Mission Patches
Their Source and Meaning

Burntheships' Collection
Member of AboveTopSecret.com
(Edited and Additions by Pegasus)

If I Tell You I have to Kill You


A generic patch for "black" projects designed by a member of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Four (VX-4), based at Point Mugu near Camarillo, California. VX-4 eventually merged with VX-5 from NAWC China Lake, also in Southern California, to become VX-9 with detachments at both locations.

SOURCE:  http://www.naderlibrary.com/icouldtellyou.22.htm



"Triangulum" is reported to designate a variation on the RS6b SENIOR SPEAR sensor system built into some versions of the U-2 spy plane. The Triangulum system allegedly uses twelve antennae along the aircraft's fuselage and an antenna on each wing.

SOURCE: http://www.naderlibrary.com/icouldtellyou.23.htm

The U-2 was designed to the highest degree of secrecy by famed Lockheed Aviator Kelly Johnson and his "Skunkworks" bureau. The initial system was airborne by 1955 with reconnaissance flights high above the Soviet Union beginning shortly thereafter. Now in the form of the U-2S model, the U-2 system can produce a large amount of photographic data with its highly capable intelligence-gathering suite in real-time. The aircraft traditionally flies above its 70,000 foot listed ceiling requiring the pilot to don a spacesuit-like outfit. .....

....From 1992 onwards, all TR-1 and U-2 systems were designated under the single umbrella of "U-2". The United States Air Force maintains a contingent of 36 active U-2 systems including five two seat trainer types. Additionally, NASA operates two more U-2 units in the form of ER-2 for high-level research purposes. The U-2 system will most likely be retained for some more years (marked in some sources up to the year 2020) of service even though the initial U-2 was fielded in the 1950's. 

SOURCE: http://www.militaryfactory.com/aircraft/detail.asp?aircraft_id=51

Unified Space Vault

Unified Space Vault

The Unified Space Vault (USV) as one of five divisions of the 614th Air and Space Operations Center (614 AOC) / Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC), provides a focused approach for all 614 AOC / JSpOC vault activities and coordinates critical space operations, to include Laser Clearinghouse and Information Operations, in order to protect National space assets, and serves as the unique interface between special programs and National and DOD space systems to enable synchronization of U.S. operations in space. To accomplish that mission, the division provides expertise to, and leverages expertise from, the other components and partners of the 14th Air Force (AFSTRAT) / Joint Functional Component Command for Space (JFCC SPACE) enterprise.

The USV is made up of officer, enlisted, civil servant and contract personnel from Air Force, Army and Navy military services.

USSTRATCOM Chain of Command

Air Force Chain of Command Point of Contact
30th Space Wing Public Affairs
(805) 606-3595
DSN 276-3595


  1. GAO report number GAO-07-803R entitled 'Defense Infrastructure: Full Costs and Security Implications of Cheyenne Mountain Realignment Have Not Been Determined' which was released on May 21, 2007 (http://www.gao.gov/htext/d07803r.html)
  2. "Fleeing Cheyenne." Aviation Week and Space Technology blog. (http://aviationweek.typepad.com/ares/2007/05/fleeing_the_com.html)
  3. Statement of Space Posture by Lt Gen Shelton to the SASC Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, 4 Mar 2008. http://www.dod.mil/dodgc/olc/docs/testShelton080304.pdf
SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Space_Vault
The Cat is Out of the Bag


I believe we have here a patch from the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) in conjunction with the partnership of the U.S. Air Force's 2nd Space Space Launch Squadron (2 SLS) located at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

2nd Space Launch Squadron - National Reconnaissance Office Mission B-12 "The Cats out of the Bag" "
999 May 22 - 09:36 GMT - Launch Site : Vandenberg
Launch Complex : SLC4
Launch Pad : SLC4E
Launch Vehicle : Titan 4B
Model : Titan 404B
LV Configuration : Titan 404B B-12 . 
USA 144 Nation : USA
Class : Surveillance
Type : Military
Spacecraft : Misty .
Agency : NRO
Perigee : 2,700 km (1,600 mi)
Apogee : 3,100 km (1,900 mi)
Inclination : 63.50 deg
COSPAR : 1999-028A
USAF Sat Cat : 25744

This classified National Reconnaissance Office satellite represented the first successful Titan launch in four attempts. The payload had been reported to be a Lacrosse radar imaging reconnaissance satellite. However the short 50 foot Titan fairing was used instead of the 66 foot fairing used by Lacrosse.

This only seems to be used previously for an improved CRYSTAL photo-reconnaissance satellite in November 1992. The payload therefore could be related to the ocean surveillance triplets, or be an Improved CRYSTAL derivative. Veteran amateur satellite-watchers believed it was the second launch of "Misty," a stealthy optical reconnaisance satellite (the first launch being USA 53 in February 1990)."

N R O SLC4E B-34 

N R O SLC4E B-34 

2001 Launch Log
Date Vehicle ID Payload Site* Orbit**
10/05 Titan 404B B-34 Crystal+ (NRO) V SLC4E LEO 

SOURCE: Space Launch Report 2001 Launch Stats 

192nd Intelligence Squadron


192nd Intelligence Squadron patch

The significance of the192d Intelligence Squadron patch: Ultramarine blue and Air Force yellow are the Air Force colors. Blue alludes to the sky, the primary theater of Air Force operations. Yellow refers to the sun and the excellence required of Air force personnel. The key represents military intelligence. The lightening bolts signify electromagnetic emissions. The globe symbolizes Earth, representing the global nature of the unit's support operations. The unit's motto, "Scientia Potentia Est" is a quote attributed to Sir Francis Bacon, which is paraphrased as "Knowledge is Power," representing the squadron's mission of generating intelligence information to accomplish national objectives. 

SOURCE: http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread470427/pg5#pid9631342


Psychological Operations

"Capture their minds and their hearts and souls will follow" 

Psychological Operations (PSYOP) and Psychological Warfare (PSYWAR), these words generate thoughts of North Vietnam's "Hanoi Hanna", Japan's "Tokyo Rose" and more recently the Iraq's infamous "Baghdad Betty" of Desert Storm. To others the words psychological operations and psychological warfare conjure up images of our military playing mind games with the enemy. PSYOP is all this and much more, for you see there are essentially two great forces in warfare:-the physical and the moral. These two forces suggest two distinct approaches to warfare. One a "direct" approach, concentrating on the opponent's physical forces, and the other an "indirect" approach, focusing on moral forces. Both of these approaches have been tried throughout history, with a noted lack of emphasis on the indirect approach until more recent times. This website will attempt to give new emphasis to the indirect approach by conveying a better appreciation for the application of psychological operations. So sit back and join me on a tour of the history of Psychological Operations, and what PSYOP is today. 

SOURCE: http://www.psywarrior.com/


SOURCE: http://www.armystudyguide.com/content/Branch_Insignia



East Coast Titan IV launch (mission B-30) on April 30, 2005 carrying the last of a class of large radar satellites referred to as “Lacrosse”. 

The ultramarine blue circle background (Air Force Blue) had a two-fold meaning. The blue represented the Air Force, and the circle represented the Earth. The explanation was that “the two of them together remind us of our obligation to secure freedom through global vigilance, reach, and power.” The Omega symbol represented the fact that this was the last Titan IV to be launched from the Eastern Test Range. The red octagon also represented the stop sign which signifies the stoppage of the Titan program. The cat’s eyes represent the NRO’s mission of watching over the world. The fifteen stars represented the fifteen Titan launches undertaken by the Fifth Launch Squadron before it was disbanded. The ten yellow stars represented the number of Titan launches accomplished by the 3rd Space Launch Squadron (3 SLS) after it took over the mission from the 5 SLS.

The cartoon characters were from the comic strip Pogo, but were also symbols representing different members of the launch team, including the “Night Gators” who are responsible for moving the classified payloads to the pad under cover of darkness, and the “Booster Badger.” One of the other characters was “Max Muler,” and the last one is unidentified; both their meanings remain unclear. PB stood for Peter Boxer, representing the enlisted men and women and (apparently) one of the Titan Maintenance Controllers of the 3 SLS.

Finally, Prometheus was one of the Titans. His name means Forethought. He is known as the protector and benefactor of man. He gave mankind a number of gifts including fire. 

SOURCE: Space Review

Finally Going


A patch that is almost as cluttered as the B-30 patch is the patch for the launch of Titan 4 K-7, which lifted off on May 3, 1994 from Cape Canaveral. That patch contains many elements that are easy to decipher, but also one that is highly intriguing. This rocket became notorious when it sat on the launch pad for 1,054 days. During that long down-time, pad workers had to swap out major rocket components, either because they suffered problems or because they had exceeded their allowed time exposed to the Florida heat, humidity and salt air—damage so severe that the solid rocket boosters had to be removed and replaced not once, but twice.

SOURCE: Space Review

The launch patch reflects this mission's tortured history. On the left are the numbers of the original Titan 4 core stage, K-9, and Centaur, TC-8, as well as the first pair of Solid Rocket Motors, numbered 15 and 16. On the right are the numbers of the final core stage and Centaur, K-7 and TC-10, as well as the second pair of SRMs, numbered 11 and 12, and the final pair, numbered 13 and 14. The patch also contains a pink rabbit with a blue bird (the blue bird of happiness?) on its head, probably symbolizing the rocket and either the Centaur or the payload. The rabbit is probably modeled on the Energizer Bunny, whose motto “Still going!” is reflected in the patch’s motto “Finally going”.

One interpretation is that the Energizer Bunny is standing next to his drum with the number eight on it. An alternative interpretation is that the rabbit is standing next to what is apparently a hoop of the kind that circus performers make dogs or other animals jump through (the rabbit’s baton is a giveaway that this is a performance of some kind—perhaps the bird is meant to jump through the hoop). The number 8 appears on this hoop. Why an 8? This was the eighth launch of an intelligence payload to that particular orbit. Independent observers and publications like Aviation Week & Space Technology had designated the first launches to be Jumpseats, and there were six successes and one failure. For this launch, which some sources later said was named Trumpet, those involved with the rocket were hoping that the eighth satellite would successfully jump through the hoop.

But the most intriguing aspect of the patch is a series of dates at the bottom above the words “Finally Going”: 1981, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1993 and 1994. The first four years all predate the Titan 4 program and therefore cannot represent the rocket. The obvious conclusion is that these dates represent the original launch dates for the payload. In other words, the payload that was finally launched in May 1994 had originally been scheduled to launch as early as 1981.

Air Force officials admitted that the spacecraft should have flown on a Titan 4 transported to the launch pad in June 1991—almost three years before its eventual launch. Problems with the Titan (and reportedly exacerbated by an incessant stream of engineering changes requested by the Air Force) forced the payload to be transferred to other Titan components, resulting in a prolonged and very costly launch campaign.

The problem with the interpretation that this was a 13-year-old satellite that had spent all its time in storage is that the size of the Titan 4’s payload shroud implied that this was a large payload, bigger than anything placed into orbit on an expendable launch vehicle. Could this payload have originally been scheduled for launch aboard the Space Shuttle in the early 1980s and then been repeatedly delayed due to problems with that vehicle? Or is some other interpretation possible?

SOURCE: Space Review

Special projects
Procul este Profani

The patch contains five stars inside the border, indicating the fifth Lacrosse launch. Notably, it did not feature owl eyes like two previous Lacrosse mission patches; however, it did feature a pelican, whose golden beak could be interpreted as representing the radar satellite’s golden dish.

The logo for the last Titan 4 launch from the Cape contains so many symbols and possible hints that it is difficult to determine which of them are inside jokes, abstract symbols, or if any are hints about the payload.

But the patch also features some odd elements. One is a gorilla carrying an American flag. What this symbolizes is unknown, although the remake of King Kong did premiere that same year. But another element of the patch is easier to decipher, even if it is not so easy to understand. The palm trees and the brilliant sun are also found in numerous patches for the satellite ground station on the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. Clearly the satellite has some connection to that ground station, although what is still unknown.[/ex]http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1033/2

SOURCE: Space Review

NROL-32 Launch

Here is the latest Secret Satellite that was just launched. The launch was from a relatively new group on the block.. 45th Space Wing... ULA United Launch Alliance 


Related Stories:

ULA United Launch Alliance

SOURCE: United Launch Alliance Home Page

Here is the Information Awareness Office logo 


ANNUIT COEPTIS – Origin and Meaning


Now look into this flashy thingie and repeat after me..


FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Pegasus Research Consortium distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
~ MENU ~ Burntheships ~ Page Five ~

Webpages  © 2001-2016
Blue Knight Productions