) program at the University of Notre Dame
where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree
in Science-Business. She received her first two master’s degrees in Space Systems and R&D management from the Air Force Institute of Technology. Her third master’s degree was earned through the Intermediate Development Education program with follow-on assignment to the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA).
She has served in various program management roles with responsibilities including acquisition approval and reporting for Acquisition Category (ACAT) 1C and ACAT 1D programs, contract management for launch site support and integration, and System Engineering and Technical Assistance contracts. Notable staff assignments included serving as a Legislative Liaison on behalf of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), serving as a Program Element Monitor for the Air Force’s Launch, Range, and Networks Portfolio, and serving as the Military Assistant to the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for Space Programs (SAF/SP). She completed two command assignments, one as a Squadron Commander at USAFA and the second as a Materiel Leader at the NRO where she was responsible for planning, programming, budgeting, and executing a $4B launch service portfolio.
Colonel Mark A. Shoemaker is the Commander, Space Launch Delta 30 and Western Launch and Test Range, Vandenberg Space Force Base, California. He commands spacelift and range operations in support of national and combatant commander requirements and supports operational and developmental missile system testing for the Department of Defense. He is responsible for $8.4B in assets, a $280M annual budget, installations spanning more than 118,000 and over 11,000 military, civilian, and contractor personnel.
Colonel Shoemaker commissioned in December 1996 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Iowa State University as a Distinguished Graduate, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He entered Active Duty in February 1997. His career includes various technical, programmatic, and operational assignments, including multiple positions in space acquisition and as a squadron operations officer and squadron commander in space launch. He has headquarters staff experience with duties in the Directorate for Space Acquisition on the Air Staff, the National Reconnaissance Office, and the staff of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Prior to his current assignment, he was the Chief of Staff for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Information and Integration Portfolio Management) in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense of Acquisition and Sustainment. Most recently, he was the Vice Commander for Space Launch Delta 45.
Colonel Shannon DaSilva is the Deputy Director of Operations, Space Systems Command (S3) and the AA3/5/8 for the Assured Access to Space (AATS) mission at Patrick SFB, Florida. She leads the team responsible to the Field Command Commander for enterprise integration, space access, and future operations.
Prior to her current job, Col DaSilva worked on the Headquarters Space Force Staff as the Director for Joint Matters, and for the first Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy as the Deputy Director of Space Strategy and Plans. In both staff roles, she advised the nation’s most senior civilian and military space leaders during the standup of the Nation’s newest armed service focused on the space domain.
Colonel DaSilva entered the Air Force in 2003 as a Distinguished Graduate of the Boilermaker Reserve Officer Training Corps at Purdue University. Her assignments include missile operations crew culminating in Senior Combat Crew Commander Instructor duty, and spacelift range certifications as both a Range Control Officer and a Mission Flight Control Officer providing on-console public safety oversight for over 20 spacelift missions including flyout of the Space Shuttle and first-ever Falcon 9 NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services mission. Colonel DaSilva also served four years in the National Reconnaissance Office at the Aerospace Data Facility Colorado, working program management, flight operations and mission operations. She commanded the 2d Space Warning Squadron, leading 110 active duty, reserve and multinational personnel responsible for 24/7 operations and maintenance of the $32.2B Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS), charged with decisive first-detect, first-report assessment of worldwide missile launches to combatant commanders, allies, the Secretary of Defense and the President. Colonel DaSilva transferred to the United States Space Force in October 2020.
COLONEL EDWARD G. FERGUSON Colonel Edward G. Ferguson is the Chief, Advanced Warfighter Capabilities and Resources Analysis Division (J81) and the Director, Space Technical Analysis Group (STAG), at United States Space Command (USSPACECOM), Schriever Space Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado. As J81, he analyzes warfighter gaps and identifies future capability solutions in support of USSPACECOM objectives; and leads all Science, Technology and Advanced Concepts efforts to accelerate development, prototyping or demonstration of new technologies or concepts. As the STAG director, he produces technical assessments, performs analyses, and integrates results to support planning and decision making on behalf of the Commander of USSPACECOM. Col Ferguson began his Air Force career in 2001 as a Physicist after graduating from the Colorado School of Mines. He received his commission through ROTC Detachment 105 at the University of Colorado – Boulder. He has held a variety of acquisitions, ICBM combat crew and staff positions. Col Ferguson was a CSAF Blue Horizons Fellow, a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Service Chief’s Fellow, is a graduate of Naval War College Navy Command and Staff program as a Gravely Scholar, and graduate of the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies.
Col Ferguson has deployed as the Executive Officer, 379th Expeditionary Mission Support Group in support of Operations ENDURING and IRAQI FREEDOM and Combined Joint Task
Force – Horn of Africa, and as an Operations Analyst in the Strategy Division of the U.S. Air Forces Central Command Air and Space Operations Center in support of Operations ENDURING and IRAQI FREEDOM.
Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO
Master of Science in Physics, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
Air and Space Basic Course, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL
Squadron Officer School, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL, To
Brigadier General Kristin L. Panzenhagen is quad hatted as Program Executive Officer (PEO) for Assured Access to Space; Commander, Space Launch Delta (SLD) 45; Director of the Eastern Range; and Director of Launch and Range Operations, Space Systems Command (SSC/S3). She also serves as the Space Force University Partnership Program
Co-Champion for Purdue University. As PEO, she is responsible for organizing, training and equipping 22,000 government and contractor personnel at SLD 45 at Patrick Space Force Base (SFB) and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (SFS), SLD 30 at Vandenberg SFB, and the Assured Access Directorate at Los Angeles and Kirtland Air Force Bases. She leads the acquisition, integration, development, production, operation, and sustainment of the $13.5B National Security Space Launch Program, Rocket System Launch Program, and Launch and Test Range System Program. She is responsible for base infrastructure for more than 15,000 military, civilians, contractors, and dependents at Patrick SFB, Cape Canaveral SFS, and Ascension Island. She also leads the safe and secure payload processing and launching of U.S. government and commercial satellites from Cape Canaveral SFS. As the U.S. Space Force Director of the Eastern Range–a 15-million-square-mile area with approximately 90 launches in 2023 on Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Atlas V, Delta IV Heavy, U.S. Navy’s Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile, and Astra Rocket 3–she is the final approval authority for all launches, landings, and DoD testing to include Kennedy Space Center satellites and human spaceflight. As Director of Launch and Range Operations, she provides policy guidance and resources for the Space Force’s $30B Eastern and Western Range space launch, ballistic missile test and hypersonic support range portfolios. General Panzenhagen entered the Air Force as a Distinguished Graduate of the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Purdue University in 2000.