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Col. highlights STEM program in State of VAFB address

VIDEO: Minuteman III launches from Vandenberg AFB
Posted at 5:33 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 22:27:43-05

Col. David Rickards of the U.S. Space Force gave the second annual State of Vanderberg Air Force Base address on Thursday.

He highlighted the five launches in 2020 and the handful currently scheduled for 2021.

Col. Rickards also mentioned the opening of the Department of Defense's 69th Starbase program in October.

The education program lets local 5th-graders explore science, technology, engineering and math careers at the base firsthand.

"The goal, no matter what, is to motivate students of all ages to explore STEM opportunities as they continue their education," Col. Rickards said. "We in the military want to reach out to students who are historically underrepresented in STEM careers, so we're grateful that Starbase helps us to do just that."

The Zoom call was hosted by the Lompoc Valley and Santa Maria Valley Chambers of Commerce.

The next launch for Vandenberg Air Force Base is currently scheduled for March 14. It will be the maiden flight for Firefly Aerospace's Alpha rocket.