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2008 at a glance

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Staff Sgts. Jeremy Camacho and James Betts, and Marissa Halbeisen, firefighters with the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base, help  extinguish a small brush fire. Team V firefighters are the only firefighters in the Air Force trained for wildland fires.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Andrew Satran)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Staff Sgts. Jeremy Camacho and James Betts, and Marissa Halbeisen, firefighters with the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base, help extinguish a small brush fire. Team V firefighters are the only firefighters in the Air Force trained for wildland fires. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Andrew Satran)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE, Calif. -- 14th Air Force sprint to the closing ceremony during the final mile of the Run to Remember on Nov. 11 on Vandenberg Air Force Base. The run honored fallen servicemembers in the Global War on Terror. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Antionette Lyons)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE, Calif. -- 14th Air Force sprint to the closing ceremony during the final mile of the Run to Remember on Nov. 11 on Vandenberg Air Force Base. The run honored fallen servicemembers in the Global War on Terror. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Antionette Lyons)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- An Atlas V stands on Space Launch Complex-3 during its mobile servicing tower rollback on March 12. This was the first Atlas V launched from Vandenberg and the west coast, as well as the first launch of the year. This milestone for Team Vandenberg was the product of the combined efforts of the 30th Space Wing, the National Reconnaissance Office, United Launch Alliance, the Space and Missile Systems Center, the Aerospace Corporation and more. SLC-3 was significantly modified to get ready for the next generation of space launch vehicles. The pad received significant upgrades to accommodate the larger and more powerful booster. The tower was made taller, the overhang was extended with a much bigger crane, and the entire pad deck was reconfigured. The pad also featured a brand new fixed launch platform. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Andrew Satran)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- An Atlas V stands on Space Launch Complex-3 during its mobile servicing tower rollback on March 12. This was the first Atlas V launched from Vandenberg and the west coast, as well as the first launch of the year. This milestone for Team Vandenberg was the product of the combined efforts of the 30th Space Wing, the National Reconnaissance Office, United Launch Alliance, the Space and Missile Systems Center, the Aerospace Corporation and more. SLC-3 was significantly modified to get ready for the next generation of space launch vehicles. The pad received significant upgrades to accommodate the larger and more powerful booster. The tower was made taller, the overhang was extended with a much bigger crane, and the entire pad deck was reconfigured. The pad also featured a brand new fixed launch platform. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Andrew Satran)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE, Calif. -- Vandenberg celebrated its 50th anniversary on Oct. 22 by having a military ball at the Pacific Coast Club. A cake was cut by the highest and lowest ranking personnel stationed at Vandenberg to represent the journey that Vandenberg has taken in the past 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Jonathan Olds)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE, Calif. -- Vandenberg celebrated its 50th anniversary on Oct. 22 by having a military ball at the Pacific Coast Club. A cake was cut by the highest and lowest ranking personnel stationed at Vandenberg to represent the journey that Vandenberg has taken in the past 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Jonathan Olds)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE, Calif. -- Lt. Gen. Henry Obering III, Director of Missle Defense Agency, Washington, D.C. speaks at the Ronald Regan Missle Defense Site on March 27. The Ronald Reagan Missile Defense Site is dedicated to former President Ronald Reagan as a show of gratitude to the 25th Anniversary of his address to the Nation on Missile Defense.(U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Andrew Satran)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE, Calif. -- Lt. Gen. Henry Obering III, Director of Missle Defense Agency, Washington, D.C. speaks at the Ronald Regan Missle Defense Site on March 27. The Ronald Reagan Missile Defense Site is dedicated to former President Ronald Reagan as a show of gratitude to the 25th Anniversary of his address to the Nation on Missile Defense.(U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Andrew Satran)