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Space


2nd Space Warning Squadron [2nd SWS]

The 2nd Space Warning Squadron, Buckley AFB, CO, controls, receives, processes and reports DSP mission information.

The 2nd SWS detects ballistic missile launches using Defense Support Program satellites, and reports that information to the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Space Command Missile Warning Center at Cheyenne Mountain Air Station, CO. The squadron is the primary Defense Support Program ground station in the continental United States.

The DSP is a space-based, infrared satellite surveillance system that detects and reports ballistic missile launches, space launches and nuclear detonations in near-real time. The 2nd SWS crews are responsible for monitoring controlling and maintaining multi-million dollar satellites and data processing equipment. The unit sends data to the North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Space Command at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Base, CO.

The unit also supports the development, testing, verification, and validation of the new Space-Based Infrared System. The SBIRS program consolidates Department of Defense and national infrared detection systems into a single more capable architecture, and fulfills the nation's missile warning, missile defense, technical intelligence, and battle space characterization requirements.

As of late 2000, the squadron was in the process of transitioning to the Space-Based Infrared System.

The mission of the 2nd SWS is to:

  • Process Defense Support Program satellite information and controls the satellites in the DSP constellation; and
  • Monitor and maintain the satellites and data processing equipment.

The 2nd SWS activated on July 1, 1971, as part of the 14th Aerospace Force of Aerospace Defense Command. Upon the deactivation of ADCOM, on December 1, 1979, the unit became part of the 1st Strategic Aerospace Division, Strategic Air Command. The squadron then came under the control of 1st Space Wing on May 1, 1983, as one of the first units transferred from SAC to the newly formed Air Force Space Command.

The unit was combined with the 2162nd Communications Squadron and became part of 21st Space Wing when the 1st Space Wing and 3rd Space Support Wing were inactivated and merged on May 15, 1992.

About 340 Air Force (active-duty and Reserve), Guard, Reserve, Canadian, British and Australian military members as well as US civilian employees are assigned to the unit. TRW-Hughes and Aerospace Corporation employees serve the unit as advisors and crew members.




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