HomeAbout UsFact SheetsDisplay

Vandenberg Air Force Base

Mission
Enable space superiority through assured access to space by providing robust, relevant, and efficient spaceport and range capabilities for the Nation.

Vision
Innovative Airmen leading the next generation of space lift and range capabilities.

Priorities

Care for our Airmen - Execute today's mission - Innovate for the future.

History
Vandenberg was originally established in 1941 as Camp Cooke near Lompoc, Calif. The camp was an Army training center for armored and infantry troops.

Transferred to the Air Force in 1957, Vandenberg began its transformation into a space and missile test facility. In a relatively remote location, Vandenberg offers an ideal location for safely testing intercontinental ballistic missiles as well as launching satellites into polar orbit without flying over populated areas.

Vandenberg launched the world's first polar orbiting satellite, the Discoverer 1, a cover for America's first photo reconnaissance program in 1958.

The Installation
The 30th Space Wing, Vandenberg's host unit, supports West Coast launch activities for the Air Force, Department of Defense, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, national programs and various private industry contractors. The Wing supports the processing and launch of a variety of expendable vehicles including Atlas V, Delta IV, Delta II, Pegasus, Minotaur, Taurus and Falcon. The Wing also supports Force Development and Evaluation of all intercontinental ballistic missiles, as well as Missile Defense Agency (MDA) test and operations.

Major tenant units at Vandenberg AFB include the Joint Force Space Component for Space (USSTRATCOM), 14th Air Force, 576th Flight Test Squadron, Missile Defense Agency, 381st Training Group, National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Environment
At more than 99,000 acres, the base contains some of the highest quality coastal habitat remaining in central California.

With a wealth of valuable cultural and ecological treasures, the base is recognized for leading the way in protecting and preserving its 42 miles of pristine coastline, 9,000 acres of sand dunes, 5,000 acres of wetlands, more than 1,600 irreplaceable prehistoric archeological resources, 14 rock art sites, a National Historic Landmark, five Native American villages, a National Historic Trail, 26 Cold War-era complexes, and protecting and monitoring more than 15 different endangered or threatened species.

Vandenberg Facts
99,578 acres
2.84 mile runway
3rd largest air force base in the United States
465 facilities

Approximately 7,000+ range operations per year
Approximately 2,000 launches to date