US Central Command Air Forces, known in Pentagon parlance by its acronym CENTAF, formally changed its name March 1 to US Air Forces Central, or “AFCENT.” The redesignation is part of the command’s activities to implement a Chief of Staff directive to establish an Air Force component organization that is structured to operate and train every day in its wartime configuration. Lt. Gen. Gary North, head of AFCENT, hosted a ceremony Monday at Shaw AFB, S.C., the command’s headquarters, to mark the change and inactivate units under their old names and then reactivate them with new designations under the new structure. AFCENT, like its predecessor, is responsible for air operations in US Central Command’s 27-nation area of responsibility that includes Afghanistan and Iraq.
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.