Helping the 86th AEG deploy African peacekeepers, eight members of Ramstein’s 1st Combat Communications team provided critical tactical communications—necessary for such short-notice missions and bare base operations. The comm team comprised a communications officer, tech controller, and data, power production, radio, satellite, and telephone technicians, had all systems running within 24 hours. “At base comm, you’d only hold one piece of a system,” said data technician SSgt. Rich Bundy, adding, “Here, you’re the one guy to hold the whole package.”
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.