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Installation Overview --Vandenberg Air Force Base, California


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Installation Overview --Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

Santa Maria (Main) Gate

Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

Vandenberg Air Force Base in located in Santa Barbara County, California. Vandenberg's location on the northern Pacific Ocean makes it possible to easily launch satellites into polar orbit, unlike the Kennedy Space Center. This, along with its location relative to the jet stream, makes Vandenberg a good site to launch reconnaissance satellites. Vandenberg is also used for the launch of non-military satellites into polar orbits. More than 1,700 launches have been conducted from VAFB since its first launch on 16 Dec 1958.

Vandenberg AFB is named in honor of the late Gen Hoyt S. Vandenberg, second Chief of Staff of the USAF. Previously named Camp Cooke and then Cooke AFB, the base received its present name on 4 Oct 1958. Vandenberg AFB encompasses over 98,000 acres, with 35 miles of pristine coastline stretching along the Pacific Ocean. The land area is considered to be Savannah terrain, with rolling hills, large oak trees and eucalyptus trees. Outside the Vandenberg AFB area it is very common to see fields of vegetables, berries, vineyards, and flowers. There are also many horse and cattle ranches.

Official website of Vandenberg AFB

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