Display honoring 'Architect' of Air Force space and missile programs installed
By Space and Missile Systems Center, Public Affairs
/ Published December 23, 2015
LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE - EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- A new visual display covering the legacy of Gen. Bernard A. Schriever, a revered military figure who successfully managed the development of early Air Force missile and space programs, was recently installed within the complex bearing his name.
"I noticed a significant element of SMC history in the form of a display on Gen. Schriever in the Pentagon last summer," explained Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Space and Missile Systems Center commander and Air Force program executive officer for space. "I immediately saw an opportunity to provide SMC and its personnel with a display to highlight this important piece of our history and heritage."
Installed in the north lobby of Bldg. 270 in the Schriever Space Complex, the exhibit mirrors the one seen by Greaves at the Pentagon.
"The new display that honors General Schriever is an outstanding addition to all of our historical exhibits at Los Angeles AFB. It will show staff and visitors the length and depth of SMC's commitment to its mission of providing our nation with the world's greatest space systems," said Dr. Harry Waldron, SMC's chief historian.
According to Waldron, Gen. Schriever laid the groundwork for most of the space and strategic missile missions that are still managed by SMC today. He oversaw the development and deployment of the Thor, Atlas, Titan and Minuteman ballistic missiles -- the last of which are still the nation's primary land-based strategic deterrent. At the same time, Schriever oversaw the beginning of military satellite systems, using converted or evolved ballistic missiles to launch them, as well as the embryonic ground systems to control and communicate with them.
"Spacecraft for the mission areas of reconnaissance, communications, early warning, nuclear surveillance and meteorology -- all begun under Schriever's command at the Western Development Division, or his immediate successors at the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division -- are still being developed, acquired, and deployed by SMC today," said Waldron. "SMC is the direct organizational heir of Schriever's Western Development Division, and the display commissioned for the lobby of Bldg. 270 should be a source of inspiration and information for SMC personnel and visitors."