The 4th Space Operations Squadron is a component of Delta 8, headquartered at Schriever Space Force Base, Colorado.
The 4th SOPS’ mission is to operate the U.S. Space Force's protected and wideband Military Satellite Communications systems. They provide warfighters global, secure, survivable, strategic and tactical communication during peacetime and throughout the full spectrum of conflict. The squadron also operates three mobile constellation control stations at various locations in conjunction with host partners. At higher readiness levels and during exercises, these personnel deploy with U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Northern Command respectively.
Additionally, they provide reliable space-borne communications to national authorities, U.S. and Allied forces. The 4th SOPS' motto, "Linking the Forces," reflects the squadron's responsibility to enhance the nation's secure and wideband communications capability for today's military forces. The squadron is responsible for command and control of the Milstar/Advanced Extremely High Frequency, Defense Satellite Communications System Phase III, and Wideband Global Satellite Communications satellite constellations through dedicated Extremely High Frequency antennas and the Air Force Satellite Control Network.
The multi-satellite constellation links command authorities to high priority U.S. forces via communications terminals on aircraft, ships, submarines, trucks and ground sites with encrypted voice, data, teletype or facsimile communications. They also provide secure high-rate data communications links to the President, Secretary of Defense, theater commanders and strategic and tactical forces worldwide.
The 4th SOPS gains its heritage from the 4th Photographic Squadron, which was activated June 10, 1941, at March Field, California. This highly decorated unit saw significant action in the Pacific Theater during World War II, until it was inactivated April 14, 1946. It was reactivated as the 4th Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range) in December 1946, and inactivated June 29, 1949. In May 1952, the unit was reactivated as the 4th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium), and inactivated July 1, 1958, at Rickenbacker AFB, Ohio. The 4th SOPS was activated April 30, 1992 from the 4th Reconnaissance Squadron, with its new mission to
operate the Milstar satellite communications system. On June 13, 2017, the 3rd SOPS was inactivated and 4th SOPS assumed responsibility of the DSCS-III, and WGS constellations.
As of Sept. 25, 2019, 4th SOPS operationally accepted the Enhanced Polar System mission, providing protected communication capability to the underserved polar region.
As part of the U.S. Space Force structure change, 4th SOPS is now a unit of Delta 8, as of July 24, 2020.
(Current as of July 2020)