- Air Force Space Command
Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= Air Force Space Command
caption=Emblem of the AFSPC
dates= September 1982–Present
branch= Air Force
type= Major Command
role= Development and operation of military space technologies
Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
commander1= [http://www.af.mil/bios/bio.asp?bioID=6008 Gen C. Robert Kehler]
commander2= [http://www.af.mil/bios/bio.asp?bioID=7743 Maj Gen Thomas F. Deppe]
commander2_label= Vice Commander
commander3= [http://www.afspc.af.mil/library/biographies/bio.asp?id=10857 CMSgt Richard T. Small]
commander3_label= Chief Master Sergeant
Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) is a major command of the
United States Air Force. AFSPC is headquartered at Peterson Air Force BaseColorado. Its current commander is General C. Robert "Bob" Kehler.
Approximately 40,000 people, including 25,400 active-duty military and civilians, and 14,000 contractor employees, combine to perform AFSPC missions. Those 25,400
active-dutypersonnel are divided into approximately 7,100 military employees and 18,300 civilian employees, although their missions overlap.
AFSPC contributes to
United Statesdeterrence through its intercontinental ballistic missile force and plays a vital role tying together and supporting the U.S. military worldwide through the use of many different types of satellites and other space operations.
On October 6, 2008, it was announced that the ballistic missile mission will be transferred to a new, yet-to-be named USAF strategic command. At the same time, it was also announced that AFSPC will gain the cyber warfare mission.
AFSPC describes its mission as being, "To Deliver Space and Missile capabilities to America and its warfighting Commands." [cite web | url=http://www.afspc.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=3649 | title=Fact Sheets : Air Force Space Command | author=US Air Force | accessdate=2008-08-03 | publisher=AFSPC] AFSPC claims its activities make space reliable to United States
warfighters (i.e. forces personnel) by assuring their access to space. In addition, AFSPC believes its ICBMforces deter adversaries contemplating the use of weapons of mass destruction(WMD).
AFSPC has four primary mission areas:
*Space forces support involves launching
satellites and other high-value payloads into space using a variety of expendable launch vehicles and operating those satellites once in the medium of space.
*Space control ensures friendly use of space through the conduct of counterspace operations encompassing
surveillance, negation, and protection.
*Force enhancement provides
weather, communications, intelligence, missile warning, and navigation. Force enhancement is support to the warfighter.
*Force application involves maintaining and operating a rapid response, land-based ICBM force as the Air Force's only on-alert
Missile warning and space operations were combined to form Air Force Space Command in 1982. During the
Cold War, space operations focused on missile warning, and command and control for national leadership. In 1991, Operation Desert Stormprovided emphasis for the command's new focus on support to the warfighter. ICBM forces were merged into AFSPC in 1993.
Possible New Mission
A recent Pentagon report suggested that the command be renamed the Air Force Strategic Command so that it could be in charge of all nuclear weapons, not just ICBMs. [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26679218] The report also suggested that the Air Force place all nuclear airplanes in a numbered air force. This air force would in turn be controlled by the new command. [http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5i185kuSW0btnVvU4ZKo7LKHMkDSA] The Air Force rejected this recommendation on October 6, 2008, and instead decided to create a new, yet-to-be-named USAF strategic command that would carry out the ICBM and bomber missions.
Numbered Air Forces
Air Force Space Command has two
Numbered Air Forces (NAFs).
Fourteenth Air Force
The Fourteenth Air Force provides space warfighting forces to
U.S. Strategic Commandin its capacity as Air Forces Strategic-Space, and is located at Vandenberg AFB, California. It manages the generation and employment of space forces to support U.S. Strategic Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command(NORAD) operational plans and missions.
Twentieth Air Force
The Twentieth Air Force, headquartered at Francis E. Warren AFB,
Wyoming, maintains AFSPC's ICBM weapon systems in support of U.S. Strategic Command war plans. 20AF will be transferred to a new USAF strategic command in the near future.
Twenty-fourth Air Force
The Twenty-fourth Air Force, with the cyber warfare mission, will be activated under AFSPC in the near future, at a yet-to-be determined base.
Direct Reporting Units
AFSPC is the major command providing space forces and trained ICBM forces for
U.S. Strategic Command. AFSPC also supports NORAD with ballistic missile warning information, operates the Space Warfare Center to develop space applications for direct warfighter support, and is responsible for the Department of Defense's ICBM follow-on operational test and evaluation program.
Space and Missile Systems Center
The Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) at Los Angeles AFB, California, designs and acquires all Air Force and most Department of Defense space systems. It oversees launches, completes on-orbit checkouts, then turns systems over to user agencies. It supports the
Program Executive Office for Spaceon the NAVSTARGlobal Positioning, Defense Satellite Communications and MILSTARsystems. SMC also supports the Defense Meteorological Satellite and Defense Support program and the Follow-on Early Warning System. In addition, it supports development and acquisition of land-based intercontinental ballistic missilesfor the Air Force Program Executive Office for Strategic Systems.
Space Innovation and Development Center
The Space Innovation and Development Center (SIDC) at Schriever AFB, Colorado is also part of the command. The center plays a major role in fully integrating space systems into the operational Air Force. Its force enhancement mission looks at ways to use space systems to support warfighters in the areas of navigation, weather, intelligence, communications and theater ballistic missile warning, and how these apply to theater operations.
The AFSPC headquarters is a major unit located at
Peterson AFB, Colorado. There are 9 AFSPC host bases:
Buckley AFB, Colorado
460th Space Wing
Francis E. Warren AFB, Wyoming
20th Air Force
90th Missile Wing
Los Angeles Air Force Base, California
Space and Missile Systems Center
61st Air Base Wing
Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing
Global Positioning Systems Wing
Space-Based Infrared Systems Wing
Launch and Range Systems Wing
Space Superiority Systems Wing
Space Development and Test Wing( Kirtland AFB, New Mexico)
526th ICBM Systems Group( Hill AFB, Utah)
Malmstrom AFB, Montana
341st Missile Wing
Minot AFB, North Dakota
91st Missile Wing
Patrick AFB, Florida
45th Space Wing
Peterson AFB, Colorado
21st Space Wing
821st Air Base Group( Thule Air Base, Greenland)
Schriever AFB, Colorado
50th Space Wing
Space Innovation and Development Center
Vandenberg AFB, California
14th Air Force
30th Space Wing
148th Space Operations Squadron
AFSPC also operates several Air Force Stations for launch support and early warning missions.
Cavalier AFS, North Dakota
10th Space Warning Squadron
Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colorado
Clear Air Force Station, Alaska
13th Space Warning Squadron
New Boston AFS, New Hampshire
23d Space Operations Squadron
Onizuka AFS, California
21st Space Operations Squadron
Spacelift operations at the East and West Coast launch bases provide services, facilities and range safety control for the conduct of DOD, NASA and commercial launches. Through the command and control of all DOD satellites, satellite 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. Ground-based radar and Defense Support Program satellites monitor ballistic missile launches around the world to guard against a surprise missile attack on North America. Space surveillance radars provide vital information on the location of satellites and space debris for the nation and the world. Maintaining space superiority is an emerging capability required to protect our space assets. With a readiness rate above 99 percent, America's ICBM team plays a critical role in maintaining world peace and ensuring the nation's safety and security.
Global Positioning System
Defense Satellite Communications System
Defense Meteorological Satellite Program
Defense Support Program
NATOIII and IV communications
Fleet Satellite Communications SystemUHF follow-on
* Delta IV
pace Situational Awareness
Air Force Satellite Control Network
* Maui Optical Tracking Identification Facility,
Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance System
* Passive Space Surveillance System
Rapid Attack Identification Detection Reporting System
Ballistic Missile Warning Radars
AN/FPS-115 PAVE PAWS
AN/FPS-108 Cobra Dane
AN/FPQ-16 Perimeter Acquisition Radar Characterization System(PARCS)
Sea-based X-band RadarSea-Based X-Band Radar
Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles
* LGM-30G Minuteman III
Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, PAVE PAWS, and PARCS radars. The , phased-array and mechanical radars provide primary space surveillance coverage.
The ICBM force (apart from the
SLBMs operated by the US Navy) consists of the Minuteman III missiles that provide a critical component of America's on-alert strategic forces. More than 500 ICBMs are currently on alert in reinforced concrete launch facilities beneath the Great Plains.
AFSPC is the Air Force's largest operator of
UH-1Nand HH-1H Huey helicopters, responsible for missile operations support and security.
In popular culture
In the popular
TVseries Stargate SG-1and Stargate Atlantis, the Stargate Programis run by the Air Force Space Command. (Stargate Command is a sub-command under the Space Command.) The AF Space Command Patch was worn on the uniformof personnel aboard the Prometheus, Earth's first operational deep space battle cruiser.
United States Space Surveillance Network
* [http://www.afspc.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=3649 Air Force Space Command History and Heritage]
* [http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=155 Official Fact Sheet]
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