From the Top: Happy Birthday Sharks!

  • Published
  • By Col. Robert J. Pavelko
  • Vice Commander, 45th Space Wing
This month we recognize two milestone events as we celebrate the 65th birthday of our United States Air Force and the 30th Anniversary of Air Force Space Command.

As many of you know, the U.S. Air Force came into existence Sept. 18, 1947, after going through a series of designations from the Signal Corps in 1909 to the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1941.

It was finally designated a separate service when President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 and W. Stuart Syminton was sworn in as our first Secretary of the Air Force. Since its inception, the Air Force has gone through a lot of changes. One notable addition was the creation of Space Command Sept. 1, 1982.

Air Force Space Command was created to make space more militarily effective. Our 30-year heritage has set a precedence of innovation and excellence, maintaining a vital role in combat operations for at least 20 of those years.

While many significant accomplishments have occurred in Space Command since its inception, the organizations comprising the Eastern Range have played a prominent role in the history of the command.

On Oct. 1, 1990, in an effort to provide operational focus for the use of space, the Air Force transferred control of all operational space lift vehicles from Air Force Systems Command to Space Command. Through those early years, Space Command assumed launch responsibility for Atlas E, Atlas II, Delta II, Titan II and Titan IV missions, and also gained control of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Patrick Air Force Base.

Whether named the Air Force Missile Test Center, the Air Force Eastern Test Range, the Eastern Space and Missile Center or the 45th Space Wing, as it is known today, our team has always provided outstanding launch operations.

As part of Air Force Space Command, this organization has been involved in the historic launches of the first Block II GPS satellite, the first MILSTAR satellite, the first Wideband Global SATCOM satellite, and the first Space Based Infrared Systems GEO-1 satellite. In the upcoming weeks, the 45th Space Wing will continue to write history with our outstanding team of professionals readying the launches of Delta IV GPS IIF-03, Space X Falcon 9 International Space Station Resupply SPX-1 and the Atlas V Orbital Test Vehicle-3.

Happy Birthday, Sharks - we've played an integral role in the history of Air Force Space Command and the Air Force. Now let's stay missionfocused and continue our track record of success!