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Posted 4/16/2015 Printable Fact Sheet
23rd SOPS
23rd Space Operations Squadron
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The 23rd Space Operations Squadron, a unit of the 50th Network Operations Group, 50th Space Wing, is located at New Boston Air Force Station, New Hampshire, and was activated Nov. 1, 1991.

The 23rd Space Operations Squadron is one of eight Air Force Satellite Control Network Remote Tracking Stations providing U.S. Strategic Command with critical satellite command and control capability to 175 Department of Defense, national and civilian satellites performing intelligence, weather, navigation, early-warning and communications operations.

The 23 SOPS provides assured access to space and cyberspace by operating and maintaining the largest AFSCN remote tracking station at New Boston Air Force Station, New Hampshire. The squadron provides real-time capability to users performing on-orbit tracking, telemetry, commanding and mission data retrieval services. The squadron also operates and maintains a Defense Satellite Communications System Heavy Earth Terminal, Source-B antenna, and Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Enhancement for the National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration.

On Oct. 1, 2010, the 23 SOPS began supporting three other AFSCN sites including 23 SOPS Detachment 1 located at Thule Air Base, Greenland, and Oakhanger, United Kingdom. The third site, the Eastern Vehicle Checkout Facility is located at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and is tasked with ensuring AFSCN capabilities and operation of satellites prior to and during initial launch. On Aug. 1, 2011, 23 SOPS began supporting two GPS ground antennas and monitor stations. One is located at Cape Canaveral and the other is located at Ascension Auxiliary Air Field on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic.

The squadron operates and maintains a 2,826-acre installation and infrastructure worth more than $106 million. The squadron performs all station operations for the installation including security, civil engineering, communications, services, natural resources and safety.

Satellite support operations at New Boston Satellite Tracking Station began on April 1, 1960, using van-mounted equipment. Simultaneous with van operations, the installation of equipment in permanent facilities began under the Weapons Systems 117L program. Van operations were gradually phased out and by June 1964, the entire station was operating in permanent facilities.

By the summer of 1964, the station had dual satellite tracking, telemetry and commanding capabilities. The squadron was transferred to Air Force Space Command and the station moved from a research and development environment into the operational Air Force on Oct. 1, 1987. The squadron was realigned under the 50th Network Operations Group on March 10, 2004, and the station celebrated its 50th anniversary May 2009.

(Current as of April 2015)

The 23rd Space Operations Squadron manages the New Boston Air Force Station Recreation Program. For more information, click here.

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