Fossa to embark on Space Force duties

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 5/6/20

COLORADO SPRINGS, C0 - Dad James Fossa may have had a hunch about his son’s future when he introduced son Tommy to the mechanics of space flight and aeronautics on his way to T-Ball.

“I …

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Fossa to embark on Space Force duties

Posted

COLORADO SPRINGS, C0 - Dad James Fossa may have had a hunch about his son’s future when he introduced son Tommy to the mechanics of space flight and aeronautics on his way to T-Ball.

“I remember at a young age that he always encouraged me that it was achievable,” said Tommy Fossa, now 30, and about to be thrust into a key position with the newly formed United States Space Force as envisioned by President Donald Trump. “I did have dad for math at Green Cove Springs Junior High School and always said I was capable.”

For James Fossa, a former Oakleaf Junior High Athletic Director in the opening year of the school and now the Clay County School District Facilities Planner and government relations coordinator, the prospect of son Tommy achieving to a space-related job at that age was not too far-fetched.

“I remember a space camp at Kennedy Space Center with Tommy strapped into the MultiAxis Trainer; riding it three times,” said James Fossa, a retired Navy Captain in the U.S. Special Operations Command with two deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. “While other kids wer puking, he was ready to go. The other dads were taking bets he would puke too...they lost.”

Fast forward nearly a decade, with Tommy Fossa finishing in 2008 at Fleming Island High School with sports accomplishments in track and cross country; a district title in the 3200 meters, and a state meet berth in cross country, then running varsity cross country and indoor/outdoor track for the Merchant Marine Academy before selecting the Air Force for his officer advancement.

“Running varsity, playing in the marching band (percussion, including the inauguration parade of President Barrack Obama) and academics was a tough triple for me at the Merchant Marine Academy, but I had envisioned myself in the military and that drove me to the Academy,” said Fossa. “One good part of the Merchant Marine Academy was a junior year totally at sea all around the world. The only negative was a pirate threat on the Red Sea. We survived, but that got me thinking toward a different path and how I chose the Air Force.”

For track, Fossa had a best of 28 minutes, 16 seconds for an 8K (4.97 miles) cross country race at the ECAC Championships in at Colt Goucher College in Baltimore on Nov. 1, 2010.

“I was a 10 minute 3200 in high school which was pretty good back then,” said Fossa. “I made some regional NCAA Division III races and was most happy with a 16:20 track 5K in outdoor track.”

After finishing at the Merchant Marine Academy with a mechanical engineer degree, Fossa, in 2012, earned a direct commission from the Air Force and started toward his space career.

In August, James Fossa will watch his son become a Major in the Space Force after a stellar career as mission commander of U.S. Air Force commands including Space Based Missile Warning Operations Center in Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado.

Fossa later had stints with the Air Force Institute of Technology in the Space Education and Assignment Program, then was Branch Chief for the Space Security and Defense Program before an August 2020 promotion into the Space Force.

“The Space Force has been an idea for a while, I think with former Joint Chief of Staff General Colin Powell, and I think President Trump put it into motion,” said Fossa. “I had the honor of briefing General John W. Raymond, the head of Space Force and the former Commander of the United States Space Command, when he came to Buckley. That was an intense assignment.”

The Space Force was authorized in 2020 with the National Defense Authorization Act approving a new, independent Space Force within the Department of the Air Force. Space Force is tasked with maintaining and enhancing the competitive edge of the Department of Defense in space.

“It doesn’t put me in space, but I would be thrilled if that happened,” said Fossa. “Since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to be an astronaut. That would be amazing and I would do that in a heartbeat.”

Fossa is married to wife, Alana, with aspirations of mastering to ski in Colorado. Alana Fossa is also an engineer (the smart one, says Tommy Fossa) with work with Galvanized steel and corrosion engineering, plus tutoring Calculus.

“My life has been a series of opportunities that have come before me very quickly,” said Fossa. “Things have been thrust in front of me and I have done a lot of fast reacting.”

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