The 50th Operations Support Squadron is a component of the 50th Operations Group, 50th Space Wing, 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 redesignated the 50th Operations Support Squadron.
The 50th Operations Support Squadron’s mission is to “lead the evolution of qualification training, intelligence 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 wing with hundreds of operators and multiple operational squadrons, operating 65 satellites worth more than $29 billion. In April 2016, Space Training Transformation was completed, relocating Initial Qualification Training for Space Situational Awareness, Position Navigation and Timing and Military Satellite Communications from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California to the 50th OSS. The 50th OSS instructors provide Initial Qualification Training, Upgrade Qualification 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 4,900 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 3,200 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 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 developers created an innovative digital and physical 3D modeling concept to enhance student expertise of specific satellite components to allow greater knowledge and proficiency of their weapon system. Eight satellite models were designed, spanning three weapon systems that replicates the intricacies of 50th SW on-orbit systems.
Additionally, 50th OSS delivers guidance and assists in developing training programs for all space and cyber operational systems across the 50th Space Wing. They work closely with various industry partners, the satellite operations squadrons, the Space and Missile Systems Center program offices and Headquarters, Air Force Space Command. "Team OSS" ensures the training, combat readiness and smooth transition to operations for multiple next generation satellite constellations and command and control systems.
Finally, in addition to group level functions, 50th OSS personnel provide a myriad of wing 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 wing. Both Intelligence and Weapons and Tactics personnel significantly contribute to advanced training scenario development within the Operations Group. 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 50 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, Wyo., 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 50 OSS and assigning it to the Air Force Space Command. The AFSPC activated the squadron as a unit of the 50th Operations Group with station at Falcon Air Force Station (later renamed Schriever AFB) Jan. 30, 1992.
The 50 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.
(Current as of March 2018)