Santa Barbara County is considered a high-cost area. Compared to the rest of the country, Santa Barbara County's cost of living is 68% higher than the U.S. average. Santa Barbara County housing marketing is quite high. The median price listings for homes in Lompoc, CA are $560,000.00. The average rental cost for a two-bedroom apartment is $2300.00.
Unexploded ammunition may be found on the base. It is important to inform family members and guests to not touch anything that looks suspicious and to report it to Explosive Ordinance Disposal at 805-605-1374, during duty hours, or 805-606-9961 during non-duty hours. This information is briefed at the Newcomer's Orientation, and spouses are encouraged to attend.
Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is a concern. There is a state-wide quarantine on the harvesting of some shellfish (especially mussels, clams, and oysters) from all California beaches, including those at VSFB, from at least May 1st to Oct 31st each year. This quarantine is in effect because small ocean micro-organisms (dinoflagellates) produce a toxin, especially during the warmer summer months. This nerve toxin is not destroyed by cooking. Eating shellfish containing the poison (even a single shellfish) can result in fatal illness.
Passports and Visas
Ensure member and/or dependents have the required passports and/or visa prior to final out-processing. Member and/or dependents are not allowed to final out-process without the required passports/visas in hand for themselves (if applicable) and/or dependents. Members electing the accompanied tour will not be permitted to out-process without having the required passports/visas in hand for themselves (if applicable) and/or dependents.
These actions are necessary to prevent unforeseen hardships to the military members and their families. Therefore, as a last reiteration, it is essential, members do not out-process without having the appropriate passports/visas for themselves (if applicable) and/or dependents.
Snowy Plover nesting season
Vandenberg beaches close Mar. 1 to Sept. 30 as nesting season begins for the western snowy plover. To aid the species' recovery, portions of Vandenberg's beaches are closed and access is restricted during the bird's nesting season.
Beach rules include:
Vandenberg Space Force Base has closed the restricted sections of Surf, Wall and Minuteman Beaches on March 1 in observance of the Western Snowy Plover breeding season. Certain areas of each beach will remain open for recreational access; however, it is imperative beachgoers know the boundaries and ensure they do not violate the restricted areas.
It is extremely important to understand that restricted area boundaries extend from the posted signs all the way down to the waterline and beyond. These beach restrictions are enforced annually on all three beaches from March 1 through Sept. 30 to protect the western snowy plover, listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, and its nesting habitat.
Defense Service Network (DSN) Dialing Instructions
The DSN is the provider of long-distance communications service for the Department of Defense (DoD). Every installation has a special DSN number and the numbers vary by world-wide location. In order to place a call using DSN, the caller must be using a military phone on an installation. Cell phones cannot dial DSN numbers. When dialing a DSN number from a United States installation to another United States installation, it is unnecessary to dial the DSN 312 area code. When dialing a DSN number to/from overseas locations, the DSN area code must be included. The operator can be reached at commercial 719-567-1110. Please note that long distance charges may be incurred.
The Space Launch Delta 30 mission is to provide robust, relevant, efficient range and spaceport capabilities for the nation.
Vandenberg’s space lift and range operations support national and combatant commander requirements, in addition to supporting operational and development missile system testing for the Department of Defense.
Priorities: Promote, Provide, Protect
Vandenberg Space Force Base (SFB) contains 99,604 acres of land, operates approximately 16 launch facilities and complexes, and maintains the second largest airfield runway in the Department of Defense, which is 15,000 feet long. The installation provides a safe location for the testing of new and existing Department of Defense sanctioned programs, government and commercial launch and range services, as well as offers future space lift and land based mission capabilities in support of the National Defense Strategy. Vandenberg was originally established as the Camp Cooke U.S. Army garrison in August of 1941. The installation was used for Army tank, infantry, and artillery training during World War II, and again during the Korean War. In 1957, the installation property was transferred to the recently established U.S. Air Force and was soon transformed into the nation’s West Coast space and missile facility that is now Vandenberg SFB. The unique geographic location of Vandenberg makes this major range and test facility base a safe and ideal setting to test land based strategic deterrent assets, and to safely place satellite payloads into polar earth orbit.
The requirement for the United States to construct a launch facility on the West coast derived from the need to match and overcome Russia’s space launch capabilities during the Cold War. Russia launched the first man-made satellite, Sputnik into low earth orbit on 4 October 1957, which started the “Space Race” between the United States and Russia. In response to the Sputnik launch, the United States Air Force accelerated the development of the space and missile program that was in its infancy. On 1 January 1958, Strategic Air Command (SAC) assumed responsibility for attaining the initial operational capability of the U.S. land based strategic deterrent missile force, as well as conducting training for missile launch crews. Air Research and Development Command (ARDC) retained responsibility for the Vandenberg launch facility construction, as well as concurrently conduct research and development of launch vehicles.
Lineage of Space Launch Delta 30
The Space Launch Delta 30 unit lineage and honors derive from its predecessor units; the 30th Space Wing, the Western Space and Missile Center (WSMC) (wing equivalent) and the Air Force Western Test Range (AFWTR) (wing equivalent). On 5 May 1964, the AFWTR activated at Vandenberg AFB. After the U.S. Navy transferred their 20,000 acre Point Arguello Launch Complex located on present day South Vandenberg SFB, a network of instrumentation sites were constructed along the California Coast and downrange on islands throughout the Pacific to support the ballistic, space and aeronautical operations conducted by AFWTR. A further 14,900 acres were acquired by the Air Force in 1966 with the transfer of the Sudden Ranch land area on South Vandenberg that was necessary to support future launch activity and safe launch and range activities.
The AFWTR inactivated on 1 April 1970 and the unit later redesignated at Vandenberg as the Western Space and Missile Center (WSMC) (wing equivalent) on 1 October 1979. WSMC fulfilled major national programs during its tenure that continues to provide many of the infrastructure and Western range architecture capabilities that the 30th Space Wing and Space Launch Delta 30 utilized. Major programs constructed and operated during the WSMC operational existence at Vandenberg include the Air Force Space Shuttle Program and the Peacekeeper ballistic missile development program. WSMC later reorganized to become the 30th Space Wing on 19 November 1991. With the establishment of the United States Space Force in 2019, and after various organizational restructuring, the 30th Space Wing was redesignated as Space Launch Delta 30 on 14 May 2021. Space Launch Delta 30 transitioned from Space Operations Command as the parent headquarters since 20 December 2019, to Space Systems Command, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base on 13 August 2021.
Lompoc: 45,047; Santa Maria: 112,752 Santa Barbara County: 455,528
There are approx. 2600 Air Force personnel assigned, 3800 family members, 1248 DoD civilians/NAF, 2800 contractors and approximately 5,000 retirees.
Vandenberg SFB (VSFB) is located on the central coast of California, near Lompoc and Santa Maria. Lompoc, 8 miles from base, is the closest city. The small town of Vandenberg Village is located 5 miles from (VSFB). Santa Barbara County is considered a high cost area. The base encompasses over 98,000 acres, with 35 miles of pristine coastline stretching along the Pacific Ocean. It is truly a military installation in a national park setting. The zip code for the base is 93437.
Driving to the Installation from Santa Maria Airport
Exiting the airport, turn right onto Skyway Dr. Take Skyway Dr to Hwy 135, also called South Broadway, and turn right. Take Hwy 135 until it merges into Hwy 1 and follow the signs to Vandenberg SFB.
Driving to the Installation from Santa Barbara Airport
Exiting the airport head east onto Fowler Rd, and follow the signs to Hwy 101 Northbound. Turn onto Hwy 246 West towards Lompoc (about 17 miles). Just before reaching Lompoc, take the right turn onto Purisima Road (sign says Purisima Road and Vandenberg Village). Purisima Road will merge with Hwy 1 (just north of town). Follow Hwy 1 North past Vandenberg Village for about 5 miles to the VSFB Santa Maria Gate--main gate. Don't take any other turn-offs, Hwy 1 will take you to the gate.
Central Coast Shuttle provides services to and from Santa Maria, Buellton, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Airport and Ventura to Los Angeles International Airport. Visit Central Coast Shuttle and CCLAX or call 1-800-470-8818.
Arriving from the North
Travel 101 South to exit 166 Union Valley Pkwy.(ignore the exit onto Betteravia) turn right onto E Union Valley Pkwy proceed to 2nd stop light, make a left on CA-1S/CA- 135S continue for about 3 miles than use the right two lanes to merge onto CA-1 towards Vandenberg, continuew about 6.5 miles to front gate entry to VSFB.
Arriving from the South
Take Hwy 101 North to Buellton. Turn onto Hwy 246 West towards Lompoc (about 17 miles). Just before reaching Lompoc, there will be a "round about" with a first exit onto Purisima Road (sign says Purisima Road and Vandenberg Village). Purisima Road will merge with Hwy 1 (just north of town). Follow Hwy 1 North past Vandenberg Village for about 5 miles to the VSFB Santa Maria Gate--main gate. Don't take any other turn-offs, Hwy 1 will take you to the gate.
Alternate Route for Arriving from the South
Travel Hwy 101 until you get to Hwy 1 north turn off (right after the tunnel). Follow Hwy 1 for approximately 21 miles to Lompoc (this is a winding 2 and 4 lane road). Follow Hwy 1 road signs through Lompoc (H Street) to Vandenberg AFB.
For statewide highway traffic conditions, try Caltrans Highway information toll-free voice activated phone service, 800-427-7623 (800-427-ROAD). This service is available free, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You'll get up-to-the-minute road conditions for any California State highway. The information covers incidents that cause significant traffic delays, but not limited to, weather restrictions; highway closures; 1-way traffic controls; lane closures; construction and maintenance project advisories and emergencies. The service does NOT include normal commute traffic, ramp closures and traffic flow conditions.