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Air Force Space Command

Posted 3/12/2010 Printable Fact Sheet

Air Force Space Command, created Sept. 1, 1982, is a major command with headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. AFSPC provides military focused space and cyberspace capabilities with a global perspective to the joint warfighting team.

AFSPC's mission is to provide an integrated constellation of space and cyberspace capabilities at the speed of need.

The leading source of emerging and integrated space and cyberspace capabilities to deliver responsive, assured and decisive power to America and its warfighting commands.

The organization has five strategic priorities:
  • Guarantee a safe, credible, ready nuclear deterrent force with perfection as the standard
  • Deliver assured combat power to the joint fight
  • Forge a battle-ready team by attracting, developing and retaining America's best
  • Modernize and sustain AFSPC's enduring missions and mature emerging missions
  • Re-engineer acquisitions to deliver capability at the speed of need
Approximately 47,000 professionals, assigned to 88 locations wordwide and deployed to an additional 35 global locations, perform the AFSPC missions.

Fourteenth Air Force is located at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. Fourteenth Air Force manages the generation and employment of space forces to support U.S. Strategic Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command operational plans and missions. 

Twenty-fourth Air Force is located at Lackland AFB, Texas. Twenty-fourth Air Force is the Air Force's warfighting organization that establishes, operates, maintains and defends Air Force networks to assure our missions while presenting a full spectrum of cyber capabilities to combatant commanders.

The Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles AFB, Calif., designs and acquires all Air Force and most Department of Defense space systems. It oversees launches, completes on-orbit checkouts and then turns systems over to user agencies. It supports the Program Executive Office for Space on the Global Positioning, Defense Satellite Communications and MILSTAR systems. SMC also supports the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, Defense Meteorological Satellite and Defense Support programs, and the Space Based Infrared System.

The Space Innovation and Development Center at Schriever AFB, Colo., is responsible for integrating space systems into the operational Air Force. The mission is to advance full-spectrum warfare through rapid innovation, integration, training testing, and experimentation. 

The Air Force Network Integration Center at Scott AFB, Ill., is the Air Force focal point for shaping, provisioning, sustaining and integrating the Enterprise Network and enabling assured core cyber capabilities to achieve warfighting advantage. AFNIC's vision is to integrate the evolving Enterprise Network environment at the speed of need to achieve information dominance and peerless cyberspace warfighting capabilities.

The Air Force Frequency Management Agency, located in Alexandria, Va., is responsible for planning, providing, and preserving access to the electromagnetic spectrum for the Air Force and selected DOD activities in support of national policy objectives, systems development, and global operations. AFFMA represents, advocates and defends Air Force spectrum management interests in DOD, national, and international bodies. AFFMA is the Air Force office of primary responsibility for spectrum, including policy, procedures and guidance, oversight of the electromagnetic spectrum management career field, and payment of the Air Force's annual federal spectrum fee.

AFSPC bases include: Schriever, Peterson and Buckley, Colo.; Los Angeles and Vandenberg, Calif., Patrick, Fla.;  and Lackland AFB, Texas. In addition, many geographically separated units span the globe.

Space Capabilities
Spacelift operations at the East and West Coast launch bases provide services, facilities and range safety control for the conduct of DOD, NASA and commercial launches. Through the command and control of all DOD satellites, satellite operators provide force-multiplying effects -- continuous global coverage, low vulnerability and autonomous operations. Satellites provide essential in-theater secure communications, weather and navigational data for ground, air and fleet operations and threat warning.

Ground-based radar and Defense Support Program satellites monitor ballistic missile launches around the world to guard against a surprise missile attack on North America. Space surveillance radars provide vital information on the location of satellites and space debris for the nation and the world. Maintaining space superiority is an emerging capability required to protect our space assets.

AFSPC acquires, operates and supports the Global Positioning System, Defense Satellite Communications Systems, Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, Defense Support Program, Wideband Global SATCOM Satellite systems and the Space-Based Infrared System Program. AFSPC currently operates the Delta IV and Atlas V launch vehicles. The Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles comprise the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program, which is the future of assured access to space. AFSPC's launch operations include the Eastern and Western ranges and range support for all launches, including the space shuttle on the Eastern Range. The command maintains and operates a worldwide network of satellite tracking stations, called the Air Force Satellite Control Network, to provide communications links to satellites.

Ground-based radars used primarily for ballistic missile warning include the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, PAVE Phased Array Warning System and Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack radars. The Maui Optical Tracking Identification Facility, Ground-based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance System, Passive Space Surveillance System, phased-array and mechanical radars provide primary space surveillance coverage. New transformational space programs are continuously being researched and developed to enable AFSPC to stay on the leading-edge of technology.

In 1982, the Air Force established Air Force Space Command, with space operations as its primary mission. During the Cold War, space operations focused on missile warning, space surveillance and command and control for national leadership. In 1991, Operation Desert Storm provided emphasis for the command's new focus on support to the warfighter. The Space Warfare Center, now named the Space Innovation and Development Center, was created to ensure space capabilities reach the people who need it. ICBM forces joined AFSPC in 1993.

In 2001, upon the recommendation of the Space Commission, the Space and Missile Systems Center joined the command. It previously belonged to Air Force Materiel Command. AFSPC is currently the only Air Force command to have its acquisition arm within the command. In 2002, also on a recommendation from the Space Commission, AFSPC was assigned its own four-star commander after previously sharing a commander with U.S. Space Command and NORAD.  

In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the president directed military action against Afghanistan and Iraq. AFSPC provided extensive space-based support to the U.S. Central Command commander in the areas of communications; positioning, navigation and timing; meteorology; and warning. In 2005, the Air Force expanded its mission areas to include cyberspace. In concert with this, the Air Staff assigned responsibility for conducting cyberspace operations to AFSPC through Twenty-fourth Air Force, which was activated in August 2009.

In order to reinvigorate the Air Force's nuclear mission, Headquarters U.S. Air Force activated Air Force Global Strike Command to consolidate all nuclear forces under one command. Along with this, AFSPC transferred its ICBM forces to the new command December 2009.

Point of Contact
Air Force Space Command, Public Affairs Office; 150 Vandenberg St., Suite 1105; Peterson AFB, CO 80914-4500; DSN 692-3731 or 719-554-3731.


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