San Antonio’s military community is part of the “fabric” of the city


SAN ANTONIO — With coach Gregg Popovich’s record victory behind them, the Spurs will look to the salute of the San Antonio military community in Saturday night’s game against the Indiana Pacers at the AT&T Center.

Spurs’ annual military appreciation night always holds a special meaning for Popovich, an Air Force Academy graduate whose stint as an officer included a posting overseas during the Cold War.

“(The Army) has been a big part of the community for many decades,” Popovich said ahead of Friday’s 104-102 win over Utah that made him the NBA’s all-time leader in regular season with 1,336 wins.

“A lot of people call us the ‘military town‘ here in our country,” Popovich continued. “(The San Antonio military community) has been an obvious economic force, a source of pride, a lot of jobs, and those things are taken for granted quite often, of course. But it’s a staple in our community. And their support for us has always been tremendous and in many ways it’s part of the fabric of our society here in San Antonio.

Popovich graduated from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs with a degree in Soviet studies and became an active duty officer on June 3, 1970, according to records released by the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, a federal agency that collects information about military veterans.

According to an October 2014 article in the San Antonio Express-News, his first posting was with the 6594th Support Group in Sunnyvale, California, Silicon Valley. He was part of the Air Force’s top-secret Satellite Control Facility under the command of the Space and Missile Systems Organization, or SAMSO, which oversaw almost every aspect of the incursions of the Air Force. US military in space.

Their motto: “Either we will find a way, or we will create one”.

Popovich’s next military mission took him to a remote outpost in southeastern Turkey called Diyarbakir Air Station, where huge radar antennas tracked Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile launches, according to the article. ‘Express News.

“The first installation in Diyarbakir was originally intended to provide simple surveillance of the USSR’s missile test range at Kapustin Yar south of Stalingrad – that is, to detect missile launches “said a declassified CIA report on the radar outpost.

“The data it came to produce, however, transcended surveillance, allowing the derivation of missile trajectories, the identification of earth satellite launches, the calculation of a satellite’s ephemerides (position and orbit) and the synthesis of booster rocket performance.”

Popovich remained in the Air Force Reserves until 1993, achieving the rank of major.

Presented by the USAA, Military Appreciation Night celebrates San Antonio’s military community, including active duty, National Guard, Army Reserve, veterans and their families, according to a Spurs statement.

Throughout Saturday’s game, Spurs will recognize the military for their service and sacrifice. At half-time, there will be an enrollment ceremony.


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