Military Wiki
45th Space Wing
45th Space Wing.png
Active 1949-Present
Country United States
Branch Air Force
Type Satellite Launch
Part of Air Force Space Command
Garrison/HQ Patrick Air Force Base
Motto(s) Control of the battlefield begins here
Mascot(s) Sharks
Decorations Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Organizational Excellence ribbon.svg AFOEA
Meritorious Unit Commendation.jpg Navy MUC
Brig Gen Nina M. Armagno[1]
Donald G. Cook
Lt.Gen. Susan Helms
Robert C. Hinson

The 45th Space Wing successfully launched a Delta IV-Heavy rocket carrying the NROL-32 classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office 21 November 2010 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The 45th Space Wing (45 SW) is a United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the Fourteenth Air Force, stationed at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. It commands Patrick AFB and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The mission of the 45th Space Wing (45 SW) is to assure access to the high frontier and to support global operations. The wing currently operates a number of rockets and missiles, including the Delta IV and Atlas V, and provides support for the Department of Defense, NASA, and commercial manned and unmanned programs. The wing formerly operated the recently discontinued Titan IV rocket. It employs 9,512 military and civilians.[2] Since June 12, 2013, it is under the command of Brigadier General Nina M. Armagno.[1]

The wing commander formerly served as the deputy DOD manager for the Department of Defense Manned Space Flight Support Office.


Major units assigned to the 45 SW are:

The 45th Launch Group participates in receipt, inspection, processing, test, and launch of all flight hardware to ensure the successful launch of satellites to support national and Combatant Commander requirements
5th Space Launch Squadron
Located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, the 45th Operations Group operates the Eastern Range and launches space vehicles for Department of Defense (DoD), NASA, the United States, and international commercial customers.
  • 45th Medical Group
  • 45th Mission Support Group


See also: 45th Operations Group; 45th Launch Group; 6555th Aerospace Test Group for additional lineage and history.

Organized to maintain and operate the proving ground facilities in coordination and collaboration with other agencies of the national guided missile program. Provided static and flight testing to meet requirements of Army, Navy, and Air Force research and development programs, including operational experimentation and training.

From May 1950 to May 1951 had separate operating agency status, assigned directly to the United States Air Force. Maintained and operated the Eastern Test Range and affiliated facilities in support of Department of Defense (DOD), National Air and Space Administration, US Air Force, and other test and evaluation agencies, 1951–1977 and after 1979.

Operated "Down-Range" facilities at Antigua, Ascension Island, and Cape Canaveral, Florida, 1951–1977 and after 1979.

After Oct 1979 launched DOD payloads into orbit and collected flight data for evaluation of ballistic missile systems launched from Eastern Launch sites for DOD, NASA, and commercial customers. Gave support for DOD, NASA, and commercial manned and unmanned space programs while providing host-base responsibilities at Patrick AFB, FL.

45th Space Wing accomplishments are:[3]

  • Completing the Initial NAVSTAR II Constellation
  • U.S. Military Technology Missions
  • Foreign Military Missions
  • Civilian/Commercial Space Launches
Missions have included:
    • X-Ray, Gamma Ray, Infrared, Microwave Anisotropy, and Extreme Ultraviolet Astronomy Missions
    • Solar Wind Missions
    • Asteroid Probes and Comet Encounters
    • Missions to Mars and Mercury
    • Kepler Spacecraft ‘Planetary Search’ Mission
    • PALAPA B2R and PALAPA B4
    • Britain's BSB-R2 and Telenor's THOR II and THOR III
    • ASC-2, AURORA II and SATCOM 4
    • INMARSAT-2 F-1 and INMARSAT-2 F-2
    • BONUM-1
  • DELTA III, Delta IV, Titan IV and Atlas V Missions
  • NASA Space Shuttle launches
  • Atlas V Carrying X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle
  • NASA'S Geostationary Environmental Satellite (GOES-P)
  • Atlas V launch of Solar Global Observatory
  • Delta IV launch of Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) high-capacity communications satellites
  • Intelsat-14 commercial communications satellite
  • NASA Ares 1-X launch
  • USAF Delta II final launch in 2009, inactivation of 1st Space Launch Squadron (45th LCG)


  • Established as Air Force Division, Joint Long Range Proving Ground, and organized, on 1 Oct 1949
Re-designated: Long Range Proving Ground Division on 16 May 1950
Re-designated: Air Force Missile Test Center on 30 Jun 1951
Re-designated: Air Force Eastern Test Range on 15 May 1964
Inactivated on 1 Feb 1977
  • Re-designated Eastern Space and Missile Center, and activated, on 1 Oct 1979
Re-designated: 45th Space Wing on 12 Nov 1991.




  • 4800th Guided Missile Wing (later, 6555th Guided Missile Wing; 6555th Guided Missile Group): 30 Dec 1950-7 Sep 1954
  • 6541st Missile Test (later, 6541 Operations Group [Range]): 4 Sep 1951-7 Sep 1954


  • 45th Launch Group: 1 Dec 2003-
  • 45th Operations Group: 12 Nov 1991-
  • 45th Medical Group:
  • 45th Mission Support Group:
  • 6550th Test Group (Missile): 1 Jul-1 Oct 1955
  • 6555th Guided Missiles Group (Test and Evaluation) (later, 6555th Aerospace Test): 15 Aug-21 Dec 1959; 1 Oct 1979-1 Oct 1990


  • 1st Space Launch Squadron: 1 Oct 1990 – 2009
  • 3rd Space Launch Squadron:
  • 5th Space Launch Squadron:
  • 45th Launch Support Squadron:
  • 1st Pilotless Bomber: 1 Oct 1951-1 Feb 1952 (detached)
  • 6550th Operations Squadron: 7 Sep 1954-1 Jul 1955; 1 Oct 1955-1 Feb 1960
  • 6555th Guided Missile (later, 6555 Guided Missiles) Squadron: 7 Sep 1954-1 Jul 1955; 1 Oct 1955-15 Aug 1959.


  • Patrick AFB, FL, 1 Oct 1949-1 Feb 1977; 1 Oct 1979-Present

See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 45th Space Wing
  2. King, Ledyard (January 27, 2012). "High-tech focus may favor Brevard". Melbourne, Florida. pp. 2A. 
  3. [Delta II and III Space Operations at Cape Canaveral, 1989 – 2009. by Mark C. Cleary 45th SPACE WING History Office]

External references[]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

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