1st SOPS accepts SCA of ORS-5
By Senior Airman Arielle Vasquez, 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 27, 2018
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The 1st Space Operations Squadron accepted control authority of a new satellite during a ceremony at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, March 16.
According to Maj. Patrick Gaynor, operations officer with the 1st SOPS, members with Fourteenth Air Force, the 1st and 7th SOPS and the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Operationally Responsive Space Office worked together in preparation of the transfer of the Operationally Responsive Space-5 satellite system from Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, to the 50th Space Wing.
The satellite was launched Aug. 26, 2017 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
The period from launch to transfer allowed SMC to ensure the satellite functioned properly before transferring command and control to the 1st SOPS.
The ORS-5 satellite delivers global, persistent, optical tracking of satellites in geosynchronous orbit, enabling the nation to have increased global situational awareness of space objects.
Capt. Austin Sheeley, ORS-5 lead with the 1st SOPS, explained the importance of the transfer was the culmination of all the hard work accomplished as a team and in coordination with mission partners.
Despite the actual transfer lasting a short period of time, years of preparation were involved in making the transition seamless.
“This satellite culminates over two years of preparation and research,” Sheeley said. “Members with the 1st SOPS and 7th SOPS have spent over 100 days at Kirtland AFB. It’s been a huge work in progress so far, from launching the satellite, to operations, to procedures developed and to the checkout phases.”
The satellite transfer from the SMC to the 1st SOPS provided the squadron and Schriever a new milestone in satellite operations.
“ORS-5 is definitely a game changer,” Gaynor said. “Because this satellite flies directly over the equator, it gives us a different capability to bring on board. Instead of only seeing parts of the geosynchronous belt, we’re seeing the satellite constantly scan it.”
“We are very excited to integrate the ORS-5 satellite into our constellations,” he continued.
The ORS-5 satellite is now one of three Low Earth Orbit satellites that 1st SOPS commands.
“This satellite system is the closest 1st SOPS has gotten to what could be a fully automated system,” Sheeley said. “With this in place, it will have a lower impact on the operators themselves, so they can focus on integration of systems into our warfighting concepts, employ systems in conjunction with other 1st SOPS satellites and ultimately focus on the future of space.”