A brief history of 2nd Space Operations Squadron
By Randy Saunders , 50th Space Wing historian
/ Published February 17, 2015
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The 2nd Space Operations Squadron, a component of the 50th Operations Group, 50th Space Wing, operates and maintains the GPS from Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.
The squadron was first activated as the 2nd Surveillance Squadron (Sensor) and assigned to Air Defense Command Jan. 16, 1962. It was organized Feb. 1, 1962, with assignment at Ent Air Force Base, Colorado. At that time, it was also reassigned to the 9th Aerospace Division. With detachments located around the world, the squadron's personnel operated the Air Force SPACETRACK space surveillance system. The unit inactivated and was discontinued Jan. 1, 1967.
Following the establishment of Falcon Air Force Station, now Schriever AFB, Sept. 26, 1985, the 2nd Surveillance Squadron was renamed 2nd Satellite Control Squadron and activated as a component of the 2nd Space Wing Oct. 1, 1985. During the next several years, with the assistance of its Operating Location VA at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, the squadron gained responsibility for the GPS and transitioned day-to-day operations to Falcon.
On Jan. 30, 1992, the 50th Tactical Fighter Wing, renamed 50th Space Wing, activated at Falcon (now Schriever) Air Force Base to replace the 2nd Space Wing, which inactivated on that date. At the same time, the 2nd Space Control Squadron was renamed the 2nd Space Operations Squadron and was reassigned to the new 50th Operations Group, a component of the 50th Space Wing.
On June 18, 2004, the GPS Operations Center was established. In late 2005, several National Geospatial Agency monitor stations were integrated into the network to improve navigation accuracy and signal monitoring. Today the squadron, with the 19th Space Operations Squadron, maintains and controls 38 GPS satellites--the largest Department of Defense satellite constellation.
(This article is part of the GPS Week celebration Feb. 15-20)