The Space Force Recruits 5-Year-Old Wild Mustang for Its Conservation Program

August 15, 2020 Updated: August 15, 2020

The Space Force has added a once-wild mustang to its conservation program. However, rest assured they won’t be sending this horse to space. The 5-year-old horse, named Ghost, is part of the Bureau of Land Management at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Southern California.

The conservation unit and military working horse program has been a part of Vandenberg since 1996. It is the only equine patrol unit within the Department of Defense and one of four conservation units in the U.S. Air Force, a military spokesperson told CNN.

Epoch Times Photo
Senior Airman Michael Terrazas, 30th Security Forces Squadron conservation patrolman, does arena work with Military Working Horse “Buck” Feb. 21, 2019, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (Courtesy of U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hanah Abercrombie)

The military working horse program supports the Space Force and is key to mission assurance for the Western Range, which is more than 98,000 acres.

“We use the military working horses to patrol the coastline,” SSgt Michael Terrazas explained in a video posted to Twitter.

Ghost is about 10 years younger than the other four horses in the conservation program and is the only mustang. He is currently undergoing a rigorous training program and is being ridden three times per week by a personal trainer.

Epoch Times Photo
Military working horse Ghost, 30th Security Forces Squadron MWH, on July 31 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. (Courtesy of Senior Airman Hanah Abercrombie/US Air Force)

“We’re trying to get him up to speed to handle the workload of a military working horse,” Terrazas said.

Wild mustangs across the United States plains are currently overpopulating their natural habitats, resulting in diminished food resources. This initiative helps to protect the at-risk mustangs and integrates them into the working horse program.

With conservation as the main goal, the horses perform perimeter sweeps of the areas on the base that aren’t accessible to vehicles or ATVs.

Epoch Times Photo
Senior Airman Michael Terrazas, 30th Security Forces Squadron conservation patrolman, cleans the dirt out of Military Working Horse “Buck”s hoof, Feb. 21, 2019, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (Courtesy of U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hanah Abercrombie)

“Mustangs are sturdy horses that can handle the work we need,” Terrazas said.

Six patrolmen at Vandenberg play a role when it comes to caring for the horses. They clean the stalls, groom the horses, and inspect them for injuries daily. The team also monitors nesting seasons for endangered species, patrols hunting and fishing areas on the base, and enforces California state and federal laws.

“We are excited to see what the future may hold for these once wild horses,” Terrazas said.

The CNN Wire contributed to this report.