WASHINGTON: The Pentagon named three Air Force officers to high-level assignments in military space today: the man who oversaw the first successful launch of the troubled Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS), a veteran of the space shuttle program, and the outgoing overseer of the nation’s ballistic missile defense efforts.
Brig. Gen. Roger Teague pinned on his star just over a year ago, shortly after the successful launch of the first geosynchronous SBIRS satellite, a program which he had headed as a colonel. It was a remarkable milestone for a high-priority, high-cost program long plagued by schedule delays and cost overruns – which had done little good for the promotion prospects of previous project executives. When the Lockheed Martin-built SBIRS finally soared skyward, though, Teague ascended too, becoming a brigadier general and the vice-commander of the Los Angeles-based Space and Missile Systems Center, part of Air Force Space Command.
Teague’s replacement as vice-commander will be a two-star, Maj. Gen. Terry Feehan, who got his start testing the MX “Peacekeeper” Missile. Feehan is currently a top program executive at the Missile Defense Agency, in charge of the over 5,000 personnel and $5 billion annual budget for a host of missile defense programs, from the much-lauded Patriot to the controversial Ground-based Midcourse Defense based in Alaska and Vanderberg Air Force Base, California.
Brig. Gen. Teague, meanwhile, is moving on to a new job at the Colorado Springs headquarters of Air Force Space Command, where he’ll be director of strategic plans, programs, and analyses. In that job, Teague will be replacing Brig. Gen. – soon to be Maj. Gen. – Samuel Greaves, who will pin on a second star and move to Huntsville, Ala. to be deputy director of the Missile Defense Agency. It’ll be a familiar handover for the pair, since Greaves was Teague’s immediate predecessor as Space and Missile Center vice-commander as well. Greaves has spent thirty years working on space, helping to launch eleven Space Shuttle missions and 32 unmanned rockets.