Oct 15 2009
Message from MSRP President – Brig. Gen. Ed Bolton Guest Speaker
Tradition Continues with Pioneers Fall Banquet
The 2009 Fall Banquet will be held at the Tides on Friday, November 13 at 6:00 PM. Our speaker is none other than Brig. General Edward Bolton, Commander of the 45th Space Wing and Director of the Eastern Range. He will speak to us on a favorite subject… Space-Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. We look forward to his perspective on the Nation’s Space Programs, especially as applies to Space and our national security. Please join us for this important meeting and for a good time socializing with other Pioneers. Reservation forms are provided on page 3. The cost is $35 per person.
The US Space Program (both the Air Force and NASA) is the engine that feeds our local economy. . Unfortunately, we are in a time of uncertainty on the direction of the human part of the space program. With new national priorities and severe funding constraints, the original plan to replace Space Shuttle with the new Constellation system, is at risk. The President appointed a blue-ribbon panel to re-assess the original plan for sending astronauts to the Moon and on to Mars. Their preliminary report presents several options for a new direction but none of these options would prevent major local workforce reductions when Shuttle stops flying in late 2010. Local agencies are working overtime to mitigate this loss by bringing other Space related work to the Space Coast and we are assisting their efforts. As Pioneers, we have seen times like this before. We did recover and we will again.
Back to partying, the Pioneers have two events each year for the membership and friends. These are a Spring Gathering and the Fall Banquet. Our purpose has remained the same, that is…get together with other Pioneers to renew friendships, discuss past glories of the Space Program and help “pioneer” the future. We consider the current space initiatives to still be in the Pioneering stage. Come share your stories and memories with friends and fellow pioneers.
Brig. Gen. Edward L. “Ed” Bolton Jr. is the Commander, 45th Space Wing, and Director Eastern Range, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. He is responsible for the processing and launching of U.S. government and commercial satellites from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and is the final approval authority for all launches on the Eastern Range, a 15-millionsquare- mile area which supports an average of 20 launches per year aboard Delta and Atlas launch vehicles. He also manages wing launch and range infrastructure supporting the space shuttle and missile test missions.
Brigadier General Bolton is Featured Speaker at Fall Banquet
General Bolton began his Air Force career as an enlisted cost and management analyst. In 1980, he was selected for the Airmen Education and Commissioning Program and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1983 after completing an electrical engineering degree and Officer Training School. His staff experience includes serving a systems requirements manager at Headquarters Air Force Systems Command and Chief of the Spacelift Vehicles Requirements Branch at Headquarters Air Force Space Command. For two years he was Director for Defense Policy at the National Security Council in the Executive Office of the President.
The general commanded the 30th Range Squadron and the 30th Operations Group at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. His squadron won the General Kutyna Award in 1999 as the top spacelift squadron in Air Force Space Command, and he led the 30th Space Wing to its first Guardian Challenge victory. He has also commanded the Satellite and Launch Control Wing and the Launch and Range Systems Wing. The California Air Force Association selected the Launch and Range Wing as the 2005 Unit of the Year. Prior to his current position, the general served at the National Reconnaissance Office as the Deputy Director for Systems Integration and Engineering as well as the Principal Deputy to the Chief Operating Office. At the NRO, he won the NRO Leadership Award for 2008 and was awarded the NRO Gold Medal.
Since the early days of the Mercury Program, astronauts were quite adept at playing jokes on the press. One of those times was a “Press walkdown” on Pad 5 filming the pad activities that would take place on Alan Sheppard”s upcoming flight. Gordon Cooper was all suited up for the event and climbed into a NASA van at Hangar S. I met him in the van when he arrived at Pad 5. With a wry smile, he explained what he had planned to do. I told him that it may get us all fired. “Are you chicken?” he dared me. So, I agreed.
Cooper, Dr. Douglas, Joe Schmitt (the suit technician) and I stepped out of the van and the cameras started rolling. NASA’s Press Officer, Jack King stood proudly in front of the press corps as we walked slowly across the pad to the elevator. Cooper surveyed the Redstone missile as if he were seeing it for the first time. Then, with a shake of his head he grabbed the doorframe of the elevator and began yelling loudly, “No, no. I won’t go!”
I grabbed him and wrestled him into the elevator while Dr. Douglas shoved from behind and slammed the door shut. As we ascended laughing in the elevator we could hear a frantic “stop the cameras, no more pictures”. It did no good in that Aviation Week showed the pictures the following week and called for the firing or demotion of all of us. We thought it was funny but underestimated the wrath of the Press.
Who are these Pioneers? Send answer to Lee Solid at
First correct response may win a bottle of inexpensive wine!