An officer in the country’s youngest military branch, the Space Force, made history when she first joined a Marine Expeditionary Unit in September, according to a Marine Corps press release.
First Lt. Rio Sarmiento transferred from the Air Force to the Space Force on September 17, when Marine Corps Col. Michael Nakonieczny called her to the new service aboard the amphibious assault ship America during his deployment as part of the 31st.
“It was an honor to be transferred from the Air Force to the Space Force by the 31st MEU commander on a naval ship,” Sarmiento said in the press release.
The Space Force recently deployed a squadron of 20 soldiers to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar for its first overseas deployment since its inception on December 20, 2019.
Sarmiento, assigned to the 16th Space Control Squadron, will assume the role of the Space Force’s liaison officer charged with assessing and improving the MEU’s “space capabilities,” the press release said.
“Ensuring that mission planners understand the space capabilities available to them during the mission planning process is a necessity rather than a luxury, as space applies to all domains,” Sarmiento said in the press release.
“We want to equip our combined forces with the essential skills to remain deadly and competitive against opponents,” she added.
The 31st MEU is currently deployed in the Pacific Ocean near Japan as part of the US 7th Fleet’s area of operations, the statement said.