We will be ready

Col. Toby Doran, 50th Operations Group commander

Col. Toby Doran, 50th Operations Group commander


On Nov. 29, CNN aired a stark presentation on the state of space and the potential threat to our way of life.  The somewhat ominous title of the program was “War in Space – The Next Battlefield.”  For many, the presentation was shocking, but for the men and women of the 50th Operations Group, the reality of a contested, degraded and operationally limited space environment is no surprise.  Most importantly, we are working to ensure we are ready for any challenge we may face.

What are we doing to be ready?  For more than a year, we have been deliberately organizing and training to face the challenges of the new, more ominous reality of the space domain.  Indeed, the central idea of Space Mission Force is readiness.  We are working to be ready for any and all threats.

Ultimately, our readiness is tied to our people.  SMF is an investment in our people, in our human capital. It ensures preparedness to operate in and through space, regardless of what may try to interfere with, or hinder our operations.  By dedicating time for focused advanced training, we are thinking, experimenting and developing tactics, techniques and procedures to ensure our readiness is top notch.

Our effort to be ready for the new cyber defense operations reality of space is not solely an operations group effort.  We are working side-by-side with our fellow 50th Network Operations Group Airmen to ensure we are ready for cyber threats.  Together, we meet the 50th Space Wing’s mission to command space and cyber systems to deliver global combat effects. 

This effort to be ready for the CDO space environment requires our fellow 50th Mission Support Group Airmen as well.  The dramatic SMF changes would be overwhelming without the total support we get every day from the entire wing.  We in the 50 OG are ready because we are part of Team Five-O.

Additionally, we are working closely with our 310th Operations Group counterparts and U.S. Air Force Warfare Center partners, making SMF a base-wide effort.

Undeniably, there is still much work to be done.  SMF has only begun.  I know though, as I go around and meet with our 50 OG operators the culture has changed. We are more aware, focused and prepared for the threat. 

The television special described Schriever Airmen as “unarmed warriors.”  Perhaps we are, but I would argue we are armed with the cutting edge intelligence, technical expertise and operational prowess that will enable us to dominate “The Next Battlefield.”  The reality is stark, but our people are our greatest asset.  Couple our outstanding people with SMF:  we will be ready for the challenge. 

Jim Sciutto noted, “Schriever Air Force Base is on America’s first line of defense.”  We are.  Rest assured, we will be ready.