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12th Space Warning Squadron

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

12th Space Warning Squadron
Squadron emblem
Active1967 – present
Country United States
Branch United States Space Force
RoleMissile Detection and Warning
Part ofSpace Delta 4
HeadquartersPituffik Space Base, Greenland
Motto(s)Top of the World
DecorationsAir Force Outstanding Unit Award
Lt Col Brian Moore
Former 12th Missile Warning Squadron emblem
Former 12th Missile Warning Squadron emblem, c. 1994
12th Missile Warning Group emblem

The 12th Space Warning Squadron is a United States Space Force ground-based radar used for missile warning, missile defense, and space situation awareness, stationed at Pituffik Space Base, Greenland.

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The primary mission of the 12th SWS is to provide critical, real-time missile warning, defense, and space surveillance to the President of the United States, Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, NORAD, and unified commands by operating a phased-array radar—which continuously provides warning of submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) and intercontinental ballistic missile attacks against North America—and detect, track, and identify earth-orbiting objects in support of USSTRATCOM's space control mission, thus "knitting a blanket of freedom".

The 12th Space Warning Squadron is a unit of the Space Delta 4 which is under Air Force Space Command.

To accomplish its mission, the squadron operates the solid-state phased-array radar located at the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS), Site I. The BMEWS site is located approximately 11 miles northwest of Pituffik SB 76°34′08″N 68°19′05″W / 76.569°N 68.318°W / 76.569; -68.318. It provides early warning detection of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launches from the Russian land mass and submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) launches from the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans against North America. Additionally, BMEWS keeps track of polar orbiting satellites. The operational crews report through the Missile Warning Center to the NORAD/USNORTHCOM Center.

The Operation Support Flight (DOO) provides direct operational support to the missile warning crews. The flight's Operations Training Section (DOT) provides all crew force initial, recurring, and supplemental training. Other flight responsibilities include hardware, software and maintenance support (MA), operational test and evaluation (DOV), and crew force management (DOU).


The 12th SWS was formed in January 1967 as a successor organization to the Air Defense Command 931st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, which was inactivated at the end of 1965. The 931st AC&WS operated a series of Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) radar sites in Greenland to detect intrusion of unknown aircraft. The squadron relayed information to the 64th NORAD Region Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system DC-31 Direction Center, and interceptor squadrons stationed at Thule Air Base.

With the development of ICBM and SLBM technologies, the mission to monitor aircraft coming over the horizon from the Soviet Union was transferred to other units, and the 931st AC&WS at Thule AB was inactivated.


  • Constituted as the 12th Missile Warning Squadron on 1 November 1966
Activated on 1 January 1967
Redesignated 12th Missile Warning Group on 31 March 1977
Redesignated 12th Missile Warning Squadron on 15 June 1983
Redesignated 12th Missile Warning Group on 1 October 1989
Redesignated 12th Space Warning Squadron on 15 May 1992


Bases stationed

Equipment operated

Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS)[1]

List of commanders

Start End Commander
June 2002 June 2003 Lt Col Shawn Barnes
June 2003 June 2004 Lt Col Thomas Doyne
June 2004 June 2005 Lt Col Franklin "Joey" Hinson Jr
June 2005 June 2006 Lt Col Scott Peel
June 2006 June 2007 Lt Col Timothy Lincoln
June 2007 June 2008 Lt Col James Forand
June 2008 26 June 2009 Lt Col David O. Meteyer
26 June 2009 February 2010 Lt Col James Oldenburg
February 2010 3 June 2010 Lt Col Kimberly Damalas (appointed)
3 June 2010 16 June 2011 Lt Col Jeffrey Van Sanford
16 June 2011 21 June 2012 Lt Col Christopher S. Putman
21 June 2012 11 July 2013 Lt Col Gregory G. Karahalis
11 July 2013 June 2014 Lt Col Kelly S. Easler[2]
June 2014 June 2015 Lt Col Jason Resley[3]
June 2015 June 2016 Lt Col Marc A. Brock[4]
June 2016 June 2017 Lt Col David L. Ransom
8 June 2017 June 2018 Lt Col Carl B. Bottolfson[5]
7 June 2018 June 2019 Lt Col Neil A. Menzie[6]
~June 2019 24 June 2020 Lt Col Jared Smith[7]
24 June 2020 ~June 2021 Lt Col Brandon Alford[8]
June 2021 June 2022 Lt Col Christopher R. Hill[9]
June 2022 June 2023 Lt Col April Foley[10]
June 2023 Present Lt Col Brian Moore


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency

  1. ^ 12th Space Warning Squadron Fact Sheet Archived 15 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Kelly S. Easler". LinkedIn. [user-generated source]
  3. ^ "Jason Resley". LinkedIn. [user-generated source]
  4. ^ "Colonel Marc A. Brock".
  5. ^ "12th Space Warning Squadron welcomes new commander".
  6. ^ "12 SWS Change of Command".
  7. ^ "Front Range commanders visit Thule".
  8. ^ "12th SWS changes command at Thule AB".
  9. ^ "Christopher R. Hill". LinkedIn. [user-generated source]
  10. ^ "This past month, the 12th Space Warning Squadron, Thule AFB, Greenland, thanked Lt Col Christopher Hill for his service as Commander of 12SWS and welcome Lt Col April Foley as she officially takes command". Facebook. 15 July 2022. [user-generated source]
  • A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980, by Lloyd H. Cornett and Mildred W. Johnson, Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
  • Winkler, David F. (1997), Searching the skies: the legacy of the United States Cold War defense radar program. Prepared for United States Air Force Headquarters Air Combat Command.

External links

This page was last edited on 10 February 2024, at 23:39
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