The base also plays an integral part in America's space exploration and ballistic missile defense program by installing the TOR sensor suite. The operations here boost our ability to aid friendly forces against enemy threats and bolster aerospace defense strategies.
A major contributor to the success of this base has been its rich military history. This goes back to its opening during the 2nd World War when the Navy used it before handing it over to the air-force. The airmen used it to train pilots for heavy bomber operations against Germany and Japan.
During World War II, this base went by the name "Banana River Naval Air Station." The Navy later traded it to the Air Force in 1947. They needed to make way for something bigger. Air Force sold the Naval Air Station at Banana River for $1 in its disposal bid to create a missile-testing range that extended far towards the Bahamas.
In 1949, they changed the name of the base to Joint Long Proving Ground. One year later, the army assumed command of the joint operation.
On August 1, 1950, they again renamed the base to honor Major General Patrick Mason. The celebrated veteran head has been Head of Air Services from World War I to when he retired.
Operations at the air force base gradually increased, making it the best in the region for antiaircraft artillery drills during and later for ballistic missile defense during the Cold War era through to the present day.
After the Space Force was created almost a year ago and was reassigned to the base, PAFB has successfully supported many manned and unmanned spaceflight launches.
In renaming the facilities to Space Force, the base has further strengthened its position as a leading space research and defense site. As the nation strives to accomplish its space goals, Patrick Airforce Base and Cape Carnival will work together to ensure assured success next year.
The airbase has hosted various vital events throughout its history. And it continues to host new possibilities that are open to visitors today.
1950 - Served as the Aerospace Defence Command Center
1962 - Designated a "zone Z-211" for radar surveillance
1982 - NSRW (The 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing) use the base for strategic air command operations
- 1988 - Surveillance operations end, and the keys to the facilities handed to FAA – Federal Aviation Administration
This year, Patrick Air Force Base airmen conducted training at the Forward Area Refueling Points of the 920th Rescue Wing.
In the year 2020, Patrick Air Base changed name to Patrick Space Force Base.
- In 2011, the 45th Space Wing operating from the base launched an Atlas V X-37B OTV, an Air Force Orbital Test Vehicle.
Patrick Air Force Base (COF) conducts testing and launches from the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF). The SLF is primarily used for the launch and recovery of Space Shuttle orbiters.
The base also supports research activities and emergency response for incidents on or around the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). Space Launch Complex 40 is the primary launch pad for Shuttle missions.
Other functions of the base include:
Hosting 45th Space Wing - The latter manages all crewless rocket launches at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
Base for the AFTAC - The Air Force Technical Applications Center is a defensive unit that runs nuclear event surveillance
Base for the 920th Rescue Wing - A military air force rescue unit
- Hosting the BINLA - The Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs combats drugs and criminals with air support.
As we all know, the Patrick Air Force Base was originally built and designed to be a military airport, and it still serves this purpose to this day. It also serves as a central hub for military air travel. The base includes over 100 acres of land and covers an extensive amount of territory.
The Space Force will replace the Air Force Space Command and the Aerospace Defense Command in the future. Other changes that may happen in the future are new high-tech weapons and equipment being used by troops, a stronger defense system, more international cooperation with different countries worldwide, and many more exciting changes for this base.
Also, it has been announced that Patrick AFB will be home to a space battalion in the foreseeable future. The battalion will be a "space force" equivalent to the infantry battalion located at Peterson AFB, Colorado. To make this happen, the U.S. Congress has ordered the Pentagon to submit a report on establishing a "space force" within the Air Force.