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Posted 4/16/2015 Printable Fact Sheet
22nd SOPS
22nd Space Operations Squadron
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22nd Space Operations Squadron, a unit of the 50th Network Operations Group, 50th Space Wing, is located at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. The squadron was activated Oct. 1, 1991.

The 22nd Space Operations Squadron operates the $6.2 billion Air Force Satellite Control Network by developing, executing and enforcing the network operations tasking order and providing space safety analysis to conduct satellite operations. The 22 SOPS coordinates the launch and on-orbit operations of 175 Department of Defense, national intelligence, civil and allied nation's satellites including in support of global war fighters, intelligence community users, the President and Secretary of Defense.

The 22 SOPS's Network Operations Center develops, publishes and enforces the network tasking order, and directs and monitors all aspects of enterprise operations for AFSCN users through a combination of military commanders, civilian professionals and contract support. The squadron's orbit analysts coordinate ephemeris data, launch and early orbit analysis determination, and tracking station look angles to support space operations for some 25 different space operations centers. The 22 SOPS also provides limited predictive and investigative Radio Frequency Interference and Collision Avoidance products to all AFSCN users. Further, the squadron implements defensive counterspace actions to ensure continued "access to space" and protect the ability to create "space effects" so vital to our nation's security.

The 22 SOPS's history dates back to the late 1950s. As the nation first established an orbiting spy program, ground antennas were required to command these satellites. During the many decades that followed, those antennas were upgraded and expanded to locations all around the globe. Today, that legacy continues under the control of 22 SOPS. The unit began operations in March 1987 under Air Force Systems Command and was known as the 2nd Satellite Tracking Group, Operating Location at Falcon AFB, later renamed Schriever AFB.

In May 1988, the squadron received turnover of the Colorado Tracking Station, the first standalone Automated Remote Tracking Station. Later in May 1989, the squadron was activated as Detachment 9, 2nd Satellite Tracking Group. The squadron assumed full responsibility for AFSCN operations on June 1, 1997. The 22 SOPS itself was activated in October 1991 as an operational squadron under the 750th Space Group, Onizuka Air Force Station, California. The unit was transferred to the 50th Operations Group in June 1999.

Effective June 2004, the 50th Network Operations Group stood up, and 22 SOPS was moved from 50 OG to the new 50 NOG. The 50 NOG brought together all the 50th Space Wing's squadrons responsible for space operations and maintenance as well as communications. The unit staffing consists of officers, enlisted, DOD civilians and contractor personnel performing AFSCN operations and maintenance 24/7 around the global. On Nov. 1, 2010, command of six of the squadrons seven remote tracking stations was transferred to the 21 SOPS (Vandenberg, Diego Garcia, Hawaii and Guam) and 23 SOPS (Thule, Oakhanger and EVCF). On July 16, 2012, operations at the Colorado Tracking Station ceased. In the future the site will be used for testing and contingency operations. Plans are being developed to use the original ARTS core and existing communication links with a transportable antenna.

(Current as of April 2015)

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