45th Launch Group Inactivated, Combines Launch Mission and Personnel with 45th Operations Group

By  //  August 5, 2018

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lays the foundation for a more agile spaceport

Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, commander of the 45th Space Wing, presents Col. Steven Lang, commander of the 45th Operations Group, with the 45th OG guidon, July 31, 2018 at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. The 45th Launch Group inactivated and combined their launch mission and personnel with the 45th OG. (45th Space Wing image)

BREVARD COUNTY • PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, FLORIDA – On July 31, 2018, the 45th Space Wing inactivated the 45th Launch Group, combining their launch mission and personnel with the 45th Operations Group. The personnel from both groups will be led by Col. Steven Lang.

Moments before the 45th Launch Group inactivation and merger, the 45th Launch Support Squadron also inactivated and merged with the 5th Space Launch Squadron, now under the command of Lt. Col. Waylon Mitchell.

Next, the 45th Operations Support Squadron and 1st Range Operations Squadron inactivated and merged, now a single squadron under the command of Lt. Col. Gregory Vice, and called the 45th Range Squadron.

The 45th Launch Group, combining their launch mission and personnel with the 45th Operations Group was the last inactivation and merger of the day.

This 45th OG merger postures the 45th SW to capitalize on launch innovations and lays the foundation for a more agile spaceport with a rapidly growing operations tempo and number of launch providers, said Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, commander of the 45th SW.

Col. Steven Lang, commander of the 45th OG, presents Lt. Col. Waylon Mitchell, commander of the 5th Space Launch Squadron, with the 5th SLS guidon, July 31, 2018 at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. The 45th Launch Support Squadron inactivated and merged, combining their launch mission and personnel into the 5th Space Launch Squadron. (45th Space Wing image)

The inactivation and merging of groups closes the seams to resolve issues for launch process engineering risk, range scheduling and range instrumentation issues as a single interface to the customer under one operations group commander.

“We are known in our enterprise as being the best in the business,” said Lang. “We have the best people and processes and we will continue to have the best people and processes moving forward.”

The Operations Group is now responsible for both mission assurance and range operations, and the vital mission assurance responsibility transitioned from the Launch Group will remain an absolute priority.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to lead the consolidated group to close organizational seams and ensure both range support and mission assurance operations are coordinated to successfully deploy the critical satellite payloads that support our national interests,” said Lang. “It is my distinct honor to serve as the commander for the group that continues to provide 100% mission success.”

“The 45th Launch Group has been a cornerstone to one of the safest and most successful periods of time in space history and is worthy of remembrance,” said Monteith. “But we can’t stay stagnant—we have to continue making progress and this merger is that next step.”

Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, commander of the 45th Space Wing, addresses Airmen, July 31, 2018 at the Sharkatorium on Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. Monteith drove the initiative to eliminate seams between groups and squadrons, making the 45th SW more efficient. (45th Space Wing image)

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