The weekly base newspaper Space & Missile Times ends publication this week.
Commanders at Vandenberg Air Force Base blamed frequent deployments and limited manpower for ending publication. Space & Missile Times was published each Friday.
“It?s a big surprise to a lot of people,” Staff Sgt. Allen Puckett said. “We?re not the first people to go paperless.”
The base newspaper became Space & Missile Times in the 1990s with the merger of space and missile units under one command. Before that, the Vandenberg newspaper Mesa Missilier had published for at least four decades.
Base contracting officials last month notified contractor Lee Central Coast Newspapers, which owns the Santa Maria Times, the Lompoc Record and several weeklies in the area, of plans to end the paper.
Under a contract awarded after a bidding process, advertising was sold by Lee Central Coast Newspapers. The base paper also is printed by the firm.
“Due to manpower reductions and deployments … the Public Affairs Office has been impacted by a 44 percent reduction in personnel,” contracting officer Jeffrey E. Powell wrote in a letter announcing the contract?s termination.