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Space


50th Space Wing [50th SW]

The 50th Space Wing, a component of Air Force Space Command, is located at Schriever Air Force Base, CO.

The mission of the 50th Space Wing is to command and control operational Department of Defense satellites and manage the worldwide Air Force Satellite Control Network.

With an annual budget of $166.8 million, the wing operates satellite operation centers at Schriever AFB, and remote tracking stations and other command and control facilities around the world. These facilities monitor satellites during launch, put the satellites in their proper orbits following launch, operate the satellites while they are in orbit, and fix satellite anomalies when they occur.

The wing's space operations squadrons are primarily concerned with control, telemetry, tracking and commanding of assigned satellites. Crew members conduct 24-hour operations to continually monitor the status of and control satellite systems.

The 50th Space Wing is responsible for over 4,000 military and Department of Defense civilian personnel, serving at operating locations worldwide, in support of over 100 communications, navigation and surveillance satellites with their associated systems valued at over $40.4 billion.

The wing:

  • Manages the worldwide Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN); and
  • Controls satellite programs including the Defense Support Program, the Navstar Global Positioning System, the Defense Satellite Communications System, NATO III, and Milstar.

The wing was originally established on July 8, 1985 as the 2nd Space Wing, and then redesignated the 50th Space Wing on January 30, 1992.

The wing is composed of three groups: 50th Operations, 50th Communications and 50th Support Groups at Schriever AFB.

The 50th Operations Group commands and controls assigned operational Department of Defense satellite systems, trains space operations crews, and provides operational support and evaluation functions for management of satellite control centers and assigned ground stations. The group is composed of eight squadrons. The group is also responsible for the daily operation of the majority of the AFSCN.

The network consists of eight subordinate tracking stations located around the world: 23rd Space Operations Squadron, New Boston Air Force Station, NH; Detachment 1, Vandenberg AFB, CA; Detachment 2, Diego Garcia, Chagos Archipelago; Detachment 3, Thule AB, Greenland; Detachment 4, Kaena Point, Oahu, HI; Detachment 5, Andersen AFB, Guam; Colorado Tracking Station, Schriever AFB, and Oakhanger, England, operated by the United Kingdom. The tracking stations command, track, record, and process on-orbit satellite data in support of DOD, NASA, and NATO programs. The wing assumed operational control of the AFSCN in October 1987.

The 50th Communications Group manages and executes 50th Space Wing responsibilities for logistics, maintenance activities, communications-computer resources, in support of the Air Force Space Command's space operations mission. The group is composed of two squadrons.

The 50th Support Group operates and maintains Schriever AFB, with responsibility for maintaining base security, providing civil engineering, contracting guidance and policy and general activities support. The group is also responsible for base support of the wing's sites worldwide.




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