A historical cornucopia ranging from native tribal lands and ranch living to infantry training grounds and missile launch site, the location currently known as Vandenberg Air Force Base has held an amazing legacy that continues today. Stretching over 45 miles of pristine California coastline and covering over 99,000 acres, the base has been the vanguard for the United States’ space and missile program. Showcasing over 1,900 launches since 1957, Vandenberg put the world’s first photoreconnaissance (spy) satellite into orbit and is the only launch location for America’s operational intercontinental ballistic missile force. Within Vandenberg’s lands are ancient rock drawings from the native Chumash tribe, hundreds of species of plants, insects, and animals, and untouched beaches—protected and thriving under the military’s stewardship of the lands. Within these pages are stories and photographs that highlight Vandenberg Air Force Base’s legacy as the free world’s first missile base.
Author Bio: Maj. Joseph T. Page II is an active duty Air Force officer stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The photographs detailing the work and personnel of Vandenberg throughout the decades were graciously provided by the SLC-10 Space and Missile Heritage Center, the 30th Space Wing Public Affairs Office, the Lompoc Historical Society, and private collections.
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