16 EWS honors service members, pays tribute to Delta heritage ahead of deployment

  • Published
  • By Emily Peacock

Guardians and family members from Space Delta 3 – Space Electromagnetic Warfare’s 16th Electromagnetic Warfare Squadron gathered for a pre-deployment flag folding ceremony here Dec. 7, 2023.  
The ceremony paid tribute to the Guardians and Airmen from the 161st, 162d, and 163d EW Combat Detachments ahead of their upcoming deployments and included a demonstration by the Peterson SFB honor guard.  

“The ritual of flag folding holds deep meaning and embodies the values, sacrifices, and unwavering spirit of this great nation,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Andrew Buck, commander of the 380th Electromagnetic Warfare Squadron. “As we perform this revered ceremony today, it’s essential to reflect on a dynamic that has started to shape our global arena and highlights the urgency for these deployment detachments.”  

During the ceremony, three American flags were folded and passed from members of the color guard to U.S. Space Force Col. Nicole Petrucci, commander of DEL 3, who then passed the flags to members of each of the deploying detachments.  

From here, the flags travel with service members to their deployed locations and are hung in their operations floor. When the deployment is complete and the service members have returned to Peterson SFB, the flag is folded and retired, forever encased in a shadow box and proudly displayed in the squadron’s heritage room. 

When addressing her deploying service members and their families, Petrucci referenced Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall’s 2022 remarks about the U.S.’s push for technological and operational superiority, emphasizing the strategic importance of DEL 3 deployments. 

“During President George Washington’s first state of the union address, he said ‘to be prepared for war is one the most effectual means of preserving peace,’” said Petrucci. “It is our job to deter, to be ready and to preserve that peace.” 

Ahead of the holidays, Petrucci reminded those in attendance to look out for each other – for those both home and away. 

“Look around you,” said Petrucci. “Always remember that you are cared for, loved and that we are here to support you. Be careful out there – I’m excited to see how you grow together and sharpen one another.” 

DEL 3 trains and presents operational combat-ready space electromagnetic warfare forces in support of assigned missions. DEL 3 is headquartered at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado.