SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
The 1st Space Operations Squadron combined its Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness and Space Based Space Surveillance ops floors, which became fully functional April 20.
Discussions for the project began in June 2014 with the vision of increasing communication and improving operational techniques.
“Although the two ops floors were doing very similar parts of the space situational awareness mission, they weren’t communicating with each other in that point in time,” said Maj. Jennifer Kaiser, 1 SOPS mission assurance director. “Col. Toby Doran, who was the squadron commander at the time, decided there was a need to unify the ops floors to gain more operational synergy for a better chance for tactics, techniques and procedures development and better cross utilization of data.”
Lt. Col. Casey Beard, current 1 SOPS commander, expanded on this vision and added data crossflows between GSSAP and SBSS systems.
Once the squadron met all the necessary requirements to start the project, 1 SOPS members and the 50th Civil Engineer Squadron teamed up for the demolition process in October 2016.
Staff Sgt. Shawn Tierney, 1 SOPS cyber transport technician, played a critical role in the construction phase.
“The mission assurance team, specifically cyber transport, had the biggest part in it as far as running the communication cables under the floor, setting up new workstations, cable management, knocking down the wall and extending the network,” Tierney said.
After 2,800 man hours, 1 SOPS had a fully functional combined ops floor. This achievement marked the first time space situational awareness operations were brought together into one ops floor.
“For me, the rewarding part about this project was hearing the squadron’s positive feedback and seeing how honored our commander was to lead a unit who completed this,” Tierney said.
According to Kaiser, there was some initial resistance from headquarters to carry out this effort, however the squadron successfully secured requirements and funding.
“This was truly a team effort, and after all the blood, sweat and tears, we successfully initiated our first SBSS contact out of Mod 9 April 20,” Beard said. “This wouldn't have been possible without everyone's dedication, teamwork, and buy-in to the vision. I can't wait to see how this new ops environment takes us to new heights.”