Peterson Air Force Base
|Peterson Air Force Base|
|Part of Air Force Space Command (AFSPC)|
|Located near: Colorado Springs, Colorado|
Hartinger Building, home of the Air Force Space Command
|Controlled by||United States Air Force|
|Garrison|| 21st Space Wing
302d Airlift Wing
|IATA: COS – ICAO: KCOS – FAA LID: COS|
|Elevation AMSL||6,187 ft / 1,886 m|
Peterson Air Force Base (IATA: COS, ICAO: KCOS, FAA LID: COS) is a base of the United States Air Force located at Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, United States and it shares runways with the adjacent City of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport under a shared joint civil-military airport arrangement. It was named in honor of 1st Lt Edward Joseph Peterson who was killed in a crash at the base.
Peterson AFB is home to the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), AFSPC's 21st Space Wing (21 SW), Army Space Command, and the Air Force Reserve Command's 302d Airlift Wing (302 AW). The 21 SW serves as host unit for Peterson AFB.
Principal military flight operations at Peterson AFB are currently conducted by the 302d Airlift Wing (302 AW), an Air Mobility Command (AMC)-gained unit of the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC). Previously stationed at the former Rickenbacker AFB, Ohio, the 302 AW relocated to Peterson in 1985 when Rickenbacker converted to an Air National Guard installation. The 302 AW consists of over 1,200 traditional part-time Air Force Reservists and over 200 full-time Air Reserve Technician (ART), Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) and USAF civil service personnel operating and maintaining 13 C-130H Hercules aircraft.
Current tenant units 
- 21st Space Wing (Host Unit)
- 302d Airlift Wing (Air Force Reserve Command)
- 302d Operations Group
- 52d Airlift Squadron (Active Associate Unit)
- 302d Maintenance Goup
- 302d Mission Support Group
- 302d Operations Group
- 544th Information Operations Group
- 561st Network Operations Squadron (part of the 67th Network Warfare Wing)
- Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center (AFOTEC), Detachment 4.
- NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command)
- USNORTHCOM (United States Northern Command)
- USAF Academy Band
- U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command / U.S. Army Strategic Command (Forward)
- U.S. Army (SMDC) 1st Space Brigade
- Colorado Wing, Civil Air Patrol
- Space and Missile System Center Space Logistics Directorate
Colorado military installations planned during the World War II buildup of US training installations prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor included Camp Carson south of Colorado Springs (HQ completed January 31, 1942) and Buckley Field east of Denver (a 1941 bombardier school moved to Louisiana). Sites "in the vicinity of Colorado Springs" had been assessed in the summer of 1941 for a USAAF airfield, and the site adjacent to the airfield of the 1926 Colorado Springs Municipal Airport was selected on May 6, 1942. In May 1942, units such as the 5th Mapping Squadron (from Bradley Field) arriving for the planned Army Air Base initially used city facilities, e.g., the "2nd Group ... headquarters was situated in a former garage across the street from the Post Office, barracks were in the city auditorium...and the mess hall was located at the busy horseshoe counter of the Sante Fe R.R. station." Land near the Broadmoor Hotel was used for maneuvers, and the 2nd Group initially operated without aircraft.
Army Air Base, Colorado Springs 
"Army Air Base, Colorado Springs", construction began after May 10, 1942, on "nothing more than a large patch of Colorado plain". During construction, a Photographic Reconnaissance Operational Training Unit was activated on June 22, 1942, as part of the Second Air Force--"HQ PROTU, Army Air Base, Colorado Springs" on July 7, 1942, was ordered to provide "four to five months of training to each individual." During air base construction, the 20th Combat Mapping Squadron was activated on July 23, 1942, and used the Alamo Garage on Tejon Street. On 8 August 1942, Colorado native 1st Lt Edward J. Peterson crashed at the airfield on take off and died. Bomber training (214th Combat Crew Training School, B-24 Liberator) began after the 383rd Bomb Group relocated from Geiger Field, Washington, in October 1943.
Peterson Field 
Peterson Field was the airfield named on December 13, 1942, and included the flight strip used for both the USAAF base and the municipal airport. The military installations 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Reconnaissance Groups were reassigned to overseas theaters in early 1943. The installation was assigned to the Third Air Force (5 March-1 October 1943), then the Second Air Force. Peterson Field was the landing strip for the 1943 Colorado Springs Tent Camp nearer to the city (post-war Ent Air Force Base), and in June 1944 Peterson Field began fighter pilot training with P-40N Warhawks (HQ 72nd FW was at the field). The Army Air Forces Instructor School transferred to Peterson Field in April 1945 when the installation was assigned to Continental Air Forces.
The military portion of Peterson Field was returned to the city on December 31, 1945, and buildings were razed (the 3 remaining original buildings in 1996 are "the terminal, now the Peterson Air and Space Museum, the Broadmoor Hangar...and the Spanish House" next to the museum. The installation was reactivated from 29 September 1947 to 15 January 1948 and again from 22 September 1948 into 1949. During the former period the base was part of Strategic Air Command (the Fifteenth Air Force headquarters was nearby at the Colorado Springs Tent Camp from 15 September 1946 - 7 November 1949.) The 4600th Air Base Group activated at Peterson on 1 January 1951 and supported Air Defense Command activated at nearby Ent Air Force Base (Aerospace Defense Command in 1968, Ent Annex in 1975). In 1958 the group became the 4600th Air Base Wing (46th Aerospace Defense Wing on 1 April 1975).
USAF Base 
On 1 March 1976, "Peterson Field" was renamed Peterson Air Force Base and continued shared airfield use. The Aerospace Defense Center was established at the base on December 1, 1979, when Aerospace Defense Command was being broken up (space surveillance stations transferred to Stategic Air Command).
The Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) headquarters[clarification needed] moved to Peterson AFB Building 1 in November 1987 (Hartinger Building in April 2003). after being originally located at the Chidlaw Building. The 1st Space Wing assumed host unit responsibility following the inactivation of the 46th Aerospace Defense Wing on 1 April 1983. The 1st Space Wing then transferred host unit responsibility to the 3d Space Support Wing, which activated on 15 October 1986. Army and other units transferred to Pete from the former Ent AFB Federal Building c. 1987, and the 1st SW and 3d SSW personnel and equipment transferred to the 21st Space Wing activated on 15 May 1992.
The Cheyenne Mountain Realignment moved NORAD/USNORTHCOM operations to Peterson AFB in 2006 from the Cheyenne Mountain nuclear bunker which was placed on warm standby, and in 2006 the 76th Space Control Facility was constructed at Peterson.
On 28 July 2006, operations formerly conducted in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) were relocated to Peterson Air Force Base for purposes of efficiency. The Cheyenne Mountain Complex will be left on warm standby until the protection of the mountain is again required. NORAD officials no longer feel there is a threat of an intercontinental nuclear attack which could disrupt NORAD's operations.
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Peterson Air Force Base|
- 302nd Airlift Wing Data
- 2006 Base Guide. Peterson Air Force Base Website. Retrieved February 15, 2008, See p. 41/51 in electronic file, or p. 44 on printed version.
- St. John, Philip A (April 15, 1998). Bombardiers in WWII. Vol II. Turner Publishing Company. "Fifty instructors arrived [at Barksdale] from the first three classes at Lowry Field, in February 1941. These instructors were distributed among three 'section' of cadre who were to be sent the Training Centers, each section to establish a bombardier school. Between 1 May and 29 November 1941 a total of 140 bombardiers were graduated in four classes from Barksdale, with the rating of "Aerial Bombardiers, Third Class." … Following graduation of the last class, the entire school was moved to Kirtland Field, Albuquerque, New Mexico.]" (Volume I)
- Stratton, Major James H.; Cox, Lt L.E.; Harmon, Lt H.C. (Aug 1941). Report on Sites for Military Airfield in the Vicinity of Colorado Springs, Colorado (Report). available at USAFA Special Collections; Harmon, Harold C. Series One--Site Selection and Development; Box 1 Folder 1.
- Mueller, Robert, "Air Force Bases Volume 1: Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982", United States Air Force Historical Research Center, Office of Air Force History, Washington, D.C., 1989, ISBN 0-912799-53-6, page 471.
- Prinzo (Corporal, 2nd Grp payroll clerk) (c. 1945), [description of sites used by 2nd Photo Grp] (quotation ) (quoted by First Installment)
- HQ Memo to HQ PROTU, July 7, 1942 (quoted by First Installment)
- St. John, Philip A. The Liberator Legend: The Plane and the People. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
- Nash, Jeff. "Peterson Air Force Base". "October 1943. The 383rd Bomb Group relocated here from Geiger Field, Wash., and formed a combat crew training school utilizing the B-24 "Liberator" heavy bomber."
- Toro, MSgt. Radames; Barrios, MSgt. Ramon A. (1 August 1993--Third Edition). "Chapter 1: Command Overview". Space Operations Orientation Course. Peterson AFB, Colorado: 21st Crew Training Squadron. "At the end of the war in 1945, the U.S. Government returned control of the [Peterson] field to the City of Colorado Springs and many of the military buildings were torn down. In 1948…the 15th Air Force, then headquartered at Ent AFB… One year later, the 15th Air Force relocated to March AFB California, and...the Air Force portion of Peterson Field were placed on inactive status. … until January 8, 1951, when the Air Force established the Air Defense Command (ADC) at Ent AFB. … Operational control at this time was provided by the 4600 Air Base Group… On October 1, 1979, control of [Peterson AFB] was transferred to the Strategic Air Command. … During December 1987, 2500 USSPACECOM and AFSPACECOM personnel relocated to their new Headquarters on Peterson AFB from the Chidlaw Building in Colorado Springs…p. 3"
- Gates, SSgt Andrew. "Medal of Honor grove highlights Air Force heroes". Guardian (Peterson AFB: 21st Space Wing public affairs): 16–17. "Medal of Honor grove, an anchor point for the base's historic district"
- "Peterson Air Force Base History". Peterson.AF.mil. Retrieved December 6, 2006.
- Peterson AFB. Global Security Website. Retrieved December 6, 2006
- NORAD AND USNORTHCOM change underway. July 28, 2006. NORAD Website. Retrieved December 6, 2006
- Peterson AFB Installation Overview from AirForceUSA.org.
- (PDF), effective May 2, 2013
- Resources for this U.S. military airport: