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50th Network Operations Group

(Courtesy graphic)

(Courtesy graphic)

The 50th Network Operations Group is a component of the 50th Space Wing, Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. It was activated as the 50th Communications Group Dec. 1, 1997.

The 50th Network Operations Group provides assured access to space and cyberspace through the $6.2 billion Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN) while providing critical information to the nation's warfighters through the Global Broadcast Service. The group plans, programs, integrates, operates and maintains command and control and common-user systems in support of Air Force Space Command, U. S. Strategic Command, Missile Defense Agency, 21st, 50th, 310th and 460th Space Wing missions, as well as several other Department of Defense Agencies. Additionally, the group is responsible for base communications and the $100 million communications and information gateway.

Specific mission responsibilities are accomplished through the group's four squadrons (21st, 22nd, 23rd Space Operations Squadrons and 50th Space Communications Squadron), four Detachments and twelve geographically separated operating locations.  The 50 NOG organizations:

* Schedule satellite contacts on the AFSCN for more than 175 Department of Defense, allied and national agency satellites; publish the daily network tasking order; and provides real-time support for satellite anomaly resolution.

* Provide frequency interference and space safety analysis.

* Operate and maintain seven worldwide remote tracking stations for the AFSCN.

* Direct a launch-critical satellite checkout facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla and Vandenberg AFB CA.

* Are responsible for operations and maintenance of AFSPC's Digital Integrated Network, which is a mission communications base and global circuit transport network (comprised of 400 nodes and more than 1,500 circuits) that is centrally managed with automated failover and path diversity.

*  Are responsible for Global Broadcast Service (GBS) Operations & Maintenance, which provides worldwide, high capacity, one-way transmission of video, imagery and other large data files in support of Joint military forces using Ultra High Frequency Follow-On, Ku Band, and Wideband Global Satellites (WGS). 

* Responsible for operations and maintenance of AFSPC Global Command and Control System, which is the command specific software version of the GCCS system of record product that provides critical command and control tools for Joint Staff, major command and combatant command  commanders.

* Manage the maintenance support activities of the satellite ground control systems for the AFSCN, Global Positioning System and Milstar.

* Exercise configuration control, technical data management, software management, systems engineering, maintenance and supply management for the AFSCN, GPS and Milstar ground control systems.

* Establish wing software policy and manage software planning, maintenance, configuration control and performance.

* Function as a conduit for C4 policy administration for 50th SW systems worldwide.

* Operates and maintains five Defense Satellite Communications System Terminals.

* Provide site integration for Schriever AFB by ensuring proposed modifications are properly integrated into the facility infrastructure (i.e., power, HVAC, etc.) and properly installed and documented.

* Perform all base operations for New Boston AFS, N.H.

The 50 NOG traces its proud history back to 1965. As the 1879th Communications Squadron at Nha Trang Airport, South Vietnam, the group supported combat operations in Southeast Asia with essential communications systems. The unit earned 23 combat awards in its six years of combat operations. After Vietnam, the group moved to Richards-Gebaur AFB, Missouri, where it served as a component of the Tactical Communications Division. Reassigned to the Space Communications Division in 1982, the group began its support to Air Force space operations at that time. The squadron underwent several name changes and was reassigned to Falcon Air Force Station in October 1985 as a component of the 2nd Space Wing.

Soon, the need for a group-level communications organization led to the redesignation of the 1879th Communications Squadron as the 1879th Communications Group in 1989. One year later, the group was relieved of assignment to the Space Communications Division and assigned directly to the 2nd Space Wing. It inactivated with the 2 SW Jan. 30, 1992.

In 1997, the 1879th Communications group returned to active duty as the 50th Communications Group. The group's distinguished history and numerous awards contributed significantly to the Air Force decision to continue this organization's lineage. Inactivated briefly in 2002, the 50th Communications Group was again activated in 2003. With that activation and resulting organizational change, the group assumed responsibility for the worldwide Air Force Satellite Control Network, the communications systems supporting the network, and base communications systems. Its redesignation in March 2004 as the 50th Network Operations Group reflected its true nature as a tactical group rather than one performing a mainly supporting role.

The organizational honors include 14 campaign streamers; a Presidential Unit Citation (Vietnam); seven Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards with Combat "V" Devices; eight Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards; and two Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross' with Palms.

(Current as of October 2016)