The 21st Space Wing hosts more than 50 mission partners at Peterson Air Force Base, providing base security, communications and logistical support and numerous other services.
Air Force Space Command
Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), created Sept. 1, 1982, is a major command headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado. AFSPC provides space and cyberspace capabilities to the joint warfighter enabling our nation’s global reach and global vigilance. Air, space and cyberspace are inextricably connected and exponentially increase each other’s capabilities, providing a distinct strategic advantage. AFSPC provides the most capable and remarkable military space and cyberspace force the world has ever known and positions resources to meet the challenges America will encounter in these vital domains.
Global access, persistence and awareness for the 21st Century.
Provide resilient and affordable space and cyberspace capabilities for the Joint Force and the nation.
More than 38,000 professionals, assigned to 134 worldwide locations, perform AFSPC’s diverse space and cyberspace missions. AFSPC professionals also support contingency deployments in every major theater of operations.
AFSPC has two numbered air forces, two centers and one office. The 14th Air Force is at Vandenberg AFB, California, and provides space capabilities for the joint fight through the operational missions of space lift; position, navigation, and timing; satellite communications; missile warning; and space control. The 24th Air Force is at Lackland AFB, Texas, and assures the joint warfighter’s freedom of action by establishing, extending, operating and defending assigned portions of the Department of Defense network to provide capabilities in, through and from cyberspace.
The Space and Missile Systems Center, a subordinate unit of Air Force Space Command, is the center of technical excellence for developing, acquiring, fielding and sustaining military space systems. SMC’s mission is to deliver resilient and affordable space capabilities.
The center is responsible for on-orbit checkout, testing, sustainment and maintenance of military satellite constellations and other Department of Defense space systems. SMC is home to the system program offices for the Global Positioning System, Military Satellite Communications, Space Based Infrared Systems, Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, Space Superiority Systems and Spacelift Range and Network Systems. SMC also supports space test ranges, responsive space, and other emerging evolutionary space programs.
The Air Force Network Integration Center at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, provides Air Force network integration, cyber validation, and network standards, architecture and engineering services. Through these unique technical services, the center serves as the focal point for integrating mission systems, business systems, commercial information technology products and other networks into the Air Force Network.
The Air Force Spectrum Management Office (AFSMO), co-located with the other national military spectrum management offices at Fort Meade, Maryland, is the office of primary responsibility for all Air Force spectrum management-related matters ranging from policy, guidance, processes and procedures, system certification and spectrum licensing to satellite orbital registration. Also, on behalf of the Air Force and selected DOD activities, AFSMO defends and articulates Air Force spectrum access to regulatory agencies at the joint, national and international level as well as plans and preserves access to the electromagnetic spectrum in support of national policy objectives, systems development and global operations through analysis and negotiation with international, civil and military organizations.
Spacelift operations at Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, and Vandenberg AFB, California, provide a highly reliable, integrated system of services, facilities and range safety control to support satellite launches as well as ballistic missile and aeronautical testing. Through the command and control of all DOD satellites, space operators provide force-multiplying effects, continuous global coverage, low vulnerability and autonomous operations. Satellites provide essential in-theater secure communications, weather and navigational data for ground, air and fleet operations and threat warning. Space-based missile warning satellites and ground-based radars monitor ballistic missile launches around the world, supporting ballistic missile warning and defense to North America, U.S. forces and allies. When these ballistic missiles come into the field of view (FOV) of the ground-based radars, which include PAVE Phased Array Warning, Ballistic Missile Early Warning, and Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterization System, they will detect and track the missiles until they leave the FOV, relaying precise launch and predicted impact locations to the distant ends. Ground-based radars at Beale AFB, California; Fylingdales in the United Kingdom; Thule Air Base, Greenland; and Eareckson Air Station, Shemya, Alaska, have been upgraded as part of the missile defense architecture and provide tracking information for the engagement of enemy missiles. The radars at Clear Air Station, Alaska, and Cape Cod Air Station, Massachusetts, are currently being upgraded to support the missile defense architecture.
A robust space surveillance network is required to detect, track, and identify threats to vital space assets and establish foundational Space Situational Awareness (SSA). SSA is the collection, production, exploitation, and dissemination of information in order to actively assess space events in order to make decisions on preserving U.S. space capability. Space surveillance radars, telescopes, and space-based assets provide vital information on the location of satellites and space debris for the nation and the world. A globally dispersed network of ground-based and space-based optical systems, along with ground-based phased-array and mechanical radars provide primary space surveillance coverage. The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg AFB processes the data from these sensors to enhance the warfighter’s decision space. Maintaining space superiority is a vital capability required to protect our nation’s space assets.
AFSPC acquires, operates and supports the Global Positioning System, Defense Satellite Communications System, Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, Defense Support Program, Milstar Satellite Communications System, Advanced Extremely High Frequency System, Wideband Global SATCOM Satellite system, Global Broadcast Service, Space Based Space Surveillance and the Space-Based Infrared System. AFSPC procures launch services via the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program, which provides satellite delivery to specific orbits. There are currently two families of launch vehicles, Delta IV and Atlas V, with the intent to include certified new entrants in competition. AFSPC’s launch operations include the eastern and western ranges of Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, and Vandenberg AFB, California. The command maintains and operates a worldwide network of satellite tracking stations, called the Air Force Satellite Control Network, to provide communication links to satellites.
Cyberspace operations have revolutionized the manner in which the military operates, dramatically altering the way we fight. These computer-related operations underpin the full spectrum of military operations including planning, employment, monitoring and assessment capabilities. Cyber is a core function fortifying and enabling nuclear deterrence, air superiority, global precision attack, global integrated ISR, global mobility, command and control, and a host of other traditional Air Force capabilities proved to be vital for successful military operations. As such, operating with assurance in the cyberspace domain is a national security imperative. The cyberspace domain is a global domain within the information environment consisting of the interdependent network of information technology infrastructures, including the Internet, telecommunications networks, computer systems, and embedded processors and controllers. Air Force Space Command’s primary cyberspace operational focus is to provide the joint warfighter with capabilities used to operate in and through the cyberspace domain. AFSPC conducts cyber operations through its subordinate units: 24th Air Force, 67th Network Warfare Wing and the 688th Information Operations Wing at Lackland AFB, Texas, and the 5th Combat Communications Group at Robins AFB, Georgia. These organizations ensure that warfighters maintain an information advantage as the Air Force prosecutes military operations in the joint environment. More than 4,600 men and women assigned to the 24th Air Force work 24/7 conducting or supporting cyberspace operations. In addition, more than 10,000 Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve personnel directly support the Air Force Space Command cyber mission.
In 1982, the Air Force established Air Force Space Command, with space operations as its primary mission. During the Cold War, space operations focused on missile warning, space surveillance and command and control for national leadership. Air Force Space Command’s space mission continued to grow with the addition of the Air Force Satellite Control Network in 1987 and with gaining responsibility for the launch mission in 1990. In 1991, Operation Desert Storm provided emphasis for the command’s new focus on support to the warfighter. The Space Warfare Center, now named the Space Innovation and Development Center, was created to ensure space capabilities reach the people who need it. ICBM forces joined AFSPC in 1993.
In 2001, upon the recommendation of the Space Commission, the Space and Missile Systems Center joined the command. It previously belonged to Air Force Materiel Command. AFSPC is currently the only Air Force command to have its acquisition arm within the command. In 2002, also on a recommendation from the Space Commission, AFSPC was assigned its own four-star commander after previously sharing a commander with U.S. Space Command and NORAD.
In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the president directed military action against Afghanistan and Iraq. AFSPC provided extensive space-based support to the U.S. Central Command commander in the areas of communications; positioning, navigation and timing; meteorology; and warning. In 2005, the Air Force expanded its mission areas to include cyberspace. In concert with this, the Air Force assigned responsibility for conducting cyberspace operations to AFSPC when the 24th Air Force was activated in August 2009, and achieved full operational capability in October 2010. In order to focus the USAF nuclear mission, the Air Force activated Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) to consolidate all nuclear forces under one command. In accordance with this realignment, AFSPC transferred its ICBM forces to AFGSC in December 2009.
North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command
NORAD and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) are separate commands that have complementary missions and the same commander. The two commands operate within a common security environment and share common values, understanding the urgency and importance of its duties in light of very real and present dangers to North America.
Established May 12, 1958, NORAD is a United States and Canadian binational organization that conducts aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning in the defense of North America. Aerospace warning includes monitoring of man-made objects in space, and detection, validation and warning of attack against North America by aircraft, missiles or space vehicles, through mutual support arrangements with other commands. Aerospace control includes ensuring air sovereignty and defense of the airspace of Canada and the United States. Maritime warning includes processing, assessing and disseminating information and intelligence on potential maritime threats.
U.S. Northern Command was established Oct. 1, 2002, to provide command and control of DOD homeland defense efforts and to coordinate DOD support of civil authorities. USNORTHCOM partners conduct homeland defense, civil support, and security cooperation to defend and secure the United States and its interests.
NORAD AND USNORTHCOM COMMAND CENTER
The headquarters for NORAD and USNORTHCOM are in the Eberhart-Findley Building at Peterson Air Force Base. Within the Eberhart-Findley Building, the NORAD and USNORTHCOM Command Center enables the two commands to coordinate and collaborate land, air, space, missile warning, maritime and cyber domain activities in accomplishing their missions. This integrated command center brings the commands’ missions together in a way that creates great synergy. It significantly improves situational awareness and appropriate responsiveness to threats, natural hazards or major events in either country.
This command and control center maintains constant links with more than 150 command centers across the United States and Canada and among partner combatant commands around the world. This instant connectivity and constant information-sharing helps NORAD and USNORTHCOM anticipate and meet the continental defense challenges of the present and future.
U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/U.S. Army Forces Strategic Command
The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command (SMDC/ARSTRAT) provide command and control of the 1st Space Brigade and the 100th Missile Defense Brigade (Ground-based Midcourse Defense). SMDC/ARSTRAT also provides secure, space-based Blue Force Tracking and communications planning through Regional Satellite Communications Support Centers and the Measurements and Signatures Intelligence-Advanced Geospatial Intelligence (MASINT-AGI) node to Army forces and, upon request, to joint warfighters.
Since the first Gulf War, space Soldiers have supported every major contingency operation with long-haul communications, satellite imagery and early warning of missile launches. Space Soldiers are spread around the globe providing flexible, reliable and pinpoint support to warfighters and homeland defense against missile attack.
The 1st Space Brigade conducts continuous space force enhancement, space support and space control operations in support of combatant commanders, enabling shaping and decisive operations. The brigade comprises three subordinate battalions: The 53rd Signal Battalion manages transmission control and satellite payload control of the DOD Wideband Constellation by sustaining, operating and maintaining global Wideband Satellite Communications Operations Centers and a Defense Satellite Communications System Certification Facility; the 1st Space Battalion focuses on Ballistic Missile Early Warning, Army Space Support Teams, and the Commercial Imagery Team; and the 117th Space Battalion, Colorado Army National Guard, is similar to that of its active component counterpart. The brigade comprises active-duty, National Guard and Reserve Soldiers.
The 100th Missile Defense Brigade, Colorado Army National Guard, provides oversight of the Soldiers trained to operate the nation’s limited missile defense capability. The brigade has trained operators who monitor the GMD system at the Joint National Integration Center at Schriever AFB. The brigade comes under the overall direction of the responsible combatant commander during an operational mission.
The 49th Missile Defense Battalion, Alaska Army National Guard, provides physical security and defense of the interceptor site as well as operators who are trained to operate the GMD system. The Soldiers who operate and maintain the system undergo a strenuous course of education and training before being available for assignment to the missile site at Fort Greely, Alaska.
Working with USSTRATCOM, the Missile Defense Agency, the Army National Guard and many others, SMDC/ARSTRAT is helping to develop a missile defense capability. As the user and operator of the GMD capability, SMDC/ARSTRAT is contributing to ongoing developmental efforts in planning and user refinements and establishing the tactics, techniques and procedures with which it will be operated.
302nd Airlift Wing
The 302nd Airlift Wing (AW) is one of nine Air Force Reserve Command C-130 wings with an airdrop and airlift mission in the nation and the only Air Force Reserve wing with the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System mission, or MAFFS mission. Approximately 1,300 Reservists are assigned, and about 200 of the 1,300 are full-time employees as dual military/civilian status Air Reserve Technicians. In addition, approximately 200 active-duty members assigned to the 52nd Airlift Squadron are associated with the wing.
The wing is assigned 12 C-130H3 Hercules aircraft, operated by the wing’s 731st Airlift Squadron and its associated active-duty squadron, the 52nd Airlift Squadron.
The primary operational mission of the 302nd AW is tactical airlift and airdrop. The wing also has the specialized mission of aerial firefighting using the U.S. Forest Service’s portable Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System.
All units assigned to the 302nd AW can be activated and deployed from the United States to any location in the world within 72 hours.
The 302nd AW has three groups and a medical squadron assigned. The groups are the 302nd Operations Group, the 302nd Maintenance Group and the 302nd Mission Support Group. The 302nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron ensures the wing members’ medical readiness.
The 302nd AW is one of the Air Force Reserve Command’s C-130 units partnering with an active-duty Air Force associate flying squadron. The active association allows for maximum use of the wing’s aircraft, while capitalizing on the high years of experience found in members of the Air Force Reserve. The 52nd Airlift Squadron, assigned to the 19th Airlift Wing, based at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, began its association with the 302nd AW in October 2009.
The 302nd AW comes under the operational control of the Air Force Reserve Command, headquartered at Robins AFB, Georgia. When called to active duty through presidential order, the wing would be gained by the 18th Air Force and would become an active-duty unit under Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, Illinois.
Established as the 302nd Troop Carrier Wing on May 16, 1949, the 302nd AW was first activated by the Air Force Reserve on June 27, 1949. In the mid-1950s, the wing flew airlift operations in the United States and overseas.
The 302nd AW was called to active duty during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. During the 1960s, wing aircraft and crews performed worldwide airlift missions and participated in numerous tactical exercises. The unit was deactivated on April 1, 1981. In mid-1983, the unit, then designated the 901st Tactical Airlift Group, moved to newly constructed facilities on Peterson AFB and reactivated April 1, 1985.
The wing received one of its most challenging tests in 1990-91 with Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. More than 600 wing members — including flying, medical and maintenance personnel — deployed to the Persian Gulf, England and stateside locations to support active-duty operations.
At the end of the Gulf War, the 302nd AW supported Operation Provide Comfort, air dropping food and supplies to Kurdish refugees. The wing supported Operations Provide Relief and Restore Hope in Somalia, Coronet Oak in Panama, Provide Promise’s humanitarian airlift to Bosnia and hurricane relief to Homestead AFB, Florida.
In 1999, the wing assisted in humanitarian relief to refugees from Kosovo and Operation Allied Force.
In December 2001, the 302nd AW became the first Air Force Reserve C-130 unit to mobilize and deploy in support of Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom in response to the 9/11 attacks, flying airlift missions out of Europe. During that period, members of the 302nd Security Forces Squadron were mobilized and deployed to various spots around the globe, including Southwest Asia. Since 2003, members of the Aeromedical Staging Squadron, Aerial Port Squadron, Security Forces, Logistics Readiness, Services, Intelligence and individual personnel have been mobilized and deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. The 302nd AW was later activated in support of U.S. Central Command operations in Southwest Asia in 2005-06.
The wing continues to provide operational support to ongoing overseas contingency operations. In 2008, 2010 and 2013, C-130 aircraft, aircrews and support personnel deployed providing C-130 airlift in support of U.S. Central Command operations in Southwest Asia. Other units and individuals within the 302nd AW who have also deployed to Southwest Asia include the 302nd Security Forces Squadron, 302nd Civil Engineer Squadron, 34th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and 39th Aerial Port Squadron. In January 2010, the wing provided humanitarian aid relief for earthquake victims in Haiti during the wing’s Operation Coronet Oak rotation deployment which included providing airlift support to U.S. Southern Command’s Operation Unified Response.
MODULAR AIRBORNE FIRE FIGHTING SYSTEM (MAFFS)
The 302nd Airlift Wing is the only Air Force Reserve unit trained and equipped for the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS) mission, which involves air dropping fire-retardant to contain wildland fires. The MAFFS systems, which are inserted into the C-130s, are owned by the U.S. Forest Service and can be activated and installed in the C-130 within hours. The wing has flown firefighting missions throughout the western United States since the 302nd AW took on the Air Force Reserve portion of the MAFFS mission in 1993. In 2008 and again in 2011, the 302nd AW was the lead wing for DOD MAFFS operations. The 302nd Airlift Wing’s MAFFS-equipped aircraft and crews were called upon to support the control of wildland fires in Israel in December 2010. Upon arrival at Lajes Field in the Azores, the 302nd AW learned that the Israeli fires were under control, so the MAFFS-equipped C-130s and aircrews returned to home station. International support of MAFFS-equipped C-130s also occurred in April 2011 with the wing’s support of wildland fire control efforts in Mexico. In 2011, an Air Expeditionary Group (AEG) was formed once again when MAFFS capabilities were called upon numerous times in support of firefighting efforts throughout the United States. In 2012, the 302nd Airlift Wing was a participating wing supporting the 153rd AEG MAFFS operations in record proportion from June 25 through Sept. 14. In 2012, the wing provided aerial firefighting efforts in 10 states, aiding with 1,011 retardant drops. And in 2013, the 302nd Airlift Wing was part of the MAFFS AEG supporting missions from June 11 through Sept. 7, supporting firefighting efforts in eight states and contributing to the MAFFS’ AEG total of 541 retardant drops.
Additional information on the 302nd Airlift Wing (AFRC) can be found at www.302aw.afrc.af.mil.
200th Airlift Squadron
The 200th Airlift Squadron (AS) is a Colorado Air National Guard unit flying the newest C-21A (Lear 35) aircraft in the Air Force.
In November 1997, the 200th AS took delivery of the first of two C-21A aircraft and in April 1998 began flying missions assigned by the Joint Operational Support Airlift Center.
The unit moved from Buckley Air National Guard Base to Peterson AFB in April 1999. Current manning includes full-time and traditional Guardsmen, pilots and enlisted support personnel.
367th Recruiting Squadron
People are the Air Force’s most valuable asset. Without them, even the most advanced weapon systems are useless. The 367th Recruiting Squadron (RCS) inspires, engages and recruits the brightest, most competitive and diverse men and women for service in America’s Air Force from a cross-section of the Rocky Mountain Region, responsive to the ever-changing needs of the Air Force. The 367 RCS covers more than 450,000 square miles in the western and southwestern regions of the United States and is divided into seven enlisted accessions flights, each responsible for different parts of the squadron’s zone. The squadron also has recruiters for Officer Training School and four Military Entrance Processing Stations. The 367th RCS places emphasis on recruiting people into one of more than 150 enlisted career opportunities as well as rated and non-rated officer opportunities. For more information on the recruiting service mission or on becoming part of America’s Air Force, call 719-554-1273 or visit www.rs.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=6507.
AFOTEC Detachment 4
The Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center (AFOTEC) Detachment 4 at Peterson AFB conducts operational tests and evaluations of space, cyberspace, missile and missile defense systems in operationally realistic battle space environments to determine their operational effectiveness, suitability and overall mission capability. Operational test and evaluation is done at the system-of-systems level for all system segments including spacecraft, command and control, and warfighter user equipment. Recent Detachment 4 operational testing includes the COBRA JUDY Replacement, Family of Advanced Beyond Line of Sight Terminals, Advanced Extremely High Frequency, and the Joint Space Operations Center (JSOpC) Mission System (JMS). Additionally, Detachment 4 supports the Ballistic Missile Defense System Operational Test Agency Combined Test Force, participating in the testing and exercise events that evaluate components and spirals of the overall BMDS system.
Defense Commissary Agency
The commissary is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday for regular shopping. The store is open for early bird shopping 8 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday for 40 items or less at the self-checkout registers. Call 719-556-7765 or DSN 834-7765 for information.
The Exchange sells electronics including televisions, computers and games, jewelry, clothing, major and small household appliances, hunting and fishing equipment, luggage, and many other convenience items. There is also a Colorado souvenir shop.
The Exchange hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
The Military Clothing Sales Store, in the exchange and commissary mall, has military clothing items and an alterations shop.
Other services includes a food court, beauty and barber shops, optical center, optometry clinic, alterations shop, GNC, watch repair and more. The Express (Shoppette), Building 1700, is open 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. The Express sells gas, food and snacks, basic health and beauty aids, basic pet supplies, and non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages.