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45th Space Wing cuts into a new era of space exploration

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Col. Burton Catledge, 45th Operations Group commander and Lt. Col. Jason Havel, Detachment 3 commander, cut the ribbon to the recently renovated Human Spaceflight Support Operations Center (SOC), to symbolize America’s transition from a government operated space program to a blended mission with the addition of commercially-operated crewed spaceflight programs. The $485,000 yearlong project created a state-of-the-art communications hub used for the Department of Defense’s human spaceflight support missions from the SOC, which is an extension of the Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. It hosts a worldwide command and control capability for Department of Defense rescue forces through a combination of radio frequencies, specialized internet applications, texting, satellite and secure and unsecure voice through the SOC's 10 workstations, 20 DOD circuits and 20 NASA specific circuits. (U.S. Air Force photo by Phil Sunkel)