During a ceremony Thursday at Langley AFB, Va., Air Force officials activated the 633rd Air Base Wing, the host unit that will oversee operations of the forthcoming JB Langley. The new joint base, consolidating the base support functions of Langley and the Army’s nearby Ft. Eustis under one administrative roof, will formally stand up later this month. BRAC 2005 mandated its creation under USAF’s lead. Like all future joint bases, the idea was to eliminate redundant base support services for nearby installations as a cost-saving measure. Col. Donald Kirkland, who took charge of the wing, said the installations’ support functions will incrementally transition to the Air Force so that, by October, “functions from base defense and medical care to food service and supplies” will be USAF’s responsibility. But each installation will maintain its identity and culture, he assured. (Langley report by A1C Jason J. Brown)
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.