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53 SB strengthens Schriever ties


Members of the 53rd Signal Battalion gather for a photo at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. Attendees toured Schriever to learn more about the 4th Space Operations Squadron and how it supports the 53 SB mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Halle Thornton)


Seventeen members of the 53rd Signal Battalion toured Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Aug. 15, to see how the 4th Space Operations Squadron and the 53 SB mission coincide.

The 53 SB conducts payload and transmission control of the Defense Satellite Communications System and Wideband Global System satellite constellations, with battalion members stationed around the country.

Capt. Zachary Ritter, 4 SOPS assistant director of operations, kicked off the tour with a briefing at 4 SOPS to learn about how the mission supports the 53 SB mission.

“We fly the spacecrafts and they do the payload,” he said. “We don’t see everything they see and vice versa, so it was nice to put faces to names.”

Ritter also gave an overview of the former 3 SOPS mission, and how they supported the 53 SB mission.

“The brief was very informative because some of the members of the geographically separated units have a broad range of space knowledge, or have not had any exposure to this at all,” he said.

First Sgt. Matthew Helmer, D company first sergeant, 53 SB, said the tour was very informative.

“We’re seeing a whole different side of Space Command, and it’s interesting to see how we mesh,” he said.

Pfc. Jacoby Plummer, 527 SAS signals collection analyst, gave an intel briefing and led a tour of the 527 SAS.

Tech. Sgt. Dustin Mozader, 527 SAS flight chief, led SATCOM cross-talks following the brief, and expressed his content for the level of discussion.

“I wasn't sure what the knowledge level would be as it tends to vary with our customers and I hadn't personally seen a tour with the 53rd yet, but they had some really good questions that we were able to answer,” he said.

Mozader added any time members of a Wideband Satellite Operations Center visit, they are always interested in working more closely with the squadron.

“I hope yesterday's talks have helped to further that relationship,” Mozader said.

Maj. Michael Pederson, 53 SB executive officer, expressed his interest in how the battalion’s mission and the 4 SOPS mission effect each other.

Ritter made it a point to set up a line of contact between the two units, and explained in the future, the 53 SB and 4 SOPS hope to attend training together to help further their relationship.

Additionally, members of the battalion expressed optimism when it comes to working with 4 SOPS and Schriever in the future.

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