22d Space Operations Squadron
The 22d Space Operations Squadron (22 SOPS) is a United States Air Force unit of the 50th Network Operations Group, itself a part of the 50th Space Wing, and is located at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. 22 SOPS develops, publishes, executes, and enforces the network operations tasking order, as well as operating and maintaining worldwide remote tracking stations and associated communications systems comprising the Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN). It additionally coordinates launch and on-orbit operations of Department of Defense and other national agencies' satellites in support of warfighters, the President, and the Secretary of Defense. Lastly, the squadron supports NASA's space mission.
Constituted 22d Space Operations Squadron on 10 July 1991, it was activated on 1 Oct 1991. It operated as part of the 2d Satellite Tracking (later, 750th Space) Group. In 2004 it changed from being under the 50th Operations Group to the 50th Network Operations Group. As part of 22 SOPS, the Colorado Tracking Station (CTS) enjoys a unique status as the only on-base satellite tracking facility. Originally built in the late 1980s, the station has undergone a number of upgrades that continue even today.
In late 2006, the station is scheduled to receive a new equipment core, which will allow further automation of the satellite operations. The new core, part of the Remote Tracking Station (RTS) Block Change (RBC) includes computer processor upgrades, and new hardware/software to allow the tracking station equipment to better interface with the upgraded satellite operations centers (SOCs). This system also involves a 13-meter diameter, 3-axis antenna. This new antenna adds the capability to track low earth orbiting satellites "over the top".
Beginning October 1, 2006, the tracking station began reduced operations, owing to "fiscal constraints".
Geographically separated units
All the following are remote tracking stations for the Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN).
- Detachment 1: Vandenberg Tracking Station (COOK), Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Transitioning to 21 SOPS.
- Detachment 2: Diego Garcia Tracking Station (REEF), Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory
- Detachment 3: Thule Tracking Station (POGO), Thule Air Base, Greenland
- Detachment 4: Hawaii Tracking Station (HULA), Kaena Point, Hawaii
- Detachment 5: Guam Tracking Station (GUAM), Guam
- OL-AE: Telemetry and Command Station (LION), RAF Oakhanger, United Kingdom
- Colorado Tracking Station (PIKE), Schriever AFB
The Aldridge Trophy 1996 (AFSPC Guardian Challenge)
- September 90 - August 91
- September 93 - August 95
- October 98 - September 00
- October 00 - September 1
- October 1 - October 2
- October 2 - October 3
The squadron's emblem was approved on 13 April 1995. It is blazoned as follows:
Sable, an opinicus passant Argent between in chief a mullet of the like and in base, a Mercator projection [actually represented as Goode homolosine] of the globe Azure gridlined of the second, land masses of the first, and charged on the "United States" with a mullet Or; all within a diminished bordure of the like.