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Son of Yuma man helps manage one of the largest space and missile complexes in the world
Air Force Staff Sgt. Charles Richardson Jr., son of Charles Richardson of Yuma, is playing an important part in America's military space mission at Vandenberg Air Force Base, as a member of the Air Force's 30th Space Wing.
The wing manages the Department of Defense space and missile testing mission, as well as the placement of satellites to polar orbit from the West Coast. Richardson is a contracting specialist with the 30th Contracting Squadron at Vandenberg.
“I help ensure assets and services are in place to accomplish the mission,” said Richardson, who graduated in 1993 from George Washington High School in San Francisco.
In addition to Richardson and his unit, the Vandenberg mission also includes the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle mission, dealing with nuclear threats, training students in the missile fields and the growing demand for Global Positioning System coverage.
“The work I do helps ensure Americas preeminence and leadership position in space technology,” Richardson said. “If assets and services aren't deployed or purchased in a timely and efficient manner, delays and mission failure is possible. This costs the taxpayer money.”
With its unique mission and isolated location, Richardson and his fellow Vandenberg airmen feel they have a lot to offer to the space and missile missions.
“The best part of this job is that I get the chance to meet and speak with business owners on an equivalent footing,” Richardson said. “I get to see how they operate their business and get glimpses of their behind-the-scenes decision making. It's an invaluable learning experience for a business professional.”
You won't find Richardson and the other men and women at Vandenberg strolling down Rodeo Drive or taking a run across Venice beach, but you will find them in the middle of one of the military's busiest and most important space and missile missions within the Department of Defense, and maybe passing a cow or two along the way.