AFRL-hosted Space Delta 2 Detachment welcomes new commander
KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL) — U.S. Space Force Space Operations Command’s Space Delta 2 Commander Col. Marc Brock officiated a change of command ceremony July 7, 2022, for Delta 2, Detachment 2 in which Maj. James Banta relinquished command to Maj. Jin Kim.
Headquartered at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Space Delta 2 is the Space Force’s space domain awareness, or SDA, delta, tracking and monitoring all manmade objects from low Earth orbit to geosynchronous orbit and further out to deep space. Det. 2’s mission is to help transition novel optical SDA capabilities from research to the operational environment.
“I commend Maj. Banta for his leadership and dedication in establishing Det. 2 from the ground up, to fully operational status,” Brock said. “This is no small feat, and he has largely done this without much direction, attesting to James’ ability as a leader.”
Det. 2 was activated in September 2020, and is hosted by AFRL’s Directed Energy Directorate Starfire Optical Range, or SOR, a world-renowned research and development telescope site.
“Building this team and standing up Det. 2 has been an amazing adventure and awesome experience with some challenges along the way,” Banta said. “We couldn’t have done it without the AFRL team helping us to get what we needed to become operational. Col. [Pete] Norton [AFRL Directed Energy Directorate’s Space Electro-Optics division chief] made us feel welcome as though we were part of the SOR family.”
In addition, Banta said Det. 2 received support from its sister unit at the recently activated 15th Space Surveillance Squadron in Maui, Hawaii, at the AFRL Directed Energy Directorate’s other premier telescope operation, the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing site that houses the Maui Space Surveillance System of world-class telescopes.
Incoming commander, Kim, joins Space Delta 2 from a flight commander position with the National Reconnaissance Office. Brock assured those gathered at the ceremony that Kim will be an “exceptional leader” for Det. 2.
“Maj. Banta has excelled in standing up Det. 2, and I feel fortunate to assume command of such a well-functioning unit,” Kim said. “I’ll be the one who spends most of his time taking care of you, the team that performs our important operational mission. I look forward to working alongside you and being part of the AFRL family.”
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit: www.afresearchlab.com.