BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The acting Secretary of the Air Force, John P. Roth, and the Chief of Space Operations, U.S. Space Force Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, visited Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, May 17, 2021.
During the visit, Roth and Raymond toured the Morrell Operations Center, the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center (ASOC), and the Spaceflight Operations Processing Center.
“U.S. Space Force Guardians and our space systems are absolutely vital for homeland defense, global operations with partners and allies, and many comforts that have become normal in the American way of life,” Roth said.
One of the goals of the visit for Roth and Raymond was to educate congressional leaders about the U.S. Space Force and its missions. Members of the House of Representatives participated in the tour including several members of the House Armed Services Committee.
Formerly known as the 45th Space Wing, Space Launch Delta 45 (SLD 45) operates the Eastern Range and aims to provide on demand launch support for commercial mission partners and Department of Defense missions. SLD 45 does this by providing launch partners with weather analysis, mission assurance, and operating range support radar and equipment.
Over the past year, this support has enabled numerous successful launches, including the third crewed space flight in less than a year.
“I’m grateful for the support of the Congressional members who joined us and their willingness to learn more about the Space Force and the Guardians who defend the ultimate high ground,” said Roth. “The Nation is making efforts to improve our space defense architecture and deter conflict in space from a position of strength.”
During a tour of United Launch Alliance’s ASOC, the dignitaries learned about the Atlas 5 rocket and the plan to launch the United States’ fifth Space Based Infrared Geosynchronous satellite on May 18. The satellite will enhance a constellation that provides 24/7 global strategic missile warning capabilities that contribute to national defense.
In January 2020, the SBIRS constellation detected 16 ballistic missiles launched from Iran toward two U.S. installations in Iraq.
Recalling the event, Raymond said, “The critical missile warning provided by Guardians allowed U.S. service members and coalition partners to seek shelter and mitigated the risk of casualties, and ultimately saved lives.”
Roth and Raymond concluded their visit by recognizing Airmen and Guardians for all they do to support the USSF.
“Assured access to space is a vital national interest; it underpins our security and economic prosperity,” Raymond said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the Space Launch Delta 45 team!”