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For new Vandenberg Space Force Base commander, the job is a return to the Central Coast

vsfb change of command 2023.jpg
Posted at 3:52 PM, Jul 13, 2023

A Change of Command ceremony was held at Vandenberg Space Force Base on Thursday.

Outgoing commander, U.S. Space Force Colonel Robert Long, relinquished command to U.S. Space Force Colonel Mark Shoemaker.

Long is retiring from the military after 26 years of active-duty service.

During the ceremony, Shoemaker reflected on his return to the Central Coast.

"As my wife, Mary, and I talked about and prepared for this assignment over the last handful of months, we often reflected on our time here from 2003 to 2006 and how when we left, the idea of coming back as commander was not even a fleeting idea in our minds, but the times have certainly changed," he said.

From August 2003 to September 2006, Shoemaker served as the Titan IV Operations Flight Commander at Vandenberg.

Most recently, he served as the Vice Commander for Operations, Space Launch Delta 45, at Patrick Space Force Base and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.