50th Operations Group

(Courtesy graphic)

(Courtesy graphic)


The 50th Operations Group is a component of the 50th Space Wing, Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. The group was activated Jan. 30, 1992.

The group consists of nine active-duty, Reserve and Guard squadrons with units located at Schriever AFB; Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.; Suiteland, Md.; and Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

Mission
The 50th Operations Group commands and controls, and executes launch and early orbit operations, for more than 60 satellites, which support the President, Secretary of Defense, federal and civilian agencies and all U.S. and allied military forces. It is comprised of more than 1,100 active-duty, Reserve and civilian professionals, and provides operational leadership, trains space operations crews and provides standardization and evaluation to more than 500 space system operators. The group's space operations centers perform 24-hour tracking, telemetry and commanding functions during launch, early-orbit and on-orbit spacecraft operations, as well as anomaly resolution and disposal.

Organization
The 1st Space Operations Squadron is located at Schriever AFB and is responsible for the Space Based Space Surveillance satellite, Advanced Technology Risk Reduction, Tactical Satellite 3 and Operationally Responsive Space 1. With SBSS and ATRR, 1 SOPS will operate the only on-orbit space-based space surveillance systems. In addition, 1 SOPS is the lead squadron for capitalizing on the operational potential of several developmental satellites as part of the Multi-Mission Satellite Operations Center with ORS-1, the first satellite out of the Operationally Responsive Space initiative, bringing electro-optical imaging capabilities to the war fighter.

The 2nd Space Operations Squadron provides precise, three-dimensional position, velocity and timing information to military and civilian users around the globe by operating the Navstar Global Positioning System, the military's largest and the world's most widely-used satellite constellation. The squadron operates and maintains the Master Control Station at Schriever AFB and a worldwide network of GPS-dedicated ground antennas and monitoring stations to provide around-the-clock command and control of the 35-satellite constellation.

The 3rd Space Operations Squadron conducts day-to-day command and control for the Defense Satellite Communications System providing wideband, longhaul communications capability for joint warfighters deployed around the globe. It also operates the Wideband Global SATCOM system, which brings a 10-fold increase to worldwide communications capability.

The 4th Space Operations Squadron is responsible for day-to-day command and control, communications payload management and ground segment maintenance for the Air Force's protected Military Satellite Communications systems. The five satellite Milstar constellation, and soon the first Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite, are operated primarily by two fixed Constellation Control Stations located on Schriever AFB and one fixed CCS on Vandenberg AFB, Calif., with additional three mobile CCSs prepared for emergency, contingency or endurance missions. The 4 SOPS provides warfighters global, secure, survivable, strategic and tactical communications during peacetime and throughout the full spectrum of conflict.

The 50th Operations Support Squadron is responsible for implementing operations and training policy for eight 50 OG, Guard and Reserve associate units, more than 500 CMR operators and seven unique DOD satellite systems. They are also responsible for processing the daily Space Duty Order and maintaining crew force management records for the largest crew force in Air Force Space Command. The squadron implements the space weapons and tactics program and integrates new satellite and ground control programs into current operations. It manages all aspects of training and equipping 50 OG members for deployments and the training program for all assigned AFSCs within the 50 OG.

The 50th Operations Group Detachment 1 is responsible for overseeing the command and control of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program constellation. Detachment 1 coordinates the activities for a diverse user community that includes the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center and Air Force Weather Agency. Detachment 1 provides contract management for sustainment, a single point of contact for US Air Force interests in the national environmental satellite community, and oversight and reporting for the NOAA civil servants who operate and sustain the DMSP constellation.

History
The Army Air Forces' 50th Pursuit Group stood up Jan. 15, 1941, and inactivated at La Junta Army Airfield, Colo., Nov. 7, 1945, after earning a distinguished flying record over forward bases in Europe during World War II. The group activated in the Air Force Reserve on Jun. 1, 1949 as a component of the 50th Fighter Wing.  It redesignated 50th Fighter-Interceptor Group on Mar. 1, 1950 before inactivating on Jun. 2. 1951.  Redesignated 50th Fighter-Bomber Group, the unit again activated as a component of the 50th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Clovis AFB, New Mexico, to equip and train preparatory to reassignment to Hahn Air Base, Germany.  The group inactivated on Dec. 8, 1957 as part of an Air Force reorganization of combat wings.  The 50th OG stood up at Falcon AFB Jan. 30, 1992, the same day as the 50th Space Wing. When the 50 OG activated, its crews -- formerly the crews of the 2d Space Wing -- monitored satellites during launch operations, maneuvered them into proper orbits and maintained their health in space.

(Current as of August 2016)