U.S. Space Force Deployed to Minnesota to aid in vaccine effort


Space Force Spc. 3 Jesse Gross,  assigned to the 628th Communication Squadron at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, supports the St. Paul, Minnesota COVID-19 vaccination mission.

The St. Paul Community Vaccination Center just recently administered its 10,000th COVID-19 vaccine on April 16.

“I’m a medical supply runner here,” Gross said. “So I gather the vaccines and all the other supplies that the vaccinators may need to do their jobs.”

Helping people is one of the most rewarding aspects of the mission for Gross.

“The most rewarding part of doing this mission is knowing that we’re helping people,” he said. “We’re helping the community, and we’re helping people get back to normal. So that feels really good to me.”

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Gross’s participation in the federal vaccination effort signifies the contribution made by every single DOD branch of service across the country.

Along with the Space Force, there are service members from the Army, Air Force, Army National Guard and the Coast Guard at the St. Paul vaccination center. Together, they combine their efforts at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide vaccines to the surrounding community.

“This helps build the tradition of the Space Force by helping out,” Gross said. “We’re brand new and just starting up. There are still things falling into place, but when there is a mission to do, we’re right back on it.”

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The Space Force is a military service that organizes, trains and equips space forces in order to protect U.S. and allied interests in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force. The Space Force’s responsibilities include developing guardians, acquiring military space systems, maturing the military doctrine for space power, and organizing space forces to present to  combatant commands.

“I decided to join the Space Force because I thought it would be a really cool opportunity to be a part of something brand new,” Gross said. “I also thought it would be great to leave my mark on something.”

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