22nd Space Operations Squadron
|22nd Space Operations Squadron|
|Active||October 1, 1991– present|
|Branch||United States Space Force|
|Role||Satellite command and control|
|Part of||Space Delta 6|
|Home base||Schriever AFB|
|Nickname(s)||Pathfinders to the Stars|
|Motto(s)||"Conectens caeli terraque" (Latin for "Connecting land and air")|
|Equipment||Air Force Satellite Control Network|
|Decorations||Air Force Outstanding Unit Award|
|Lieutenant Colonel Brendon Herbeck|
|22nd Space Operations Squadron Emblem (approved 13 April 1995)[note 1]|
The 22d Space Operations Squadron is a satellite control unit of the United States Space Force. It is part of Space Delta 6 and is located at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. Prior to July 2020 it was a United States Air Force unit of the 50th Network Operations Group, itself a part of the 50th Space Wing.
Mission and operations
The 22nd Space Operations Squadron (22nd SOPS) operates the Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN) by developing, executing and enforcing the Space Access Tasking Order (SpATO) and providing space safety analysis to conduct satellite operations. The 22nd SOPS coordinates the launch and on-orbit operations of more than 190 Department of Defense, national intelligence, civil and Allied nation's satellites, including in support of global warfighters, intelligence community users, the President and Secretary of Defense.
The 22nd SOPS's Operations Center at Schreiver AFB, Colorado, develops, publishes and enforces the SpATO, and directs and monitors all aspects of enterprise operations for AFSCN users through a combination of military commanders, civilian professionals and contract support. The squadron's orbit analysts coordinate ephemeris data, launch and early orbit analysis determination, and tracking station look angles to support space operations for some 29 different space operations centers.
The 22nd SOPS also provides a limited predictive and investigative radio frequency interference and collision avoidance capability to all AFSCN users. It also implements defensive counter-space actions to ensure continued "access to space" and protect the ability to create "space effects".
The unit staffing consisted of officers, enlisted, DOD civilians and contractor personnel performing AFSCN operations and maintenance 24/7 around the global.
Constituted 22d Space Operations Squadron on 10 July 1991, it was activated on 1 Oct 1991. It operated as part of the 2d Satellite Tracking (later, 750th Space) Group. In 2004 it changed from being under the 50th Operations Group to the 50th Network Operations Group. As part of 22 SOPS, the Colorado Tracking Station enjoyed a unique status as the only on-base satellite tracking facility. Originally built in the late 1980s, the station underwent a number of upgrades.
In 2004, the 50th Network Operations Group brought together all the 50th Space Wing's squadrons responsible for Air Force Satellite Control Network operations and maintenance as well as communications.
In late 2006, the station is scheduled to receive a new equipment core, which will allow further automation of the satellite operations. The new core, part of the Remote Tracking Station Block Change includes computer processor upgrades, and new hardware/software to allow the tracking station equipment to better interface with the upgraded satellite operations centers. This system also involves a 13-meter diameter, 3-axis antenna. This new antenna adds the capability to track low earth orbiting satellites "over the top".
The squadron operated several detachments at tracking stations around the globe, each forming part of the Air Force Satellite Control Network.
- Detachment 1: Vandenberg Tracking Station (COOK), Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
- Detachment 2: Diego Garcia Tracking Station (REEF), Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory
- Detachment 3: Thule Tracking Station (POGO), Thule Air Base, Greenland
- Detachment 4: Hawaii Tracking Station (HULA), Kaena Point Satellite Tracking Station, Hawaii
- Detachment 5: Guam Tracking Station (GUAM), Guam
- OL-AE: Telemetry and Command Station (LION), RAF Oakhanger, United Kingdom
- New Boston Tracking Station (BOSS) New Hampshire
Beginning October 1, 2006, the Colorado Tracking Station began reduced operations, owing to "fiscal constraints".
On Nov. 1, 2010, command of six of the squadron’s seven remote tracking stations was transferred to the 21st Space Operations Squadron (Vandenberg, Diego Garcia, Hawaii and Guam) and 23rd Space Operations Squadron (Thule, Oakhanger and the Eastern Vehicle Checkout Facility). On July 16, 2012, operations at the Colorado Tracking Station ceased.
The squadron was realigned to Space Delta 6 of the United States Space Force on 24 July 2020.
- Constituted as the 22d Space Operations Squadron on 10 July 1991
- Activated on 1 October 1991
- 2d Satellite Tracking Group (later 750th Space Group)
- 50th Operations Group, June 1999
- 50th Network Operations Group, March 2004 – 24 July 2020
- Space Delta 6, 24 July 2020 – present
- Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, 1 October 1991 – present
- The Aldridge Trophy 1996 (Guardian Challenge)
- Outstanding Unit Awards:
- September 1990 – August 1991
- September 1993 – August 1995
- October 1998 – September 2000
- October 2000 – September 2001
- October 2001 – October 2002
- October 2002 – October 2003
- "Air Force Personnel Services: Unit Awards". Air Force Personnel Center. Retrieved 9 May 2017. (search)
- Endicott, p. 493
- "Fact sheet – 22nd Space Operations Squadron". Schriever Air Force Base. US Space Force. July 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
- "Thule Air Force Base Library: Fact Sheet Detachment 2, 22nd Space Operations Squadron". Thule Air Force Base Public Affairs. Archived from the original on 13 March 2007. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
- Braun, SMS Brent (13 June 2006). "17th TS contributes to AFSCN versatility". Air Force Space Command Public Affairs. Archived from the original on 22 July 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
- "Schreiver Air Force Base Library: Fact Sheets: 22nd Space Operations Squadron". 50th Space Wing Public Affairs. 16 April 2015. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
- Endicott, Judy G. (1998). Active Air Force Wings as of 1 October 1995 and USAF Active Flying, Space, and Missile Squadrons as of 1 October 1995 (PDF). Air Force History and Museums Program. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ASIN B000113MB2. Retrieved 2 July 2014.