News


Western Range (U)

Overview (U):

(U) The Western Range (WR) is located at Vandenberg AFB on the central coast of California at approximately 34.7 N, 120.69W, and is used to conduct all US launches into polar orbits. Orbital launches from WR are limited to azimuths between 147 and 201 degrees. Sub-orbital launches are permitted up to 281 degrees. The vehicles launched from the WR include Titan II/IV, Delta II 6925/7925, Scout, Pegasus, Taurus, Conestoga, and LLV. The WR is also used for test launches of Air Force ICBMs when these vehicles are launched westward to impact at the Kwajalein Atoll.

Details (U):

Description User Impact Programmatics Images
Related Initiatives Related Requirements Related Categories Road Map Placements
Additional Hotlinks Lead Office POC  


Description (U):

(U) Headquartered at Vandenberg AFB on the Central California coast, the 30th Space Wing is responsible for all government space and missile launch activities on the West Coast. The Wing manages the Western Range, which extends from the California Coast westward to the Indian Ocean. In conjunction with other test ranges, the Western Range provides continuous and complimentary instrumentation coverage over a broad portion of the Pacific Ocean. Spacelift facilities include space launch complexes and large checkout and assembly facilities for Titan, Delta, Atlas, and other government and commercial programs. Space and ballistic missile launches are possible across a wide range of launch azimuths. Vandenberg is the only location in the continental United States permitting direct polar orbit spacelift launches without overflying any land mass.

(U) Government launch operations from the Western Range include: Titan IV (SLC-4E) & Titan II (SLC-4W); Atlas IIAS (SLC-3E scheduled for FY98); Delta II (SLC-2W); and Taurus and Pegasus.

(U) The West Coast Offshore Operating Area (WCOOA) provides 1000 mi. x 200 mi. of over-water and sea-land transition zones for aeronautical and guided missile testing. The WCOOA offers a relatively stable marine air mass favorable for aeronautical operations, specifically long-range supersonic runs, operations requiring turbulence-free atmosphere, low visibility, and long-range weapons delivery.

(U) The Western Range Operations Control Center at Vandenberg AFB is the central telemetry and metric data processing facility. The control center is linked to launch complexes, assembly and checkout facilities, and data acquisition sites via land-line, fiber optics, and microwave systems. In addition, the Control Center is linked to other DoD and NASA facilities for real-time transmission of data, voice, and message communications.

User Impact (U):

(U) The WR provides west coast facilities and launch support for national, DoD and commercial satellites and DoD missile tests.

Programmatics (U):

(U) Operational.

Images (U):

(U) None.

Related Initiatives (U):
NameTitle
AtlasAtlas
CBM with Common Aero-VehicleConventional Ballistic Missile (CBM) with Common Aero-Vehicle (CAV)
CBM with MNNRVConventional Ballistic Missile (CBM) with Maneuverable Non-Nuclear Reentry Vehicle (MNNRV)
Delta IIDelta II
DMSPDefense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP)
EELV (HLV)Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Heavy Lift Vehicle (HLV)
EELV (MLV)Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Medium Lift Vehicle (MLV)
GEOSAT Follow-OnGeodetic/Geo-Physical Satellite Follow-on (GFO)
GOESGeostationary Operational Earth Satellite (GOES)
Mid-Course Space ExperimentMid-Course Space Experiment (MSX)
NPOESSNational Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS)
POESPolar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES)
Range UpgradesRange Upgrades (RANGEU)
RSA Phase 1Range Standardization and Automation (RSA) Phase 1
RSA Phase 2A/BRange Standardization and Automation (RSA) Phase 2A/B
TaurusTaurus
Titan IITitan II
Titan IVATitan IVA
Titan IVBTitan IVB
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Requirements (U):None.

Related Categories (U):
NameTitle
Launch ComplexesLaunch Complexes
SpaceliftSpacelift
This Table Is Unclassified.

Road Map Placements (U):

NameTitle
SPACE FORCES SUPPORTSPACE FORCES SUPPORT
This Table Is Unclassified.

Requirements, Funding and Additional Hotlinks (U):

Name
EELV ORD
This Table Is Unclassified.

Lead Office (U):

(U) Air Force.

(U) DoD: USD(A&T) and OASD(C3I), Pentagon, Washington, DC
(U) Service Staff: SAF/AQS, Pentagon, Washington, DC
(U) Major Command: AFMC/SMC, Los Angeles AFB, CA
(U) Program Management: AFPEO/Space, Pentagon, Washington, DC

Point of Contact (U):

(U) Lt Col Gill Paszek, SMC, Open Phone: DSN 276-3862.

Date Of Information (U):

(U) 07 November 1997





(U) Road Map Production Date: 12 July 1999