Our space guardians


The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), also known as Rome Lab, has its first three U.S. Space Force Guardians.

We want to salute these three service members for their devotion to the Lab’s mission and its commitment to Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) and Cyber science, technology, research, and development.

In a ceremony last week, Capt. William Dallmann, 1st Lt. Rufino Villena, and 1st Lt. William Skinkle swore an Oath of Office to the USSF. It was administered virtually by Dr. Joel B. Mozer, chief scientist of the USSF.

“Today marks an exciting day for me. I get the honor of joining a new branch of service while continuing to serve under the Department of the Air Force,” said Dallman. “I’ve always been fascinated by the unknowns that exist in space, so I’m looking forward to being able to contribute to future space operations.”

“The Information Directorate is excited to be collaborating with the newest branch of service and have the USSF integrated locally as we serve under one Air Force Research Laboratory,” the AFRL announcement said.

Col. Timothy Lawrence, director of Rome Lab, thanked those who organized the event, including Col. Richard Kieffer and Lt. William Skinkle. Dallmann is the Flyleaf Deputy Program Manager within the Information Systems division, Villena is the C4I Program Manager within the Computing and Communications division, and Skinkle is the Cyberspace Integration Program Manager within the Information Exploitation and Operations division. They will continue to support the USSF from the Information Directorate in Rome and play a critical role in supporting the Space Force mission, the announcement noted.

Rome Lab “leads the Air Force and nation in Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) and Cyber science, technology, research, and development,” the AFRL has said.

The Trump administration championed establishing the U.S. Space Force, culminating in legislation signed in December 2019 that formed the first U.S. armed force since the Air Force was established in 1947, said a defense.gov report in December on the selection of the “guardians” name for USSF personnel. The report said “space is now a war-fighting domain.”

The USSF “organizes, trains, and equips space forces in order to protect U.S. and allied interests in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force,” according to spaceforce.mil online. “USSF responsibilities include developing Guardians, acquiring military space systems, maturing the military doctrine for space power, and organizing space forces to present to our combatant commands.”


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