An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

HomeNewsArticle Display

21st SOPS Detachment 3, Kaena Point Tracking Station Celebrates their 60th Anniversary

The 21st Space Operations Squadron, Detachment 3, controlled by celebrated The Kaena Point Satellite Tracking Station’s, 60 years of space operations Feb. 28, 2019. The station is part of the Air Force Satellite Control Network, which consists of eight antennas located around the world. The AFSCN supports Department of Defense, U.S. government and allied satellites and space vehicles whose missions include manned spaceflight, communications, reconnaissance, navigation, weather and early warning. (Courtesy photo)

The 21st Space Operations Squadron, Detachment 3, controlled by celebrated The Kaena Point Satellite Tracking Station’s, 60 years of space operations Feb. 28, 2019. The station is part of the Air Force Satellite Control Network, which consists of eight antennas located around the world. The AFSCN supports Department of Defense, U.S. government and allied satellites and space vehicles whose missions include manned spaceflight, communications, reconnaissance, navigation, weather and early warning. (Courtesy photo)

Jason Hughes, 21st Space Operations Squadron, Detachment 3 site manager, presents a plaque to Maj. Edmond Chan, 21st SOPS, Det. 3 commander, for excellence in command during the detachment’s 60th anniversary ceremony at Kaena Point Tracking Station, Hawaii, Feb. 28, 2019. Det. 3 systems were installed as part of a five-station network launched Feb. 28, 1959. Today, Det. 3 is one of eight worldwide antennas in the Air Force Satellite Control Network that provides telemetry, tracking and command functions for Department of Defense satellites, including weather, early warning, navigation, communication and other high-priority space programs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders)

Jason Hughes, 21st Space Operations Squadron, Detachment 3 site manager, presents a plaque to Maj. Edmond Chan, 21st SOPS, Det. 3 commander, for excellence in command during the detachment’s 60th anniversary ceremony at Kaena Point Tracking Station, Hawaii, Feb. 28, 2019. Det. 3 systems were installed as part of a five-station network launched Feb. 28, 1959. Today, Det. 3 is one of eight worldwide antennas in the Air Force Satellite Control Network that provides telemetry, tracking and command functions for Department of Defense satellites, including weather, early warning, navigation, communication and other high-priority space programs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders)

Brig. Gen. Ryan T. Okahara, Hawaii Air National Guard Chief of Staff and commander, Honolulu, Hawaii speaks during the 21st Space Operations Squadron’s Detachment 3, 60th anniversary ceremony at Kaena Point Tracking Station, Hawaii, Feb. 28, 2019. Kaena Point Tracking Station is one in a crucial network of sites supporting more than 185 satellites performing mission operations around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders)

Brig. Gen. Ryan T. Okahara, Hawaii Air National Guard Chief of Staff and commander, Honolulu, Hawaii speaks during the 21st Space Operations Squadron’s Detachment 3, 60th anniversary ceremony at Kaena Point Tracking Station, Hawaii, Feb. 28, 2019. Kaena Point Tracking Station is one in a crucial network of sites supporting more than 185 satellites performing mission operations around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders)

KAENA POINT TRACKING STATION, Hawaii --

The 21st Space Operation Squadron, Detachment 3 gathered at Kaena Point Satellite Tracking Station, Hawaii, Feb. 28, 2019, to celebrate 60 years of space operations.

One of eight satellite remote tracking stations in the Air Force Satellite Control Network, Det. 3 is located on the island of Oahu approximately 40 miles from Honolulu and Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.

Maj. Edmond Chan, 21st SOPS, Det. 3 commander, presided over the ceremony, featuring Brig. Gen. Ryan Okahara, Hawaii Air National Guard commander and Guard Advisor to the 14th Air Force commander, as guest speaker.

Jason Hughes, 21st SOPS, Det. 3 site manager, said in the past 60 years the site has seen advancements in hardware and software, increasing the level of effort provided.

"Rising demands for information by our decision makers across the globe required increased tempo.  What was once done by paper and mailed to the remote tracking stations, is now transmitted in mere seconds providing on the spot updates," he said. "Where two antennas once stood, we now see one. One antenna now can provide both the tracking and commanding data for our constellation of satellites." 

As with any kind of progress, over 60 years there have been challenges.

 

"Operational tempo and sustainment requirements are steadily increasing. The way we handle the increase is to prioritize activities.  Activities that are inherently tied to force readiness are automatically a top priority," he said.

In addition to the mission, Kaena Point Tracking Station also works hand in hand with the local communities in times of need and disaster.

"From fires, hurricanes and search and rescue missions on or near the site, we stand ready to work with our community providing a clear pathway to the skies," Hughes said.

Kaena Point Tracking Station is one in a crucial network of sites supporting more than 185 satellites, to perform mission operations around the world.

Chan says the support the site provides is important to the success the tracking station has experienced thus far.

"Our team performs 24/7 on-orbit satellite tracking, telemetry, commanding and mission data retrieval operations while simultaneously providing innovative engineering, maintenance and logistical support for the Air Force Satellite Control Network," he said.        

Going forward Det. 3 will continue to innovate and execute today's operations as tempos increase and satellites continue to launch. 

"Kaena Point Tracking Station has an enduring space mission, sitting on a strategically ideal location in the Pacific and is postured for growth," Chan said.

Reaching the 60th anniversary milestone is a reminder to those working the site of the importance of meeting the mission partners needs.

 As of Jan. 22, the site reached 60,000 error-free satellite supports for 1,000 consecutive days.

This is the excellence Hawaii tracking station looks to continue mastering space, now and into the future. 

Previous Story
Next Story