THE 45TH SPACE WING

The 45th Space Wing is one of the two wings of the newly formed United States Space Force – a service branch within the Air Force – and is one of six divisions assigned to the Space Operation Command.

This Space Force wing is stationed at Patrick Air Force Base and manages all space launch operations on Cape Canaveral and on the Eastern Range, which includes launch activities from Space Force, NASA, the Department of Defense and other private companies such as SpaceX.

What is the purpose of the Space Force?

The USSF is a military service that organizes, trains, and equips space forces in order to protect U.S. and allied interest in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force.” – Our Mission, spaceforce.mil

The Space Force was founded on December 20, 2019 and is headquartered in the Pentagon. It was preceded by the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC).

“WORLD’S PREMIER GATEWAY TO SPACE”

Historical Background

The 45th Space Wing’s origins are in the 1940s during the Army’s early efforts for missile testing on the Florida Space Coast.

The newest military branch, the Air Force, received the Banana River Naval Air Station from the Navy in 1948. First called the Air Force Division of the Joint Long Range Proving Ground in 1949, it went through several name changes and evolutions before being designated as the 45th Space Wing in 1991. The base itself was renamed Patrick Air Force Base in 1950 in honor of Maj. Gen. Mason M. Patrick, a retired Air Corps chief and WWI veteran.

Some of their past notable operations include Atlas V, Delta IV, Pegasus, Falcon 9, and Boeing X-37.

45th Space Wing Name History Visit Their Official Site

THE SPACE FORCE TODAY

The Space Force manages the Eastern Range, more than 10,000 miles of space stretching from Florida through the Southern Atlantic ocean and into parts of the Indian Ocean.

Their equipment and network of data and resources support the launch efforts and testing not only for NASA, the Department of Defense, and private space launch companies, but also support the Air Force’s Technical Application Center and 920th Rescue Wing as well as the Navy’s Naval Ordinance Test Unit (NOTU) and its sea-based missile testing.

At present, there are a handful of active launch complexes at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, all activities of which are managed in conjunction with Space Force and the 45th Space Wing.

  1. Launch Complex 36 (under construction)
    Used by Blue Origin Federation
  2. Launch Complex 37
    Used by United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV program
  3. Launch Complex 39
    At Kennedy Space Center and used by NASA and SpaceX
  4. Launch Complex 40
    Used by SpaceX
  5. Launch Complex 41
    Used by ULA’s Atlas program