In brief:

Brig. Gen. Kristin Panzenhagen was tapped as the next commander of Space Launch Delta 45. She replaces Maj. Gen. Purdy who is moving to the Department of the Air Force as military deputy for space acquisition

WASHINGTON — The Department of the Air Force selected Brig. Gen. Kristin Panzenhagen as the next commander of Space Launch Delta 45, the Space Force unit that oversees launch operations in the Eastern Range.

Panzenhagen will replace Maj. Gen. Stephen Purdy who also serves as program executive officer for assured access to space under the Space Systems Command.

Purdy, who assumed command of Space Launch Delta 45 at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida, in January 2021, will be moving to the Pentagon to become military deputy to Frank Calvelli, assistant secretary of the Air Force for space acquisition and integration.

Calvelli’s current military deputy is Maj. Gen. Steve Whitney. 

Praise from Calvelli

Panzenhagen’s most recent assignments were as senior military assistant to the undersecretary of the Air Force, and senior material leader of the Integrated Ground Enterprise Directorate at the National Reconnaissance Office.

The change of command is currently scheduled for June 30.

In a message distributed to the Space Force acquisition staff earlier this week, Calvelli congratulated Panzenhagen and Purdy.

Calvelli noted that Purdy during his tenure as head of Space Launch Delta 45 oversaw the launch of 17 national security space missions.

He also credited Purdy for leading “Spaceport of the Future” initiatives, and securing over $1 billion in funding for infrastructure upgrades.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...