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Air Force Space Commander Testifies to Wallops Island’s Importance
Washington, D.C., March 16, 2016
Contact: Hailey Sadler (202) 225-6365

Washington, D.C. – Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), who serves on the House Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, used a recent hearing to ask the head of Air Force Space Command about the value of Wallops Island, Virginia as a launch site for military missions. 


         When asked if Wallops Island would be of increased utility as military satellites grow smaller, General John Hyten, Commander of the Air Force Space Command, testified that “As we move into a different structure where we have smaller satellites… and maybe “cubesats” as well someday to do certain missions, we will need to take advantage of it [Wallops].”  General Hyten also testified that Wallops “also builds resiliency into our launch infrastructure.  We have vulnerabilities when everybody knows that the only place we launch our rockets from are at Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg.  It’s better to have more places to launch from.” 

          “Wallops Island has already been integral to commercial space efforts," Congressman Forbes said. "As we enter a new era of smaller satellites and contested space operations, there is a clear need to incorporate Wallops Island into a more resilient military launch posture.  Given General Hyten's recent comments, I look forward to advocating for further expansion of Wallops' role."

Watch the questioning here, or below.

          The facility at Wallops Island, Virginia is home to some of the most innovative work in the commercial space industry, and supports the needs of both NASA and the Department of Defense. Whether it is providing field carrier landing practice to Navy pilots, supporting rocket launches as part of Missile Defense Agency exercises, or serving as one of two U.S. sites launching vital cargo to support the International Space Station, Wallops is an integral part of U.S. space efforts.





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