Airmen at the 45th Space Wing at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on May 22 carrying a classified National Reconnaissance Office payload. The launch took place Thursday morning from Space Launch Complex 41, states the release. “This is the culmination of a lot of long hours and hard work by the entire mission team, which included the wing, NRO, ULA, and other mission partners,” said Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno, commander of the 45th SW. The May 22 “launch helps to ensure that vital NRO resources will continue to bolster our national defense while showcasing why the 45th Space Wing is the world’s premiere gateway to space,” she said.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.