US Space Force Association
Dr. Lois Wardell
Barnes Photo
Dant Photo
Martindale Photo
Stafford Photo
Anderson Photo

Lois Wardell, PhD

Currently, Dr. Wardell is a Senior Space Test Engineer at Galapagos Federal Systems,
LLC. serving USSF and the new Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM) in
the standup of the National Space Test and Training Complex (NSTTC). This follows her
work leading concept development to address USAF technology gaps. Lois brings with her
a passion for exploration and innovation and is a broadly recognized as an entrepreneur,
innovator and research scientist. Dr. Wardell worked for over a decade with unmanned
aerial systems R&D and focused on a wide range of vehicle and sensor technology
development and was involved with several technology startups. With the ability to rapidly
transition into different fields of science and engineering, her work has taken her to all
seven continents, reaching some of the most remote regions of the globe, allowing her to
develop a reputation as a creative problem solver who is now focused on space.

Academically, Dr. Wardell’s research is also diverse and highly recognized. As a
Postdoctoral Research Fellow awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research
Council of Canada at McGill University, Dr. Wardell developed remote sensor technologies
and techniques to support her research with active volcanoes and atmospheric/climate
issues. This precedes her work as a US Department of Energy Graduate Research Fellow
at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology earning a Ph.D. in Geoscience
where she focused globally on the study of active volcanism and developed her interest in
polar sciences. She has also won numerous awards for her work in the discovery of
potential anti-cancer treatments while at the University of Mississippi and the National
Center of Pharmaceutical Research.  The same techniques were also applied by Dr.
Wardell to Antarctic stromatolites in the search for biomarkers as part of a NASA’s
Exobiology Doctoral Fellowship.  Lois is also recognized for her work in pollution abatement
and control which included environmental remediation and instigation of complete recycling
programs for US bases in Antarctica. Her education includes BS and MS degrees in
engineering from the Universities of Missouri and Southern Illinois, respectively.

Chris Barnes, Major (Ret.), USAF, Director of Volunteer Support

Christopher “FOG” Barnes served over 20 years in the Air Force beginning in early 2001. His experience ranges from 8 years of all-source intelligence in the fields of targeting, weaponeering, and space intelligence analysis to over 12 years of space operations experience in Strategic and Theater Space-Based Missile Warning, Offensive Space Control, and Aggressor operations. He culminated his career as the Reserve Force Generation Center Liaison to Air Combat Command. Mr. Barnes is a graduate of the USAF Weapons School, and served in positions ranging from the tactical squadron to the Major Command and Combatant Command levels. He also served three combat tours in Iraq and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Mr. Barnes received his B.S. in Organization Management and Human Resources from Colorado Christian University and an MBA with an emphasis in Global Business from the American Military University. Mr. Barnes is currently with the MITRE Corporation, serving the United States Space Force as a Lead Space Systems Engineer. Chris spends his free time with his wife and daughter on their property in Peyton, Colorado.

Dan Dant, Colonel (Ret.), USAF, Executive Committee Director

Daniel “Sphinx” Dant is the Executive Director of the Space Force Association Executive Committee. Dan is a retired USAF Colonel.

He is a graduate of the USAF Weapon School and commanded at multiple levels, culminating as the Commander, 469th Space Wing, Buckley AFB CO. Dan is married to Diana Dant and they have two beautiful daughters and two giant Mastiff dogs. They live in Northern VA. Senior Director at L3Harris Corporate HQ. He manages the corporation’s business development for the United States Space Force.

Michael Martindale, Lt Colonel (Ret.), USAF, PhD, Director, Space Education Committee

Michael served over 27 years in the Air Force retiring in 2018. Michael served in a variety of space and nuclear operations positions to include the US Air Force Weapons School, the Checkmate Division on the Air Staff, and on the Joint Staff, culminating his career on faculty for the Department of Military and Strategic Studies at the United State Air Force Academy.

He holds a Master of Science in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Master of Logistics Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science from the University of South Carolina.

Michael “Ludes” Martindale is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and the Director of the Space Education Committee for the Space Force Association. Michael is also a group analyst with Frontier Technology Inc., delivering decision analysis technologies to Department of Defense customers.

Mark Stafford, Colonel, USAFR, Chief Strategy Officer

Mark Stafford is the President and CEO of Delta Solutions and Strategies, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business headquartered in Colorado Springs. Mr. Stafford has over 20 years of experience in the aerospace industry, serving on Active Duty in the Air Force, the AF Reserves and in commercial industry. Mr. Stafford received his B.A. in History and Minor in Economics from Tulane University and received his MBA with an emphasis in Information Systems from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Mr. Stafford began his career in the Air Force as a space operator and transitioned to the AF Reserves in 1998.

After Active Duty, Mr. Stafford worked at the Aerospace Corporation supporting multiple DoD and commercial space programs as a Technical Advisor and Source Selection Advisor. Mr. Stafford next spent over ten years at Booz Allen Hamilton as a technical consultant and manager in various leadership positions. Mr. Stafford was responsible for the business development, marketing, and management of teams that supported the DoD, NASA and other National clients.

Mr. Stafford is currently serving at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration (SAF/SP) in his AF Reserve capacity. Previously he was the Reserve Advisor to the Chief of Current Operations, Headquarters Air Force Space Command and the Commander of the 7th Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base. Mr. Stafford served two tours in the Middle East and has held positions in Acquisition, RDT&E, Joint Staff, Space Control, and Space Operations.

Matt Anderson, Colonel (Ret), USAF, Chief Operations Officer

As a volunteer, Matt Anderson serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the Space Force Association (SFA). 

Matt holds over twenty years of experience working within the Department of Defense (DoD) in aerospace, logistics, training and international affairs. He is consistently recognized for building high performance & high morale teams, his leadership style focuses on building trust, creating a culture of dignity & respect, empowering direct reports and establishing management controls to ensure strategic goals are met. Outside of work, he is totally dedicated to his family, with whom he enjoys international travel, skiing, scuba diving, soccer and hiking. After serving for 24+, Matt retired as a Colonel in the US Air Force, and began working for CACI International as Vice President, US Space Force & Air Force Client Executive in July of 2021. 

Join the SFA

The Space Force Association is a way to get involved in the space community, inform policy, network with military, industry, and academic leaders, and create lasting partnerships for both individual and organizational benefit. The Space Force Association combines the expertise of senior leaders, operators, seasoned professionals, young people with fresh ideas, and anyone else on the space spectrum to create an organization that is committed to sustaining US dominance in space.

Benefits of Membership

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  • Discount tickets to SFA-hosted events
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  • Vocational education and unique job opportunities from our corporate members
  • A chance to amplify your voice in the debate over the future of the national space enterprise!
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