Onizuka Air Force Station

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Onizuka Air Force Station
Air Force Space Command.png
Part of Air Force Space Command (AFSPC)
Moffett Federal Airfield, California
Lockheed's "Blue Cube".jpg
Onizuka Air Force Station
Coordinates 37°24′27.35″N 122°1′36.40″W / 37.4075972°N 122.0267778°W / 37.4075972; -122.0267778Coordinates: 37°24′27.35″N 122°1′36.40″W / 37.4075972°N 122.0267778°W / 37.4075972; -122.0267778
Type Air Force Station
Site information
Controlled by United States Air Force
Condition Demolished
Site history
Built 1960
In use 1960 - 2010
Demolished 2014
Battles/wars Classified
Garrison information
Garrison 21st Space Operations Squadron

Onizuka Air Force Station was a United States Air Force installation in Santa Clara County, California, just outside the city limits of Sunnyvale, at the intersection of U.S. Route 101 and State Route 237. Its main building, known locally as the Blue Cube, was large, pale blue, and windowless, with an array of parabolic dish antennas used for communication with remote tracking stations used to control military satellites. Onizuka AFS was operated by the 21st Space Operations Squadron, a geographically separated unit (GSU) of the 50th Space Wing. Onizuka AFS was closed on July 28, 2010, and operations were moved to the new Ellison Onizuka Satellite Operations Facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base.[1]


Built in 1960 on land near Moffett Field purchased from Lockheed, the station was originally known as the Air Force Satellite Test Center. It was later renamed the Air Force Satellite Control Facility, and Sunnyvale Air Force Station. It was also Lockheed "Building 100".[citation needed] In 1986, the base was renamed Onizuka Air Force Base in honor of Lt Col Ellison Onizuka, USAF, one of the astronauts who, on January 28, 1986, died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. On January 26, 1994, Onizuka Air Force Base was renamed Onizuka Air Force Station.


Realignment of Onizuka Air Force Station was recommended and accepted as part of the 1995 round of the Base Realignment and Closure Program. In summary, the 750th Space Group was to be inactivated and its functions relocated to Falcon AFB, CO. Detachment 2 of the Space and Missile Systems Center would relocate to Falcon AFB (now Schriever AFB), CO and Kirtland AFB, NM, while some other undisclosed tenants would remain in the existing facilities for some time.[2] On May 13, 2005, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld recommended closing the Onizuka Air Force Station in Sunnyvale as part of a fifth round of military base closures and re-sizing. The date by which the realignment and closure must be completed was September 15, 2011.[3]

In April 2007, the mission of the National Reconnaissance Office at Onizuka AFS ended after 46 years.[4]

On or about April 15, 2014, the building began full-scale demolition, with the majority of the land being slated for conversion to educational space operated by the Foothill–De Anza Community College District.[5] Other portions of the land will be used by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the City of Sunnyvale.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Onizuka Air Station, California". Air Force Real Property Agency. Archived from the original on May 10, 2006. Retrieved May 5, 2006. 
  3. ^ "Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) of Onizuka Air Force Station (AFS) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)". City of Sunnyvale, California. Retrieved May 8, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Mission accomplished for NRO at Onizuka AFS". 21st Space Operations Squadron. Retrieved May 8, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Wrecking crews demolish iconic 'Blue Cube'". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved April 17, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Onizuka AFS Land Areas" (PDF). City of Sunnyvale. Retrieved April 21, 2014. 

External links[edit]