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Launch and Range Systems Wing Stands Up WROCC

Los Angeles Air Force Base -- SMC has another team success to add to its coffers. The new Western Range Operations Control Center has opened its doors and ushered in the model of the future for space launch command and control operations. As of June 30th, 2006 there remained only one of the seven control centers to be activated in the WROCC marking a significant milestone on the Range Modernization Program. Years of hard work to bring these centers on line culminated in the perfect test launch of a Minuteman III rocket at 0314 on the morning of July 20. Col Doug Kendall, the commander of the Spacelift Range Group at SMC, stated "Every one of the six ops centers functioned perfectly during this historic first launch out of the WROCC. It's a proud moment for the entire team - the SPO, 30th Space Wing, Aerospace, and our contractors, Lockheed-Martin and ITT Industries." 

Since the old launch facility was completed in 1975, the activation of a new WROCC is a milestone of epic proportions. In fact, Lt. Col. Rick Einstman, the Western Range Program Manager, stated that these centers in the WROCC are, "the most significant deliveries by the SPO in years." Only the Flight Safety center remains and is scheduled for activation late next year. 

This success story has not been without its setbacks. The construction of the new building was completed in 2000 and until late 2005 no control centers had been activated. The mismatch between construction and installation of modernized command and control equipment caused previous AFSPC commander General Lance Lord to make WROCC activation his top Range priority. The general tapped the Range Group to take charge of thecomplex project which met this challenge head on and pulled together the team of military/civilians acquisition specialists, Aerospace engineers, users from the 30th South West, testers from the 17th TS and its industry partners. This team embarked upon the auspicious goal of delivering the warfighters a full WROCC capability by November 2007. 

Initially, this goal seemed impossible, but the team worked together to find creative solutions. The key ingredient for success involved delivering incremental capabilities to the Space Wing and putting operators in seats faster rather than one massive delivery. This strategy has clearly worked. The first early demonstration of the new capabilities featured an array of video, voice, and telemetry displays which treated a crowd of VIPs to the historic last Titan IV launch and offered a glimpse of what the new WROCC promised. But the most recent activations displayed the true dedication and excellence of SMC's WROCC team. The Range Control Center, Command Management Center and the Mission Rooms were activated 14 months ahead of schedule and supported the first launch controlled from the WROCC, the Minuteman III GT-192 mission, commanded by Col. Jay Raymond, the 30th Operations Group Commander. 

Today only one center remains, the Mission Flight Control Center. This final activation will give the Western Range the full modernized launch control capability it has been waiting on for 31 years. The WROCC's activation is truly a story of what can happen when a team of dedicated acquisition professionals, industry and the warfighter come together for a common purpose.