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Fourteenth Air Force (14 AF) is headquartered at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. It is responsible for the organization, training, equipping, command and control (C2), and employment of Air Force space forces to support operational plans and missions for U.S. combatant commanders and air component commanders. 14 AF is the sole numbered air force for space, serving as an operational space force provider for the Combined Force Space Component Command (CFSCC) and U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM).
14 AF is comprised of almost 16,000 personnel with 28 weapon systems at 44 locations worldwide. It oversees operations at five wings and the 614th Air Operations Center (AOC). 14 AF is responsible for providing strategic missile warning, nuclear command, control and communication, position, navigation and timing, Space Domain Awareness, satellite operations, space launch and range operations.
The 614th AOC is the 14 AF Commander’s command and control center. It serves as a force provider to support USSPACECOM through CFSCC. Air Force personnel assigned to the 614 AOC work alongside CFSCC personnel and exchange officers from Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom to form the Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC). The CSpOC executes operational command and control of space forces to achieve theater and global objectives for the nation, joint forces, and allies.
Additionally, the CSpOC operations floor hosts representatives from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Commercial Integration Cell (CIC), to enhance cooperation with commercial partners.
The 21st Space Wing, headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., is the Air Force's only organization providing missile warning and space control to unified combatant commanders and combat forces worldwide. The wing is the host unit for 53 mission partners supported on Peterson AFB and Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, including North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Northern Command, Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Strategic Command and the 302nd Airlift Wing (USAF Reserves).
As the Air Force’s most geographically dispersed wing, the 21st Space Wing hosts these mission partners, while also providing and employing global capabilities to ensure space superiority to defend our nation and allies. The Knights of the 21st Space Wing can be found at 22 locations in nine countries around the world.
The 30th Space Wing, headquartered at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., supports West Coast launch activities for the Air Force, Department of Defense, NASA, national programs and various private industry contractors. The Wing supports the processing and launch of a variety of expendable vehicles including Atlas V, Delta IV, Falcon 9, Minotaur and Minuteman III. The Wing also supports Force Development and Evaluation of all intercontinental ballistic missiles, as well as Missile Defense Agency (MDA) tests and operations.
Major tenant units at Vandenberg AFB include the CSpOC, 14 AF, 576th Flight Test Squadron, MDA, 381st Training Group, National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and NASA.
The 45th Space Wing, headquartered at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., oversees the preparation and launching of U.S. government, civil and commercial satellites from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and operates the Eastern Range. The majority of the space launches in the United States take place from the 45th Space Wing, to include all launches headed to geosynchronous orbit and International Space Station resupply missions.
The 45th Space Wing has more than 30 major mission partners and tenants at Patrick AFB and Cape Canaveral AFS, including the Defense Equality Opportunity Management Institute, Air Force Technical Applications Center, NASA, Naval Ordnance Test Unit, 920th Rescue Wing and the Department of State INL Air Wing.
The 50th Space Wing, headquartered at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., operates and supports more than 185 Department of Defense satellites and 16 geographically separated units around the world. The wing operates and supports Global Positioning System, communication, weather, space surveillance, and orbital testing satellite programs through the use of the worldwide Air Force Satellite Control Network.
Through facilities strategically located around the world, wing personnel monitor satellites during launch, put satellites in their proper orbits following launch, operate the satellites while they are in orbit, ensure effective and efficient satellites operations and properly dispose of the satellites at their end of life.
The 460th Space Wing, headquartered at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., defends America through its air operations, space-based missile warning capabilities, space surveillance operations, space communications operations and installation support functions. The wing performs their mission 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Unlike other space wings, the 460th not only commands and controls its satellites, but it also processes the mission data; missile warning, battle space awareness, technical intelligence, and nuclear detection. It also provides a number of deployed Airmen to combatant commanders to accomplish warfighter missions around the globe.
Additional missions and units hosted by the wing at Buckley include: F-16 flying operations and mobile space warning operations by the Colorado Air National Guard; helicopter flight operations by the Colorado Army National Guard; intelligence operations by the Aerospace Data Facility-Colorado; intelligence operations by the Naval Operational Support Center; and personnel services by the Air Reserve Personnel Center.
Fourteenth Air Force traces its roots to the late 1930s when Maj. Gen. Claire L. Chennault organized a group of American civilian volunteer pilots to fight the Imperial Japanese in the China-Burma-India theater. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers, known for the distinctive tiger shark paintings on their P-40’s, compiled a stellar war record against numerically superior forces. Following several post-war reorganizations that included a variety of reserve and airlift roles, 14th Air Force became the 14th Aerospace Force (AEROF) in 1968, the first command dedicated to space surveillance and tracking. In 1993, 14th Air Force was restructured in its space role, becoming a numbered Air Force within Air Force Space Command.
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14th Air Force Public Affairs
(Current as of October 2019)