Los Angeles Air Force Base Dedicates Schriever Statue
By Peggy Hodge and Joe Davidson, SMC Public Affairs
/ Published November 16, 2007
Los Angeles Air Force Base -- The Space and Missile Systems Center, the birthplace and cradle of military space, officially dedicated a 9-foot bronze statue of General Bernard A. Schriever, father of the U.S. Air Force's Space and Missile Program and the architect of the service's Ballistic Missile and Military Space Program in the Schriever Space Complex Courtyard, Nov. 15.
The statue of General Schriever, positioned at the north end of the courtyard, stands as a tribute to his vision and leadership during SMC's early days. The statue was crafted by local San Pedro artist, Eugene Daub. The Air Force Associations' Schriever Chapter 147 spearheaded the drive, sponsored and commissioned the statue and donated it to the Space and Missile Systems Center.
In his remarks Lt. Gen. Michael Hamel, Space and Missile Systems Center commander, quoted General Schriever, "The world has an ample supply of people who can always come up with a dozen good reasons why a new idea will not work and should not be tried, but the people who produce progress are a breed apart. They have the imagination, the courage, and the persistence to find solutions."
The dedication also included formal remarks from Gen. C. Robert Kehler, Air Force Space Command commander; Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Brian Arnold, AFA Schriever Chapter 147 chairman of the board and former SMC commander; and Retired Air Force Gen. Lance Lord, former Air Force Space Command commander.
"It's a real honor to pay tribute to an aviation pioneer, a World War II and Cold War hero, and the man we all knew as the father of Air Force missile and space programs, said Gen. Kehler. Because missile and space programs really were one in the same when General Bernard Schriever began the Western Development Division.
"When I look across AFSPC today whether it's in satellite operations centers, missile alert facilities, acquisitions locations or any place where Air Force space professionals are on the job, I see how every one of us has benefited from the fruits of General Schriever's vision and leadership."
"What a beautiful afternoon to pay homage to one of our great leaders in space, General Bernard Schriever, said Lt. Gen. Arnold.
"Your local Bernard A. Schriever chapter of the Air Force Association has been supporting the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base and the local community for over three decades and we're proud to do that.
"Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the Bernard A. Schriever Chapter 147 of the Air Force Association it is my pleasure to unveil this statue created by Mr. Eugene Daub."
The Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the U.S. Air Force's center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems including GPS, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control network, space based infrared systems, intercontinental ballistic missile systems and space situational awareness capabilities. SMC manages more than $60 billion in contracts, has an annual operating budget of $10 billion and employs more than 6,800 people worldwide.