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2d Space Operations Squadron

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2d Space Operations Squadron
2 SOPS space systems operator 040205-F-0000C-001.jpg
Squadron space systems operator during Global Positioning System operations in 2005
Active1962–1967; 1985–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RoleGlobal Positioning System Control
Part ofAir Force Space Command
Garrison/HQSchriever Air Force Base, Colorado
Motto(s)Pathways for Peace (1988-present)
EngagementsGlobal War on Terrorism
DecorationsAir Force Outstanding Unit Award[1]
Lt Col Stephen A. Toth
2d Space Operations Squadron emblem (approved 8 July 1995)[1][note 1]
2 SOPS emblem.png
2d Satellite Control Squadron emblem (approved 6 May 1988)[2][3]
2 Satellite Control Sq emblem.png

The 2d Space Operations Squadron is a unit of the United States Air Force at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. Its mission is to manage the Navstar Global Positioning System satellite constellation for global navigation, time transfer, and nuclear detonation detection.

The squadron is augmented by reserve personnel from the 19th Space Operations Squadron, part of the 310th Space Wing.

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It's pretty exciting to see your name signed for 10 nuclear missiles. Every time I see it, it's a very humbling experience. I am 2nd Lieutenant Enrique Villegas-Gonzales and I am a nuclear and missile operations officer. I am 1st Lieutenant Wess Griffith and I'm a nuclear and missile operations officer. We are responsible for the nuclear operations of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Our missiles are spread out along the vast area of Montana. So missiles aren't directly next to us, we're in control of those missiles that could be miles away. We assume the missile alerts duty for a 24 hour period. Upon arrival to the capsule, we inspect all of the classified documents. We also inspect the equipment and also process any of the maintenance that's happening at the time with the launch facilities as well as the security forces so that our missiles are secured at all times. Being in missiles is definitely not an every day job. The best way that I can describe this is by looking at a month. During this month period, we have anywhere between six or eight missile alerts duties where we post out to the field and we do our 24 hour shift. The launch control center, which is where we work, is located about 60 feet underground. It's almost like a pill capsule. But you definitely can't be claustrophobic, it is a very enclosed place. The average screens that we monitor the status of the sorties and also our communication systems. We receive alarms, constantly coordinating different things with our crews out in the field. So we are in control of the maintenance and security and keeping the missiles on alert for the country. I am 1st Lieutenant Wess Griffith. I am 2nd Lieutenant Enrique Villegas-Gonzales and I am an American Airman.



The squadron performs the command and control mission for the Global Positioning System satellite constellation. GPS is the world's premiere space-based position, velocity and timing system, capable of providing precision navigation and timing capability simultaneously to an unlimited number of properly equipped users. Continuous GPS availability and unprecedented signal accuracy has resulted in widespread integration of the technology; numerous military, commercial and international users have embraced GPS.[4]


The squadron was originally constituted as the 2d Surveillance Squadron and activated on 16 January 1962 under North American Air Defense Command. It was then organized on 1 February 1962 at Ent Air Force Base under the 9th Aerospace Defense Division, under which it operated SPACETRACK, the USAF globe-spanning space surveillance network, from 1962 through 1967. The squadron was inactivated on 1 January 1967.

It was redesignated the 2d Satellite Control Squadron as the first operational squadron of the 2d Space Wing. It was activated at Falcon Air Force Station on 1 October 1985.

The squadron has controlled the NAVSTAR Global Positioning System satellite constellation and managed the Nuclear Detonation System in support of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty since 1987.

On 30 January 1992, as part of an Air Force reorganization, 2 SCS was redesignated the 2d Space Operations Squadron.

On June 18, 2004, a 24/7 user focal point, the GPSOC, was established.

In late 2005, several National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency monitor stations were integrated into the network to improve navigation accuracy and signal monitoring.

The unit had one geographically separated unit, Detachment 1, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. It was responsible for maintenance of a GPS Ground Antenna, Monitor Station, and various operational test assets. It is now discontinued, though contractors remained to perform the mission.[5][6]


  • Constituted as the 2d Surveillance Squadron (Sensor) and activated, on 16 January 1962 (not organized)
Organized on 1 February 1962
Discontinued and inactivated on 1 January 1967
  • Redesignated 2d Satellite Control Squadron on 16 Jul 1985
Activated on 1 October 1985
Redesignated 2d Space Operations Squadron on 30 Jan 1992[1]



  • Ent Air Force Base, Colorado, 1 February 1962 – 1 January 1967
  • Falcon Air Force Station (later Falcon Air Force Base, Schriever Air Force Base), Colorado, 1 October 1985 – present[1]


  • Squadron change of command June 1, 2018
    Squadron change of command June 1, 2018
  • Lt Col Stephen A. Toth (June 2018 - Present)
  • Lt Col Peter C. Norsky (June 2016 – June 2018)
  • Lt Col Todd Benson (July 2014 - June 2016)
  • Lt Col Thomas Ste. Marie (June 2012 – July 2014)
  • Lt Col Jennifer Grant (August 2010 - June 2012)
  • Lt Col DeAnna M. Burt (August 2008 – August 2010)[7]
  • Lt Col Kurt W. Kuntzleman (July 2006 - August 2008)[7]
  • Lt Col Stephen T. Hamilton (July 2004 - July 2006)
  • Lt Col Scott A. Henderson (July 2002 - July 2004)[8]
  • Lt Col Daniel P. Jordan (June 2000 - July 2002)
  • Lt Col James K. McLaughlin (July 1998 - June 2000)
  • Lt Col Joseph P. Squatrito (October 1996 - July 1998)
  • Lt Col Roger C. Hunter (March 1995 - October 1996)
  • Maj Thomas A. Shircliff (January 1995 - March 1995)
  • Lt Col Frank M. DeArmond (June 1994 - January 1995)
  • Lt Col Harrison C. Freer (June 1992 - June 1994)
  • Lt Col William L. Shelton (August 1990 - June 1992)
  • Lt Col Michael E. Shaw (April 1989 - August 1990)
  • Lt Col Barry R. Springer (April 1988 - April 1989)
  • Lt Col Steven C. Stadler (October 1985 - April 1988)[1]


Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

  • 1 June 1964 – 31 May 1966
  • 1 December 1987 – 30 November 1989
  • 1 September 1990 – 31 August 1991

See also


  1. ^ On a Blue disc, a Light Blue globe grid lined Yellow issuing from base and charged with a Scarlet lightning flash bendwise; in chief a White eight point pole star above and (Yellow pole stars) on a White orbit ring arcing over the globe; a Yellow pole star all within a narrow Yellow border. "2d Space Operations Squadron". The Institute of Heraldry. Archived from the original on 2017-04-04. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  1. ^ a b c d e f Robertson, Patsy (December 1, 2008). "Factsheet 2 Space Operations Squadron (AFSPC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  2. ^ "Approved insignia for: 2d Satellite Control Squadron". National Archives Catalog. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Endicott, p. 332
  4. ^ Graff, Garrett M. (June 26, 2018). "The New Arms Race Threatening to Explode in Space". Wired.
  5. ^ Buchanan, Maj John (May 8, 2008). "Deactivation ends two decades of service on Cape Canaveral". 45th Space Wing Public Affairs. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  6. ^ Staff writer, no byline (May 7, 2008). "2nd SOPS inactivates Det. 1". 50th Space Wing Public Affairs. Archived from the original on April 21, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Martinez, SSG Daniel (August 5, 2008). "New 2nd SOPS commander returns to Schriever". 50th Space Wing Public Affairs. Archived from the original on April 21, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  8. ^ The Newsletter of the MIT Security Studies  Program: "SSP Welcomes New Military Fellows", Oct 2004


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

External links

This page was last edited on 24 November 2018, at 22:04
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