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National Guard top Space Officer Visits N.Y. Guard Space Unit

  • Published
  • By Patrick Young,
  • New York Air National Guard

ROME, New York – Maj. Gen. Edward Vaughan, the National Guard Bureau’s Space Operations director, praised the Airmen of the New York National Guard’s 222nd Command and Control Squadron during a Sept. 9 visit to the unit’s headquarters.

The Airmen of the 222nd support the National Reconnaissance Office is responsible for the United States surveillance satellites. The unit supports Space Force operations, although it is a part of the Air National Guard.

“The New York Air National Guard’s 222nd Command and Control Squadron fully embodies the U.S. Space Force’s new mission statement to secure our nation’s interests in, from, and to space,” Vaugh said.

The reason for the unit’s success, Vaughan said, is because the personnel are very good at their jobs.

“More than half of the 222nd Command and Control Squadron members hold civilian employment in the intelligence community or with private sector space contractors. This provides high-quality expertise and readiness to deter or fight in the next war,” Vaughan said.

“New York is one of seven National Guard space states, with the 222nd Command and Control Squadron providing outstanding front-line capability to the U.S. Space Force and the National Reconnaissance Office,” Vaughan said.

Vaughan said that the 222nd Command and Control Squadron has also played a key role in the New York National Guard’s State Partnership Program relationship with Brazil. Vaughan said that the squadron has sent space operations experts to Brazil to work with their space operations teams as part of the training exchange program.

Col. Frank Casavant, the squadron commander, said it was an honor for the unit to host Vaughan.

It was an excellent opportunity to show Vaughan the role the 222nd plays in supporting the National Reconnaissance Officer and the Air Force Research Laboratory, which is also located in Rome, Casavant said.

Col. Andrew Carlson, the commander of the 107th Attack Wing, the 222nd’s higher headquarters, said that the 222nd has a unique relationship with the National Reconnaissance Office by providing surge and contingency capabilities critical to the space mission. When the office needs additional manpower, they call on the 222nd, he explained.

During the visit, Vaughan presented Senior Airman Max Dean with a military challenge coin for superior performance.

“It was exciting to be recognized by Maj. Gen. Vaughan and I am grateful to the 222nd for empowering me with the opportunity to be a significant contributor to the mission,” he said.

Vaughan also praised Capt. Juan Carlos Nieves-Perez, a 222nd Command and Control Squadron member who initially joined the active-duty Air Force to support space operations, transferred to the Space Force upon its establishment and later joined the National Guard. Vaughan said that Nieves-Perez’s journey reflects the dynamic and evolving nature of space operations.