Air Force Space Command, activated Sept. 1, 1982, is a major command with headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. AFSPC provides military focused space capabilities with a global perspective to the joint warfighting team.
Provide resilient, defendable and affordable space capabilities for the Air Force, Joint Force and the Nation.
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1. Build Combat Readiness
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3. Develop Joint Warfighters
4. Organize for Sustained Success
More than 26,000 space professionals worldwide.
Fourteenth Air Force is located at Vandenberg AFB, California, and provides space capabilities for the joint fight through the operational missions of spacelift; position, navigation and timing; satellite communications; missile warning and space control.
The Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles AFB, California, 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.
AFSPC major installations include: Schriever, Peterson and Buckley Air Force bases in Colorado; Los Angeles and Vandenberg Air Force bases in California; and Patrick AFB in Florida. Major AFSPC units also reside on bases managed by other commands in New Mexico, Virginia and Georgia. AFSPC manages many smaller installations and geographically separated units in North Dakota, Alaska, Hawaii and across the globe.
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, Space-Based Infrared System 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 U.S. space assets.
AFSPC acquires, operates and supports the Global Positioning System, Defense Satellite Communications System, Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, Defense Support Program, Wideband Global SATCOM, MILSTAR and Advanced EHF, Global Broadcast Service, the Space-Based Infrared System Program and the Space Based Space Surveillance satellite. 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. 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, Upgraded Early Warning Radar System, PAVE Phased Array Warning System and Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterization System. 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. The Rapid Attack Identification, Detection, and Reporting System provides Space Situational Awareness and threat assessment by detecting, characterizing, reporting, and geolocating electromagnetic interference on satellite communications. 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, launch operations, satellite control, space surveillance and command and control for national leadership. In 1991, Operation Desert Storm validated the command's continuing focus on support to the warfighter. The Space Warfare Center, now named the Space Innovation and Development Center, was created to ensure space capabilities reached the warfighters who needed it. ICBM forces joined AFSPC in July 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 in December 2009.
In July 2018, the Air Force cyber mission was transferred to Air Combat Command, which generated the greatest capacity for an integrated Information Warfare capability within the Air Force. This move allowed for AFSPC to focus on gaining and maintaining space superiority and outpacing its adversaries in the space domain.
(Current as of Jul 2018)
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.