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During the White Sands Missile Range change of command ceremony held July 17, outgoing commander Brigadier General Gregory J. Brady let slip WSMR will be the primary and alternate landing site for the first astronauts and spacecraft to connect with the International Space Station directly to and from U.S. soil since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011.
“As White Sands supported NASA’s Apollo program 50 years ago, today we are partnered with NASA once again in the commercial crew program and White Sands will be a critical part of it,” Brady said. “We are not slowing down, we are aggressively finding ways to accelerate the future capabilities of directed energy, hypersonics and space, yes, space. We are getting back to our roots boldly stated on the WSMR crest ‘birthplace of America’s missile and space activity.’”
During his speech, Brady also said during the year there were 1,276 tests conducted, including high energy laser testing, rocket bombs and tactical missile firings.
“Our army is ready to fight tonight,” he told attendees. “We are leading the way to army modernization priorities, long range precision fires and air missile defense.”
Brady said he is proud to have been commander at WSMR where he has been stationed for the past year.
“My hair is a little grayer, my two-mile run time a little slower. But I feel like I am a foot taller over serving in this exclusive elite organization known as White Sands Missile Range.”
Army Test & Evaluation Command commanding general, Major General Joel K. Tyler, conducted the change of command proceedings and praised Brady.
“Change is never easy,” Tyler said. “The energy, passion and commitment has really marked you as a leader who has made a difference in White Sands.”
Col. David C. Trybula is the incoming commander at the range. He said “readiness remains the top priority” at the missile range.
“White Sands Missile Range is a key enabler to achieve modernization,” he said. “We are a critical path for at least two of the Army’s six modernization priorities.”
Elva K. Österreich may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.