The mission of 4th SOPS is to ensure the Milstar system provides survivable, enduring, critical essential command and control communications through all levels of conflict for the president, the Secretary of Defense, and war fighting combatant commanders worldwide. 4th SOPS operates the $31 billion Milstar system executing communications management, satellite command and control, and ground segment maintenance for the Milstar constellation. 4th SOPS' motto "Linking the Forces" reflects Milstar's responsibility to enhance the nation's secure communications capability for today's military forces.
After the United States entry into World War II, flew aerial mapping missions over Western Canada and the Alaska Territory, mapping uncharted territory to support the building of the Alaska Highway. Deployed to South America in 1942–1943; mapping locations in British Guiana and Brazil for locations of emergency airfields as part of the development of the South Atlantic Transport Route.
Reassigned to 13th Air Force in late 1944; engaged in long-range mapping and reconnaissance over combat areas in support of seaborne landings in the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA) and the liberation of the Philippines. Remained in the Pacific Theater after the Japanese Capitulation performing reconnaissance mapping flights over Japan, Korea and China. Unit largely demobilized on Okinawa. Inactivated in early 1946.
Reactivated in 1947 as part of Strategic Air Command. Mission was to gather intelligence on a global scale. Squadron operated RB-47H Medium bombers refitted for aerial reconnaissance and mapping mission. Flew day and night strategic reconnaissance missions over a global scale. Inactivated due to budget reductions in 1958.