About Vandenberg AFB, CA
Vandenberg, an Air Force Base located on the Central Coast of California, is home to approximately 2,595 Air Force personnel, as of 2016, and roughly 3,000 family members. Vandenberg was originally the northern area of an Army base named Camp Cooke.
North Camp Cooke became Cooke Air Force Base in 1957 after a select committee studied more than 200 locations in search of a training site and a combat ready missile base. The following year, the southern area of the camp, which was previously Cooke Camp proper, also became a part of Vandenberg. Vandenberg serves as a headquarters for the 30th Space Wing, whose mission is to defend the United States of America through expeditionary and installation operations.
The 30th Space Wing also overseas space and missile testing for the Department of Defense as well as using expendable boosters to place satellites into polar orbit from the West Coast. Lieutenant General David Wade of Louisiana was the commander of the 1st Missile Division at Vandenberg in 1958. Wade subsequently commanded the first operational missile unit in Air Force history.