New Executive Director brings wealth of experience

Gregg Kraver, the new Executive Director of the 45th Space Wing (Photo by Airman David Dobrydney)

Gregg Kraver, the new Executive Director of the 45th Space Wing (Photo by Airman David Dobrydney)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- When Gregg Kraver, formerly of the 45th Launch Group, was told he had been selected to be executive director of the 45th Space Wing earlier this month, it was a high point to an already long and full career.

He grew up in the Satellite Beach area, where his father served as chief of maintenance and logistics for the Eastern Space and Missile Systems Center. "I spent a lot of time on Patrick AFB; back then it didn't have gates," Mr. Kraver remembered. He was preparing to graduate with a degree in engineering from the University of Central Florida when the Challenger accident occurred.

"All the jobs in the area dried up," said Mr. Kraver, " . . . so I ended up moving to Mississippi." After a brief stint at Keesler AFB, Mr. Kraver started at Cape Canaveral AFS in 1989. He would remain at the Cape in various posts for the next 18 years. "At first, I thought it was great; I was going to be working on rockets," he recalls about his first experiences. "After arriving, they brought me into the Titan launch control center and I flashed back to a 1950s monster movie." He remembers the "archaic" ground equipment that greeted him and looking back marvels at how far technology has progressed.

Since then Mr. Kraver has seen the stand-up and stand-down of the Titan IV program, the stand-down of the Atlas II/III program and the stand up of the 45th Launch Group. "We seem to be going through an evolution to a new way of doing business and soon we'll be seeing even more with commercial launches and operationally responsive space," said Mr. Kraver.

As the executive director, Mr. Kraver is the senior civilian advisor to the 45th Space Wing commander on launch and range technical issues and civilian matters. He is committed to continuing the evolution that makes the wing operate more efficiently.

"I think one of the reasons why I was selected was to make a difference, an agent of change at the wing," he said. "As we transition in the future, we're going to need to have better processes and more agile responses and I think I can bring that to the table."