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From the Top: Launches and Promotions - Not a Bad Week!

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- I am writing this just prior to Wednesday morning's expected launch of an Atlas V for the
National Reconnaissance Office from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Originally scheduled for launch Monday morning, the team identified an issue with an environmental control system duct that failed near its connection to the mobile launch platform.

So while we are quick to tout our entire team's expertise, tenacity and professionalism when it comes to the launch business, we are even quicker to take extraordinary
measures when it comes to mission safety and mission assurance.

As many of you already know, this launch marks the 50th flight of United Launch Alliance's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Program.

The program replaced the fleet of heritage launch systems with two families of launch vehicles: the Boeing-designed Delta IV and Lockheed Martin-designed Atlas V.

The EELV Program provides critical satellite launch services to the DoD and Intelligence Community. Moreover, significant operability improvements were added to include standard payload interface and increased off-pad processing.

Our AFSPC Commander, who visited the Team Patrick Monday, had this to say prior to the historic launch: "Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles have allowed us to successfully launch 50 nationally critical missions over the last 10 years. We are proud of this launch success record, an amazing record in the history of space flight," said Gen William Shelton, Commander, Air Force Space Command. We feel the exact same way around here -proud indeed.

We are also proud of the majors who were recently promoted to lieutenant colonel!

We would like to congratulate the following officers who were so selected to O-5: Anthony S. Gunn (JA), Jason W. James (CPTS), Melissa A. Krambeck (RMS), Scott M. Partin (AFELM SOUTHCOM), Darren P. Thrum (AFELM SOUTHCOM), Nathan D. Flint
(AFELM SOUTHCOM), Roger W. Bass (AFTAC), Henry J. Drake (AFTAC), Tammy A. Holder (AFTAC), Eric M. Furman (AFTAC), and Ronald W. Roberts, Jr (AFROTC Southeast).

What an outstanding achievement for these great Air Force officers belonging to the 45th and to our mission partners. There is no better feeling in command than seeing "one of our own" - either enlisted or officer - get the recognition a promotion brings.

And once again, thanks for all you do around here.

Keep pushing, Sharks!