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.
The 4th Space Operations Squadron’s mission is to operate the Air Force's protected and wideband MILSATCOM 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.
The 4th Space Operations Squadron 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 13 June, 2017, the 3rd Space Operations Squadron was inactivated and 4 SOPS assumed responsibility of the Defense Satellite Communications System Phase III, and Wideband Global Satellite constellations.
(Updated February 2018)