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6TH SPACE OPERATIONS SQUADRON

Posted 5/31/2013 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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6SOPS
6th Space Operations Squadron
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The 6th Space Operations Squadron provides a backup command and control center for the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). DMSP is the longest running production satellite program ever. The DMSP satellite constellation provides strategic and tactical weather prediction to aid military operations planning at sea, on land, and in the air. The satellites can image visible and infrared cloud cover, measure precipitation, surface temperature, and soil moisture. In addition, it collects specialized global meteorological oceanographic and solar-geophysical information in all weather conditions. It also has sensors for space weather data that is used to assist in high-frequency communications, over-the-horizon radar and spacecraft drag and reentry tasks. The information provided by the DMSP satellites is used to compile various worldwide weather products for numerous users, such as the Air Force Weather Agency and Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center as well as civilian authorities through the Department of Commerce. The 6 SOPS is located at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo.

Vision Statement
The acknowledged experts for employing the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program performing the environmental intelligence mission in support of warfighters world wide

Mission Statement
To flawlessly capture and deliver the world's timeliest environmental intelligence data

Organization
Parent unit: 310th Operations Group, 310th Space Wing

The 6 SOPS operationally supports 50th Operations Group, Detachment 1, 50th Space Wing, 14th Air Force, Air Force Space Command as a satellite command and control center responsible for backing up the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, Suitland, Md. Administrative control resides with 10th Air Force and Air Force Reserve Command. The unit is tasked to provide unassisted command and control of the DMSP constellation within one hour's notice during duty hours and three hour's notice during off-duty hours, and to sustain the mission indefinitely as required.

Unit History
The organization known today as the 6th Space Operations Squadron was initially activated as the 4000th Support Group in February 1963, under Headquarters Strategic Air Command, both located at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. In January 1966, the group was reassigned to the 1st Strategic Aerospace Division, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Later that same year, a Vandenberg launch ushered the first Block 4 class of meteorological satellite into the inventory. In January 1973, the group was redesignated the 4000th Aerospace Applications Group and in April 1981, it was again renamed the 4000th Satellite Operations Group. On May 1, 1983, the group was transferred to the newly formed Air Force Space Command under the 1st Space Wing and was designated the 1000th Satellite Operations Group or "One Grand." The "One Grand" was then moved under the 2nd Space Wing in 1985. In 1992, the 1000 SOG was designated as a squadron, and renamed the 6 SOPS.

On May 5, 1994, President William Clinton directed convergence of the DMSP program with the civilian weather satellite programs operated by the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In April 1998, NOAA was granted operational control of the DMSP program as the primary facility, and the 6 SOPS, located at Offutt Air Force Base, became the backup facility. In June 1998, the 6 SOPS ceased operations, temporarily leaving DMSP without a backup command and control agency. The 6 SOPS was deactivated as an active-duty unit on Sept. 30, 1998, and was reactivated as a Reserve unit located at Schriever Air Force Base the following day. In January 1999, the 6SOPS Schriever facility was declared operational as the DSMP backup facility. In June 2013, 6 SOPS (as a reserve unit) completed its 40,000 DMSP satellite contact.







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