22nd Space Operations Squadron
Published August 22, 2012
The 22nd Space Operations Squadron, is a unit of Delta 6, headquartered at Schriever Space Force Base, Colorado.
The 22nd SOPS operates the $6.2 billion Air Force Satellite Control Network by developing, executing and enforcing the Space Access Tasking Order and providing space safety analysis to conduct satellite operations. The 22nd SOPS coordinates the launch and on-orbit operations of more than 190 Department of Defense, national intelligence, civil and Allied nation's satellites, including in support of global warfighters, intelligence community users, the President and Secretary of Defense.
The 22nd SOPS's Operations Center develops, publishes and enforces the SpATO, and directs and monitors all aspects of enterprise operations for AFSCN users through a combination of military commanders, civilian professionals and contract support. The squadron's orbit analysts coordinate ephemeris data, launch and early orbit analysis determination, and tracking station look angles to support space operations for some 29 different space operations centers. The 22nd SOPS also provides limited predictive and investigative Radio Frequency Interference and Collision Avoidance products to all AFSCN users. Further, the squadron implements defensive counter-space actions to ensure continued "access to space" and protect the ability to create "space effects" vital to our nation's security.
As the nation first established an intelligence gathering satellite program, ground antennas were required to command these satellites. Over the many decades that followed, those antennas were upgraded and expanded to locations all around the globe. Today, that legacy continues under the control of 22nd SOPS.
The 22nd SOPS activated in October 1991 as an operational squadron under the 2nd Satellite Tracking (later 750th Space) Group, Onizuka Air Force Station, California. The unit assumed the responsibilities and functions previously conducted by Detachment 9, 2nd STG. The squadron assumed full responsibility for AFSCN operations June 1, 1997. The unit was transferred to the 50th Operations Group in June 1999, and in March 2004 was reassigned to the 50th NOG (formerly 50th Communications Group).
The 50th NOG brought together all the 50th SW's squadrons responsible for AFSCN operations and maintenance as well as communications. The unit staffing consists of officers, enlisted, DOD civilians and contractor personnel performing AFSCN operations and maintenance 24/7 around the global. On Nov. 1, 2010, command of six of the squadron’s seven remote tracking stations was transferred to the 21st SOPS (Vandenberg, Diego Garcia, Hawaii and Guam) and 23rd SOPS (Thule, Oakhanger and EVCF). On July 16, 2012, operations at the Colorado Tracking Station ceased.
As part of the U.S. Space Force structure change, as of July 24, 2020 the unit is assigned to Delta 6.
(Current as of July 2020)