HomeAbout UsFact SheetsDisplay

4th Space Operations Squadron

(Courtesy graphic)

(Courtesy graphic)

The 4th Space Operations Squadron is a component of the 50th Operations Group, 50th Space Wing, Schriever Air Force Base, 
Colorado. The squadron was activated April 30, 1992.

Mission
The 4 SOPS’ mission is to operate the U.S. Space Force's protected and wideband Military Satellite Communications systems. 
They provide warfighters global, secure, survivable, strategic and tactical communication during peacetime and throughout 
the full spectrum of conflict. The squadron also operates three mobile constellation control stations at various locations in 
conjunction with host partners. At higher readiness levels and during exercises, these personnel deploy with U.S. Strategic 
Command and U.S. Northern Command respectively.

Additionally, they provide reliable space-borne communications to national authorities, U.S. and Allied forces. The 4 SOPS' motto, 
"Linking the Forces," reflects the squadron's responsibility to enhance the nation's secure and wideband communications capability 
for today's military forces. The squadron is responsible for command and control of the Milstar/Advanced Extremely High Frequency, 
Defense Satellite Communications System Phase III, and Wideband Global Satellite Communications satellite constellations through 
dedicated Extremely High Frequency antennas and the Air Force Satellite Control Network.

The multi-satellite constellation links command authorities to high priority U.S. forces via communications terminals on aircraft, ships, 
submarines, trucks and ground sites with encrypted voice, data, teletype or facsimile communications. They also provide secure 
high-rate data communications links to the President, Secretary of Defense, theater commanders and strategic and tactical forces worldwide.

History
The 4 SOPS gains its heritage from the 4th Photographic Squadron, which was activated June 10, 1941, at March Field, California. 
This highly decorated unit saw significant action in the Pacific Theater during World War II, until it was inactivated April 14, 1946. 
It was reactivated as the 4th Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range) in December 1946, and inactivated June 29, 1949. In 
May 1952, the unit was reactivated as the 4th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium), and inactivated July 1, 1958, at 
Rickenbacker AFB, Ohio. 4 SOPS was activated April 30, 1992 from the 4th Reconnaissance Squadron, with its new mission to 
operate the Milstar satellite communications system. On June 13, 2017, the 3 SOPS was inactivated and 4 SOPS assumed 
responsibility of the DSCS-III, and WGS constellations.

As of Sept. 25, 2019, 4 SOPS operationally accepted the Enhanced Polar System mission, providing protected communication 
capability to the underserved polar region.

(Current as of December 2019)