Joint Space Operations Center
Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) is a command and control (C2) weapon system focused on planning and executing US Strategic Command's Joint Functional Component Command for Space (JFCC SPACE) mission. The purpose of the JSpOC is to provide a focal point for the operational employment of worldwide joint space forces, and enable the Commander of JFCC SPACE (CDR JFCC SPACE) to integrate space power into global military operations. The JSpOC is located at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and is the organization responsible for performing all of the orbit determination activity necessary to maintain the US space catalogue.
The JSpOC includes the personnel from all four military services and three Allied nations (United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada), facilities and equipment necessary to provide CDR JFCC SPACE the ability to plan and execute command and control of worldwide space forces. It is composed of five core divisions: Strategy Plans (SPD), Combat Plans (CPD), Combat Operations (COD), Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISRD)and Space Surveillance (SSD).
In 2015, in an effort to consolidate and maximize effiencies for command and control, the Department of Defense announced that it will establish a Joint Interagency Combined Space Operations Center (JICSpOC), in conjunction with U.S. Strategic Command, Air Force Space Command, and the intelligence community, to be located at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.
Three products are used to plan and execute JFCC SPACE forces in support of the mission:
- Space Operations Directive (SOD; produced by Strategy Division): The SOD is a weekly assertion of CDR JFCC SPACE's intent, and gives him overall visibility into the efforts of the subordinate units assigned to his Tactical Control (TACON).
- Master Space Plan (MSP; produced by Combat Plans Division): The MSP visually details how joint space forces will support both CDR JFCC SPACE and theater commanders and guides the creation of the weekly JSTO.
- Joint Space Tasking Order (JSTO; produced by Combat Plans Division): The JSTO functions as CDR JFCC SPACE's execution order and tasks his OPCON and TACON units with specific missions.
All three products can be effectively matched to synchronize with ongoing exercise or real-world wartime operations in any geographic combatant command.
Combat Operations Division effectively directs the execution phase of operations and provides information on tasking responses to CDR JFCC SPACE, the other JSpOC divisions, upper command echelons, and theater space personnel for their space situational awareness. In doing so, they create and maintain the Single Integrated Space Picture (SISP).
The Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Division is integrated into all phases of the operational cycle, providing pertinent space intelligence information to the other three divisions in support of the strategy, planning and operations monitoring efforts.
- Strategy and Plans Division
- Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Division (formerly 614 SIS),
- Combat Operations Division (formerly 614 SOPS, 614 SIS and 1 SPCS),
- Unified Space Vault Division
Force providing units
- 614th Air and Space Operations Center
- 614th Air and Space Communications Squadron
- 9th Combat Operations Squadron (AF Reserve or AFR)
- 148th Space Operations Squadron, California Air National Guard
Apr 1996 Thirty-seven members were assigned to the 614th Space Operations Flight (614 SOPF) and were initially housed in two temporary facilities.
Nov 1997 The 614 SOPF christened a new space operations center. 614 SOPF was later redesignated 614 SOPS.
1 Aug 1998 Since its inception, the 614 SOPG has continuously operated the Air Force’s command and control center for space operations forces, variously known as the Space Operations Center, the SPACAF AOC, and finally, the Joint Space Operations Center, or JSpOC. During its history, it also had responsibility for the 614th Space Communications Squadron and its mission of serving as the Extremely High Frequency SATCOM subject matter expert, as well as providing manning to the Global and Regional SATCOM Support Centers. In May 2005, the 614 SOPG took responsibility for the 1st Space Control Squadron and its mission of tracking and cataloging all man-made objects in space.
July 1999 The Space Operations Center was redesignated as the 14th Air Force Air and Space Operations Center (Space AOC). With the support of Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Space AOC manpower grew to over 100 positions.
May 2005 The Space AOC was redesignated as the Joint Space Operation Center (JSpOC) and moved into a new, larger facility still within the 14th Air Force HQ building. The 1st Space Control Squadron became part of the 614 AOC / JSpOC.
21 Sep 2007 The ribbon is cut on a new operations center which consolidated all 614 AOC units at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Operations began in the new facility on 18 Aug 2007. General Kevin P. Chilton (AFSPC/CC) presided; Maj Gen William L. Shelton (14 AF/CC) was also present. The 614 AOC is co-located with and forms the core of the JSpOC.
The unit shield takes elements from its heritage and parent unit. The four-color center is taken from the JFCC SPACE shield. The purple background signifies the joint environment in which they work. The tiger is taken from the patch of the 614 AOC, and 614 SOPG before it. The key in the middle of the shield comes from the former 614 SIS and the intelligence operators that currently staff the JSpOC. The orbit and star are brought from the former 614 SOPS and also shows the unit's tie to the original Army Air Corps and the command and control of space forces operating weapons systems traversing through space. Finally, the banner encircling the patch is the JSpOC's formal name and motto.
Members assigned via its multiple force providing units have a distinguished history earning many awards, including the 2005 US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) Omaha Trophy for the Best Space and Information Operations Unit and 2007 USSTRATCOM Omaha Trophy for the Best Space Operations Unit.
Chain of command
- United States Department of Defense
- United States Strategic Command
- Joint Functional Component Command for Space
- Joint Space Operations Center
- Hejduk, M. D.; Ghrist, R. W. "Solar Radiation Binning for the Geosynchronous Orbit". AAS 11-58. NASA Technical Reports Server. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
- "New Joint Interagency Combined Space Operations Center to be established". Press Operations. DoD. Sep 11, 2015. NR-352-15.
- Page II, Joseph T. (Feb 22, 2016). "Giving the tiger teeth: improving the space operations center". Space Review.
To malign a quote from The Untouchables, using the JSpOC is like bringing “a knife to a gun fight... The blunt truth is today the 614 AOC is little more than a space traffic control center
- "Strategic Command units win awards". News Article. United States Air Force. June 24, 2008. Archived from the original on July 29, 2012.
- "Joint Functional Component Command for Space". Vandenberg Air Force Base. Mar 15, 2013.
- "Space Control and Space Surveillance". Factsheets. STRATCOM. Archived from the original on 2016-06-28.
JFCC Space, through its Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC), detects, tracks, and identifies all artificial objects in Earth orbit