22nd Space Operations Squadron
Published August 22, 2012
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 activated Oct. 1, 1991.
The 22 SOPS operates the $6.2 billion Air Force Satellite Control Network by developing, executing and enforcing the Space Access
Tasking Order and providing space safety analysis to conduct satellite operations. The 22 SOPS coordinates the launch and on-orbit
operations of more than 192 Department of Defense, national intelligence, civil and Allied nation's satellites, including in support of global
warfighters, intelligence community users, the President and Secretary of Defense.
The 22 SOPS' Operations Center develops, publishes and enforces the SpATO, 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 29 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 counter-space actions to
ensure continued "access to space" and protect the ability to create "space effects" vital to our nation's security.
As the nation first established an orbiting spy program, ground antennas were required to command these satellites. Over 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 22 SOPS activated in October 1991 as an operational squadron under the 2d Satellite Tracking (later 750th Space) Group,
Onizuka Air Force Station, California. The unit assumed the responsibilities and functions previously conducted by Detachment
9, 2d Satellite Tracking Group. The squadron assumed full responsibility for AFSCN operations June 1, 1997. The unit was
transferred to the 50th Operations Group in June 1999, and in March 2004 was reassigned to the 50th Network Operations Group
(formerly 50th Communications Group).
The 50 NOG brought together all the 50th Space Wing's squadrons responsible for AFSCN 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 squadron’s 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.
(Current as of December 2019)