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NRO recognizes 50-year partnership with Vandenberg

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – The director of the National Reconnaissance Office, Bruce Carlson, presented the men and women of the 30th Space Wing and NRO-Vandenberg with a plaque honoring their support to the NRO mission over the past 50 years during a ceremony at the base theater at 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 15, 2011.(U.S. Air Force photo/Jerry E. Clemens)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – The director of the National Reconnaissance Office, Bruce Carlson, presented the men and women of the 30th Space Wing and NRO-Vandenberg with a plaque honoring their support to the NRO mission over the past 50 years during a ceremony at the base theater at 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 15, 2011.(U.S. Air Force photo/Jerry E. Clemens)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The director of the National Reconnaissance Office presented the men and women of the 30th Space Wing and NRO-Vandenberg with a plaque honoring their support to the NRO mission over the past 50 years during a ceremony at the base theater at 1 p.m. Aug. 15.

Bruce Carlson, NRO's 17th director, presented Col. Richard Boltz, 30th SW commander, and Lt. Col. Eric Kolb, NRO-Vandenberg commander, with anniversary plaques and mounted artwork commemorating the 50-year partnership between Vandenberg and the NRO.

"What a remarkable thing it is to come out here (Vandenberg) and have a moment to celebrate, with you, the 50 years of success of the National Reconnaissance Office," said Carlson.

According to the NRO website, the NRO is the U.S. Government agency in charge of designing, building, launching, and maintaining America's intelligence satellites.

In 2011, the NRO successfully launched three payloads from Vandenberg: NROL-49 aboard a Delta IV Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle in January, NROL-66 aboard a Minotaur I in February and NROL-34 aboard an Atlas V in April.

During the presentation, Carlson spoke about NRO's successful launch campaigns, Vandenberg launches, NRO priorities and Vandenberg's 2012 launch schedule.