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First 7 Space Force direct enlistees graduate from basic training

Basic military training trainees take the Oath of Enlistment during their graduation ceremony, Dec. 10 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Photo by Sarayuth Pinthong/U.S. Air Force
Basic military training trainees take the Oath of Enlistment during their graduation ceremony, Dec. 10 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Photo by Sarayuth Pinthong/U.S. Air Force

Dec. 15 (UPI) -- The first seven people to enlist directly into the U.S. Space Force have graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

The five men and two women, who graduated Dec. 10, were among 414 recruits who completed seven and a half weeks of training, according to an Air Force announcement.

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Training began Oct. 20 following the recruits' swearing-in at Fort George G. Meade Military Entrance Processing Station in Fort Meade, Md.

The new Space Professionals are Amy Biggers, Virginia Beach, Va.; Giahna Brown, Woodbridge, Va.; Delvano Brown, Gaithersburg, Md.; Benjamin Nevoraski, Virginia Beach, Va.; Shane Brown, Elijah Engelby, Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Nathan Ramage, Falcon, Colo.

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At the graduation ceremony, Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett spoke about three Airmen who represent the Air Force's ideals of integrity, service and excellence, including Lt. Gen. Susan Helms, who flew more than 30 different types of aircraft as an Air Force test pilot and then served 12 years as an astronaut.

"General Helms was the first U.S. military woman in space. She still holds the world record for the longest spacewalk - 8 hours and 56 minutes," Barrett said.

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Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond" also spoke to the graduates before administering the Oath of Enlistment.

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"I need you to be bold," Raymond said. "You will help us build this service from the ground up. You will help us define our warfighting culture. You will build the Space Force as the first digital service."

You will lay the foundation of a service that is innovative and can go fast in order to stay ahead of a significant and growing threat, and you, if deterrence fails, will fight and win the battle for space superiority which is so vital to our nation, our allies and our joint and coalition forces," Raymond said, adding that "the nation expects you to deliver dominant Spacepower."

The seven Space Force Professionals will attend Space Systems Operations technical training at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base, then perform a range of duties including detecting ballistic missiles and tracking satellites to assisting in rocket launches and space flight operations.

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According to the Air Force, the number of Space Force trainees will continue to increase over time, and the force will recruit about 300 enlisted members through the end of the fiscal year.

There are currently another 13 trainees in basic training, with more scheduled to arrive this month.

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