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NRO opens new facility

Col. DeAnna Burt, 50th Space Wing commander, Col. Matthew Skeen, National Reconnaissance Office Director of Space Launch, Betty Sapp, NRO Director, Gary Lund, NRO Management Services and Operations facility project manager, and Lt. Col. Bryan Dutcher, NRO Operations Squadron commander take part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the NOPS Annex March 21, 2017 at Schriever Air Force Base. More than 75 Airmen, civilians, military and community leaders witnessed the unveiling of the 19,985 square foot facility. (U.S. Air Force photo/Christopher DeWitt)

Col. DeAnna Burt, 50th Space Wing commander, Col. Matthew Skeen, National Reconnaissance Office Director of Space Launch, Betty Sapp, NRO Director, Gary Lund, NRO Management Services and Operations facility project manager, and Lt. Col. Bryan Dutcher, NRO Operations Squadron commander take part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the NOPS Annex March 21, 2017 at Schriever Air Force Base. More than 75 Airmen, civilians, military and community leaders witnessed the unveiling of the 19,985 square foot facility. (U.S. Air Force photo/Christopher DeWitt)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – National Reconnaissance Office Operations Squadron held a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the grand opening of their new building March 21.

More than 75 Airmen, civilians, military and community leaders witnessed the unveiling of the 19,985 square foot facility.

“Our biggest challenge was not having enough work space,” said Capt. Emanuel Chatters, NRO Operations Squadron flight commander. “We had multiple reports from our headquarters stating we were under-spaced by approximately 10,000 square feet. Now, we will have meeting environments, system test labs and training labs we didn’t have before.”

NOPS links NRO satellites that are critical to U.S. national security to the Air Force Satellite Control Network. The squadron facilitates the design, build and operation of the nation's reconnaissance satellites, providing products to customers including the CIA and Department of Defense, that can warn of potential trouble spots around the world, help plan military operations and monitor the environment.

Discussions and the planning for the NRO facility began in 2013.

The new facility, Building 403, is located directly north of Building 401, which currently houses all NOPS members.

Chatters added the new facility features development and work areas, command section, front office staff, a visitor area, conference rooms, a break room, emergency storage and security.

“We could not have done all of this without base support,” said Capt. Derrick Burnett, NOPS chief of Mission Operations.

Col. Matthew Skeen, Office of Space Launch director, attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and spoke of those who contributed to the success of the new annex.

“The mission of protecting our nation requires an incredible amount of teamwork, and that teamwork is certainly on display here today,” said Skeen. “The combined efforts to deliver this facility will enable the NRO to continue to operate our satellites and be America’s eyes and ears in space.”

While the move-in process has already begun, the facility will be completely operational by April 6.

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