SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
The 1st Space Operations Squadron is expanding their operations floor to accommodate more personnel and take on a new mission at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.
The 50th Civil Engineer Squadron helped start the project and 1 SOPS infrastructure personnel are working daily to ensure communication lines, workstations, displays, furniture and other equipment are functional, safe and arranged in an optimal configuration.
In 2014, 1 SOPS officially assumed its singular mission of Space Based Space Surveillance--the only unit of its kind in the Department of Defense.
The unit operates in two orbital regimes, Low Earth Orbit and near-Geosynchronous Earth Orbit, to support space situational awareness.
“Additionally, 1 SOPS will assume responsibility for Operationally Responsive Space-5, another LEO satellite scheduled for launch in summer 2017,” said Lt. Col. Casey Beard, 1st Space Operations Squadron commander.
The mission itself is new and evolving, requiring the squadron to discover innovative ways to enhance mission effectiveness to meet combatant command objectives. In particular, the integration of multiple sensors in two orbital regimes creates a force-multiplying effect that demands constant collaboration.
“We are trying to effectively utilize the personnel we have and build synergy for the different missions, getting them in the same room and giving the mission commander complete oversight- all under the space situational awareness umbrella,” said Tech. Sgt. Josh Bauman, 1 SOPS maintenance flight chief and infrastructure chief.
Currently, 1 SOPS operational crews are physically split between two rooms commonly referred to as mods. To achieve the vision of collaborative, integrated operations, 1 SOPS is developing a Collaborative Operational Environment.
“Right now SBSS is operating out of mod 10. We are working on accreditations to get them moved to mod 9 and on a shared network, that way everyone has the same computers working for the same mission,” said Bauman.
Ultimately, the operations floor expansion will give 1 SOPS the ability to enable Battle Management Command and Control for the combatant command in a contested, degraded and operationally limited environment.
“1 SOPS operations contribute to the overall 50th Space Wing mission by collecting and disseminating decision-quality information and providing situational awareness of the operational environment to operators in 2, 3 and 4 SOPS, enhancing their ability to deliver global combat effects,” said Beard.
The overall COE initiative is a multi-phase/multi-year project, and combining the 1 SOPS crew is scheduled for completion by late spring, 2017.
“Additionally, 1 SOPS operational members, crew and Mission Planning Cell developed mission requirements and priorities to ensure the expansion meets the commander’s intent,” said Beard. “They’ve all done an incredible job. I couldn’t be more proud of them-they continue to drive innovation and drive our warfighting ethos.”