Space Operations Squadrons team up for transfer
By 2nd Lt. Darren Domingo, 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 27, 2015
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Members of 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 22nd Space Operations Squadrons, participated in a combined Mission Operations Transfer training event recently at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
The multi-unit team conducted a check out of the Global Positioning System, Wideband Global Satellite Communications, Defense Satellite Communications System, Milstar and Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellites and performed operations at their alternate locations.
"The purpose of the transfer was to test and ensure the readiness and reliability of our back-up operating locations so we can properly respond to and sustain space command and control operations throughout any contingency situation," said Maj. Roland Rainey, 2 SOPS director of operations and transfer deployment commander.
The 50th Operations Group and Network Operations Groups' squadrons participated in the wing training exercise. Each of the space squadrons brought something different to the table.
"Our basic role was to verify the mission transfer of the Air Force Satellite Control Network scheduling mission," Armand Chenard, 22 SOPS support officer.
Team leads were responsible for planning and coordinating their respective SOPS missions operations, maintenance activities and crew force work schedules.
"Doing a combined transfer is beneficial because it creates cohesion and better communication between squadrons," said 2nd Lt. Kelcie Haner, 4 SOPS ground engineer and unit team lead.
Checkouts occur several times each year in order to validate the hardware functionality and software updates in a space operations squadron. However, an exercise like this one hasn't occurred since 2012.
"Leadership would like to see training missions like this one happen more often," said Haner. "This was a successful Mission Operations Transfer."
The team used the exercise to ensure they would have the ability to seamlessly transition operations to the backup operating location, when necessary.
"[Tranfers] enhance crew force proficiency on the backup operating location's procedures/processes and tests new tactics, techniques and procedures," said Rainey.
For three months, the team planned and coordinated with agencies on and off base in order to execute the major operation.
Logistical coordination ranged from deciding operational requirements and maintenance activities to determining financial requests for personnel transport and other budget considerations.
"We also coordinated our activities directly with the Joint Space Operations Center so they can properly notify the warfighters downrange who depend on our space capabilities daily to accomplish their missions," said Rainey.
Rainey explained that learning from past exercises was crucial to the success of this combined transfer.
"I am extremely excited to see lessons learned from past continuity of operations exercises be implemented flawlessly," said Rainey. "The level of operational focus from both military and civilian personnel has been superb. [This was a] true team effort across the 50th Space Wing and I am proud to be assigned as the deployment commander."