Pence visits front range, receives AFSPC familiarization
By 2nd Lt. Scarlett Rodriguez and Senior Airman Dennis Hoffman, 50th and 21st Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 28, 2017
Colorado Springs, Colo. (AFNS) -- Vice President Michael Pence made history by being the first vice president to send a payload command to a Global Positioning System satellite, June 23, 2017, at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.
The payload command is part of the care and feeding the 50th Space Wing space professionals provide on a daily basis to ensure GPS remains the world’s premiere space-based position, navigation and timing system.
Pence visited Schriever AFB and Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, along with Second Lady Karen Pence, Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Gen. Jay Raymond, the commander of the Air Force Space Command, for a space orientation in support of the administrations relaunch of the National Space Council.
Upon his arrival at Schriever AFB, Pence met with base leadership for a discussion on the importance of space, and how it has become a warfighting domain.
Pence said, AFSPC Airmen direct no fewer than 175 American satellites that are crucial to national security every day in weather, communications, and early warning of foreign missile tests. Every American benefits from your efforts here; the world’s only global utility, the GPS system that's essential to our daily life. I can assure you that you have the support of your commander in chief and of his number two and of our entire administration. You have the support of Congress and the support of the American people they represent.
In addition to relaying his support for service members across the nation, the vice president also discussed some recent newsworthy items, such as the relaunch of the National Space Council.
After it was disbanded approximately two decades ago, the president will soon relaunch the National Space Council. Pence said it will be a great honor as vice president of the U.S. to serve as the National Space Council chairman, which has been a historic role for this office.
After explaining his ties with space, Pence also highlighted the president’s proposed investment in the military, and specifically AFSPC.
In his first budget the Congress will take up this fall, the president called for the biggest increase in military spending since the days of Ronald Reagan -- including an approximately 20 percent increase in the Air Force space budget.
We're going to fight to lead in space and we're going to put the resources of the United States of America behind you, Pence said.
Pence also discussed President Donald Trump's signing of the Veterans Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act.
I came today to say thank you. Thank you for your service that creates our freedom at home and our security around the world, Pence said. When I look out around this room, I have faith. I have faith that in the days ahead we will keep America safe. That we will make it possible for America to prosper.
The visit, which began at Peterson AFB, continued at Cheyenne Mountain AFS.
Gen. Lori Robinson, the commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, showed Pence and Wilson the NORAD and USNORTHCOM Alternate Command Center and discussed its missions.
This is only the second time in Cheyenne Mountain AFS history a vice president visited the facility.
The vice president and the secretary of the Air Force were educated on the construction, mission and history of the complex. The daily mission of the mountain involves collecting information from satellites and ground-based radars from around the world to provide to NORAD, USNORTHCOM and U.S. Strategic Command.
Both Cheyenne Mountain AFS and Schriever AFB play vital roles within AFSPC’s mission of providing resilient space and cyberspace capabilities to the joint force and the nation.