The 50th Operations Support Squadron is a component of Delta 8, headquartered at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. The squadron was originally constituted the 50th Airdrome Squadron Jan. 25, 1943 that was later disbanded April 1, 1944. On Jan. 30, 1992, the squadron was reconstituted and re-designated the 50 OSS.
The 50th OSS’s mission is to “lead training, intel operations and tactics development to support integrated space and cyberspace operations.” Specifically, 50th OSS leads training programs and policies to ensure combat readiness for the Department of Defense's largest satellite delta with hundreds of operators and multiple operational squadrons, operating 64 satellites worth more than $53 billion. In April 2016, Space Training Transformation was completed, relocating Initial Qualification Training for Space Domain Awareness, Position Navigation, and Timing and Military Satellite Communications from Vandenberg AFB, California to 50th OSS. The 50th OSS instructors provide Initial/Mission Qualification Training, Upgrade Training and Instructor Qualification Training for three mission areas, graduating more than 300 students per year. In support of operational readiness, highly skilled instructors provide the foundational and advanced knowledge necessary for students to become successful space operators. The 50th OSS provides 13,470 hours of comprehensive weapon system training critical to developing our next generation of warfighters. Its personnel also maintain a $71.6 million Standard Space Trainer, essential in providing 8,900 hours of hands-on simulator training per year. This high-fidelity space trainer was designed to integrate various mission areas into a train-like-we-fight environment and to prepare the most proficient operators to be successful against a thinking adversary.
Courseware development personnel produce more than 22,000 training materials in the form of lesson plans, study guides, tests and computer-based training each year. The 50th OSS executes critical group-wide functions, including implementing instructional system design approach for the entire operations group and certifying approximately 150 instructors per year across nine units. Additionally, the squadron’s computer systems programmers created an innovative three-dimensional modeling concept used to design and convert eight virtual satellite models into tactile training aids thus replicating the intricacies of the Space Force's on-orbit systems and enhancing student expertise of specific satellite components to allow greater knowledge and proficiency spanning four weapon systems.
Additionally, 50th OSS delivers guidance and assists in developing training programs for all space and cyber operational systems across the space enterprise. They work closely with various industry partners, the satellite operations squadrons, the Space and Missile Systems Center program offices and Headquarters, U.S. Space Force. "Team OSS" ensures the training, combat readiness and smooth transition to operations for multiple next generation satellite constellations and command and control systems.
Finally, 50th OSS personnel provide a myriad of delta level missions and operations. No longer operating in a benign space environment, 50th OSS is working hard to train operators on the importance of delivering capabilities in a contested, degraded and limited operational domain. Weapons and tactics personnel produce procedures and strategies to maximize the impact of space superiority capabilities to the warfighter. The 50th OSS intelligence specialists develop system threat assessments, mitigation efforts and reports ensuring continued satellite operations for the entire unit. Both Intelligence and Weapons and Tactics personnel significantly contribute to advanced training scenario development within DEL 8. Advanced training is critical in developing the next generation of space cadre to better understand the threat environment to anticipate potential attacks and operate through an attack if one should occur.
The War Department constituted the 50th OSS under the name 50th Airdrome Squadron Jan. 25, 1943, and activated it under the command of 2nd Air Force, with station at Herington Army Air Field, Kansas, Feb. 1. The squadron moved to Casper Army Air Base, Wyoming, March 25 and returned to Herington AAF May 9. The War Department disbanded the squadron April 1, 1944.
The Department of the Air Force reconstituted the squadron Jan. 1, 1992, renaming it 50th OSS and assigning it to the Air Force Space Command. AFSPC activated the squadron as a unit of the 50th OG with station at Falcon Air Force Station (later renamed Schriever AFB) Jan. 30, 1992.
The 50th OSS has earned the American Theater Service Streamer for World War II and four Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards between Oct. 1, 1998 and Oct. 2, 2003.
As of July 24, 2020, the 50th OSS falls under DEL 8 as part of the U.S. Space Force's structure change.
(Current as of July 2020)