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New Boston Station celebrates groundbreaking

NEW BOSTON, N.H. -- Crews get ready for the groundbreaking at New Boston. (Courtesy photo)

NEW BOSTON, N.H. -- Crews get ready for the groundbreaking at New Boston. (Courtesy photo)

NEW BOSTON, N.H. -- The first step in achieving the next generation in satellite tracking capability was taken at New Boston Air Force Station July 21. The groundbreaking ceremony marked the beginning of the New Hampshire Tracking Station B-side Remote Tracking Station Block Change project.

This NHS-B RBC project, which will be completed by the defense contractor Honeywell Technology Solutions Inc., will bring enhanced telemetry, tracking and commanding capabilities to the Air Force Satellite Control Network. The AFSCN, which is operated by the 50th Space Wing at Schriever, is a global system of control centers, remote tracking stations and communications links that support the nation's surveillance, navigation, communications and weather satellite operations. NBAFS is home to the 23rd Space Operations Squadron, who is responsible for supporting the AFSCN and will operate and accept responsibility for the NHS-B RBC system once it is completed.

The NHS-B RBC project will construct a new ring wall and inflatable radome that will enclose a 13-meter antenna, complete with updated electronics on the operations floor that will offer more automation and faster turnaround time between satellite supports than on previous systems. The RBC system, which will be turned over to 23 SOPS by January 2014, will replace the previous 60-foot antenna that began operations at NBAFS in 1961. The 60-foot antenna, which was demolished in the summer of 2010, supported the then Top Secret Corona Reconnaissance program as one of its earliest endeavors. The NHS-B RBC antenna will be built in the same location as the demolished antenna.

The lead organization on the RBC project is the Satellite Control and Network Systems Division under Air Force Space Command's Space and Missiles Systems Center located at Los Angeles AFB, Calif. The NHS-B RBC will be the seventh RBC to be installed in the AFSCN. The Satellite Control and Network Systems Division has completed RBC systems and turned them over for operations at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, and at Oakhanger in the United Kingdom. SMC/SN is the acquisition program office responsible for modernizing and sustaining the AFSCN to ensure responsive, effective support to the warfighter.

Distinguished guests at the NHS-B groundbreaking ceremony included Mr. Douglas Tayrien, Deputy Director for the Satellite Control and Network Systems Division, located at Los Angeles AFB, Calif., Mr. Raul Diaz, the Technical Director for the 50th Network Operations Group, located at Schriever AFB, Colo. and distinguished community leaders from areas surrounding NBAFS.

"This site, as well as the other remote tracking stations, is what keeps me going to work every day," said Tayrien. "I'm proud to be part of this historic event and very proud of our entire team, including 23 SOPS, Honeywell, Aerospace, our support contractors and civilians.