Wait, is that SchrYver? No, not AHH-nuld’s ex-wife. SchrEEver? Yep, SchrEEver. Located near Colorado Springs, CO, Schriever Air Force Base is home to the 50th Space Wing.

The base opened in 1985 as the Consolidated Space Operations Center. This being a mouthful, it was renamed Falcon Air Force Station once it became operational. The 2nd Space Wing, based at Peterson AFB, relocated that year, and Falcon became the operational home of the Air Force Satellite Control Network.

Air Force was dropped from the name when the unit took over DoD satellites and became known as the Satellite Control Network. Airmen assigned to the 2nd Space Wing handled command and control of DoD satellite networks through a series of Remote Tracking Stations (RTS) around the world.

The base was renamed (again) in 1998 to Falcon Air Force Base. In 1992, the 2nd Space Wing was inactivated, and the 50th Space Wing stood up. Six years later, in a break from tradition, the base was renamed (again) to Schriever Air Force Base. This change was to honor a pioneer in the U.S.’s ballistic missile program, General Bernard Schriever. It was the first time a U.S. base was named for a living person.

General Bernard Adolph Schriever

General Schriever headed the Pentagon’s Western Development Division, overseeing the Atlas, Titan, and Minuteman missile programs. He is considered the father of America’s ballistic missile and space programs. Schriever headed the programs that put America’s defense and navigation satellites into orbit. 

General Schriever began his Air Force career when he was commissioned in the Army Air Corps in 1933. He became a bomber pilot in the 7th Bomb Group, based at Hamilton Field, CA, and deployed to the Pacific theater of operations in 1942. 

General Bernard Adolph Schriever
The “Father of Air Force space and missiles” with some of the systems created under his leadership. His management philosophy made rapid development possible. (U.S. Air Force)

Schriever moved up in rank, reaching full colonel in December of 1943. After the war, he worked at HQ Army Air Forces as a scientific liaison in materiel and attended National War College. This led to his promotion to assistant for evaluation in development. In 1953, Schriever was promoted to brigadier general and soon became involved in the Air Research and Development Center (ADRC), the Air Force’s weapons development division. ADRC was redesignated in 1961 as Air Force Systems Command (AFSC), the precursor to Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC). 

AFSC was responsible for the research and development of new weapons systems. It was inactivated in 1992 when it was absorbed by AFMC. The YF-22 was the last major weapons system delivered from AFSC, in 1990. Through his leadership in ARDC and AFSC, General Schriever had a direct influence on modern weapons technology.