ROCC renamed after Gen. Morrell
By Ken Warren, 45th SW Public Affairs
/ Published November 08, 2007
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The Range Operations Control Center, or "ROCC," at Cape Canaveral AFS was renamed the Morrell Operations Center Nov. 2 in honor of the late Maj. Gen. Jimmey R. Morrell.
General Morrell was the first commander of the 45th Space Wing. He served in that capacity from Nov. 12, 1991, through June 23, 1993. He and his family settled in Brevard County after he retired from the Air Force in 1993. He passed away Feb. 8, 2006, after a lengthy battle with cancer.
A sign designating the complex the Morrell Operations Center was unveiled during the renaming ceremony. Among those participating in the ceremony were: former Secretary of the Air Force Edward "Pete" Aldridge; Maj. Gen. William Shelton, commander of 14th Air Force; Brig. Gen. Susan Helms, commander of the 45th Space Wing and Margie Morrell, General Morrell's wife.
Mrs. Morrell recalled that General Morrell put God and family first, but that the Air Force was a close third. "He really loved coming out here launching rockets," she said. "He could tell you every significant event from every countdown he was involved in." She also expressed her family's gratitude to the Air Force for renaming the ROCC in her husband's honor.
Both Mr. Aldridge and General Shelton saluted General Morrell as a devoted family man and visionary space leader. "He provided essential leadership during the mid-to-late 80s as we transitioned space assets from Air Force Systems Command," said General Shelton, who met and served under General Morrell at Headquarters Air Force Space Command during that time frame. "It was an exciting, challenging time and many of us were privileged to participate as General Morrell brilliantly led the charge."
The MOC is the hub of Eastern Range operations during launches of expendable vehicles and space shuttles, as well as ballistic missile tests. The MOC serves as the command and control center for the array of instrumentation systems along the range that track vehicles and monitor their performance.
General Shelton said that developing the operations center for the Eastern Range was one of General Morrell's finest achievements. "His keen operational focus and teaming approach continues to influence every facet of Air Force Space Command operations today. Simply put, General Morrell had a unique ability to motivate diverse teams to accomplish the seemingly impossible," he said.