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Eastern Test Range

After World War II, the US began development of long-range missiles. To create an area for testing the missiles, the Banana River Naval Air Station near Cocoa Beach, Florida, was turned over to the Air Force to serve as the base of operations for a joint-service missile range.

Launch complexes, missile processing facilities, and instrumentation sites were built at Cape Canaveral, Florida and tracking stations were built in the Bahamas.

On August 1, 1950, the former Naval Air Station was renamed Patrick Air Force Base, in honor of Major General Mason M. Patrick, the Chief of the American Expeditionary Forces Air Services in World War I and Chief of the Air Service/U.S. Army Air Corps from 1921 to 1927.

The test range expanded as longer-range rockets were tested in the 1950s and in 1964, the test range was renamed to the Eastern Test Range.


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