An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | Feb. 6, 2024

Top Space Force Doctor Leads Seminar with Guard Space Ops Directorate

By National Guard Bureau Public Affairs

WASHINGTON – Air Force Col. Dr. Lidia Ilcus, Space Force deputy director of medical operations and chief of aerospace medicine operations and policy, spoke to a group of space operations leaders at the Pentagon during the Aldebaran Lecture, a monthly professional development lecture series hosted by the National Guard Bureau Space Operations directorate.

Ilcus shed light on the medical field’s role in space operations, not just for the well-being and success of astronauts on space missions, but also for its applications on Earth in support of terrestrial-based space operations performed by Space Force personnel.

“Space superiority is predicated on human systems integration of ready, reliable, fit Guardians, and it is our privilege to enable the Guardian warfighter for their critical missions,” Ilcus said during her January remarks.

Space medicine, a niche within aerospace medicine, started as a discipline for ensuring astronaut health and mission accomplishment. This specialized branch of medicine addresses the unique challenges Space Force personnel face in extreme conditions or very specialized mission sets. 

“The U.S. Space Force Medical Operations Directorate is tasked with strategically and operationally ensuring human performance optimization for our Guardian warfighters,” Ilcus said.

In her talk, Ilcus highlighted the need for continuous development and innovation in space medicine. She noted that lessons learned from space travel are invaluable in advancing medical knowledge and practices on Earth. 

Ilcus previously served as a mission control flight surgeon, an astronaut support physician, commanded an Air Force medical group, and was a field physician with Doctors Without Borders.

Air Force Maj. Gen. Ed Vaughan, director of space operations with the National Guard Bureau, presented her with a plaque in recognition of her contributions to space readiness and expressed gratitude to Ilcus on behalf of the NGB Space Operations division and the 1,200 National Guard members serving in the space operations field. 



Related Articles
Air Force Staff Sgt. Javin Delgado, an electronic warfare specialist with the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing, prepares to calibrate electronic warfare equipment as Senior Airman Oscar Mendoza, a space systems operator with the 148th Space Operations Squadron, looks on during Vulcan Guard Bolt 6, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, March 27, 2024. Though not part of the mission planning portion of the space-focused exercise, Delgado and Mendoza showcased EW assets to Vulcan Guard participants and distinguished visitors.
National Guard-led Space Exercise Helps Build Programs for NATO Partners
By Air Force Master Sgt. Erich B.Smith, | April 8, 2024
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany – About 50 members of the Air National Guard and Romanian and Polish Armed Forces focused on space as a warfighting domain during exercise Vulcan Guard Bolt 6 at NATO’s Allied Air Command in late...

Air Force Master Sgt. Ryan Colon, pictured here as a technical sergeant with the Florida Air National Guard’s 114th Electromagnetic Warfare Squadron, poses in front of space-based equipment at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, June 29, 2022. Colon is the first enlisted Airman in the Air National Guard to graduate from the Space Warfighter Advanced Instructor Course at the U.S. Air Force Weapons School in Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.
Weapons School Produces Guard Leaders in Growing Space Domain
By Master Sgt. Erich B. Smith, | Oct. 17, 2023
ARLINGTON, Va. - In the heart of Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base, a select group of Air National Guard members hone their expertise at the Air Force Weapons School in the most crucial battlefront of the future: space. They...

Members of the Vulcan Guard BOLT 5 exercise stand for a group photo Aug. 10, 2023, during Vulcan Guard, a space-focused exercise incorporating several diverse space weapons systems in realistic threat-based scenarios and hosted at the 178th Wing in Springfield, Ohio. Personnel from all seven National Guard states that conduct space operations, U.S. Space Command and the Brazilian military participated in the week-long exercise.
Airmen Train for Space Operations During Vulcan Guard
By Airman 1st Class Colin Simpson, | Aug. 14, 2023
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - The Ohio Air National Guard’s 178th Wing hosted an iteration of the Vulcan Guard space exercise Aug. 10-11, bringing together U.S. Space Command, the Brazilian military and all seven National Guard states...