Air Force space commander testifies to Wallops Island’s importance

congressCongressman 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.

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