April 07 through 08 2004 I had to travel to Vandenberg Air Force Base.  It would be my first trip out there, I had to get a badge and take a safety course.  I flew into Santa Maria airport and drove to Lompoc, where I stayed while at VADB.  Kevin Phillips was already out there and met me at the Astrotech Facility.

LAX Airport, El Segundo California. En-Route to Santa Maria, California. En-Route to Santa Maria, California.

View from my seat.

The cabin of the aircraft.

View outside the window at LAX.

En-Route to Santa Maria, California. En-Route to Santa Maria, California. En-Route to Santa Maria, California.

View from the plane.

In the air.

In the air.

En-Route to Santa Maria, California. En-Route to Santa Maria, California. En-Route to Santa Maria, California.
     
En-Route to Santa Maria, California. En-Route to Santa Maria, California. En-Route to Santa Maria, California.
     
Santa Maria to VAFB Santa maria to VAFB Santa Maria to VAFB

The drive was peaceful and a lot of fun.  The area is wide open and it is mostly rolling hills.

The road along the way. 

 
Santa Maria to VAFB Vandenberg AFB Vandenberg AFB
  The entrance to the base.  It took a while to get my badge and then I had to navigate a huge base with a very basic map.  To make matters worse, the GPS did not include the roads for Vandenberg AFB. Scenes along the way to the Astrotech Facility.
Vandenberg Air Force Base. Vandenberg Air Force Base. Astrotech Facility, VAFB.
The base was as vast as I have ever seen. More VAFB. Kevin Phillips met me at the facility.  It was very windy and somewhat chilly.
Astrotech Facility, VAFB. Astrotech Facility, VAFB. Astrotech Facility, VAFB.
The Astrotech building.  Astrotech is a company that runs launch operations for our group at Vandenberg.  The building is not much to look at. Bill Hansell in the parking lot.  The wind was blowing really hard.  VAFB is always cold and windy.  Inside the building, our group was given an office.  The office was not used all that often, but it did have internet hookups and was useful. 
Astrotech Facility, VAFB. Vandenberg AFB to Lompoc Vandenberg AFB to Lompoc
Kevin Phillips in the OMI/IAM team office. Following Kevin back to Lompoc. Trying to keep up with Kevin, who drives very fast.
Holiday Inn Express, Lompoc CA. Holiday Inn Express, Lompoc, CA. Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA.
Kevin Phillips at the Hotel. Kevin Phillips The drive in to work.  The day before it was sunny, this day was socked in with fog.
Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA.
Some of the scenery along the way. The assembly area. The Facility.  Basically, the one side with Astrotech, a long road, then the control room and the satellite. 
Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA.
The assembly area. The assembly area. More of the area.
Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA.
Looking from the Astrotech building to the road.  The guard house on right controlled a gate that let you in and out. Another view of the exit to the place.  The guardshack was not manned, you had to swipe a card to get through. The place we were at was called the Payload Processing Facility. 
Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. Fred Reardon House, Redondo Beach, CA. Fred Reardon House, Redondo Beach, CA.
The road out. I visited Fred before I went home, and took photos of his cat. I tried to visit Fred as often as possible.
Fred Reardon House, Redondo Beach, CA. Fred Reardon House, Redondo Beach, CA. Fred Reardon House, Redondo Beach, CA.