Library Fact Sheets
460TH OPERATIONS GROUP|
Printable Fact Sheet
The 460th Operations Group is located on Buckley Air Force Base (AFB), east of Aurora, Colorado, which is an Air Force Space Command base that serves active duty, National Guard, Reserve, and retired personnel throughout the Front Range community. Buckley AFB defends America through its air operations, space-based missile warning capabilities, space surveillance operations, space communications operations, and support functions. The group is subordinate to and collocated with the 460th Space Wing, Buckley AFB's host unit, which falls under the direction of 14th Air Force and Air Force Space Command. The 460th Operations Group provides the 460th Space Wing commander with the programs and resources for the operational mission performed by the wing.
The mission of the 460th Operations Group is to, "Provide leadership, operational control and administration of six units operating, maintaining and supporting the USAF's space-based missile warning system." We comprise a key element of U.S. Strategic Command's space and missile warning network providing continuous global surveillance, tracking, targeting, battlespace characterization, and technical intelligence to unified commanders and combat forces worldwide.
The group's vision is, "Always Vigilant, On Point!"
The 460th Operations Group and its partners truly represent a Total Force and coalition unit. This includes 626 active duty Air Force members, 86 Reservists, 3 commonwealth international partners, 46 civilians, and 180 contractors.
The 460th Operations Group provides missile warning, missile defense, technical intelligence, satellite command and control, battle space characterization, and robust communications. The group's team of space professionals operates the Defense Support Program (DSP), Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites, and SBIRS Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) payloads, which provide continuous global surveillance, tracking and targeting.
The 2d Space Warning Squadron is the primary operational unit within the 460th Operations Group and continues to operate the over 40-year-old, $3.2 billion on-orbit DSP satellite constellation. They operate six worldwide operational mission support sites, and host over 225 active duty, reserve, and multinational military and 90 contractor personnel performing operations and maintenance of the $17.6 billion SBIRS. Their mission is to, "Provide superior space-based persistent global surveillance to support strategic, operational and tactical decision-makers of US and allied forces worldwide." Their vision is to, "Deliver absolutely reliable infrared support to warfighters and intelligence operators worldwide." Their motto is, "None Shall Pass." The squadron's specific missions include missile warning, missile defense, battlespace awareness, and technical intelligence capabilities.
The 460th Operations Support Squadron (OSS) is a 65-person total force multi-national squadron directly supporting the $17.6 billion SBIRS program. They are responsible for operational training and certification of all space warriors from the 460th Operations Group in ten combat mission-ready crew positions. They provide crew force management, scheduling support, expert integration support for emerging capabilities, and Wing Weapons and Tactics leadership. The squadron also leads future program integration for the $115 billion Missile Defense program and the $662 million next-generation missile warning system. Their mission is to, "Provide operations support to maximize the operational readiness of SBIRS operations." The squadron's vision is, "Committed operations support across the 460 OG." The squadron's motto is, "Leading The Way!"
The 460th Space Communications Squadron (SCS) is an over 200-person unit that has a two-fold unit mission, including support to the base missile warning mission and the base cyber defense and security mission. They operate and maintain a $1 billion communication and computer system to service over 2,800 users in support of DSP, SBIRS, the 460th Space Wing, and 81 tenant units. Their mission is to, "Provide an empowered, ready, and professional global force, delivering full spectrum communications to ensure superior operations capability and cyber defense." Their vision is to, "Organize, train, and equip the 460th SCS to exploit efficiencies and emerging technologies, overcoming ever-increasing resource challenges while developing globally conscious community leaders and posturing Buckley AFB as AFSPC's premier operating base." The squadron also manages the local area networks, communications security accounting, information assurance, and air traffic control/landing systems. They are directly responsible for information management, frequency management, multimedia, and communications resource planning for Buckley AFB.
The 460th Space Communications Squadron, Detachment 1 (SCS, Det 1) is a European-based geographically separated unit (GSU) subordinate to the 460th Operations Group. This unit operates and maintains a $5.9 billion satellite ground station in order to provide communications support to 460th Space Wing organizations and its tenet units. Their mission is to, "Provide combat capabilities for the United States and its allies by operating and maintaining our satellite ground station in support of Mission A and Mission B." The unit has directly supported operations such as NEW DAWN, ENDURING FREEDOM, and other warfighting and contingency efforts around the world.
The 11th Space Warning Squadron (11 SWS) is a U.S.-based GSU that operates the $832 million SBIRS HEO payloads from the $116 million Mission Control Station Backup ground station, located at Schriever AFB, Colorado. They maintain payload control authority and command the HEO payloads. Their mission is to, "Provide U.S. and allied forces worldwide the next generation of missile warning, battlespace awareness, technical intelligence, and missile defense data through command and exploitation of Air Force Space Command's only taskable, space-based infrared, highly-elliptical payload." The squadron provides ballistic missile/launch data, battlespace characterization, and other operationally relevant infrared information to the President, Secretary of Defense, combatant commanders, and intelligence agencies.
The 8th Space Warning Squadron, Detachment 1 (8 SWS/Det 1), an Air Force Reserve unit administratively subordinate to the 310th Space Wing, is collocated on Schriever AFB with the 50th Operations Group and is an associate unit to 11 SWS. 8 SWS/Det 1 provides key manning and expertise to the HEO mission for 11 SWS as well as the 460th Operations Group. Their long term commitment to the Mission Control Station Backup has them taking sole operational control of the SBIRS backup facility in the near future.
The 460th Operation Group, Detachment 1 (460 OG, Det 1) is responsible for SBIRS Interim GEO Operations. The Detachment is part of the 100-person Combined Task Force (CTF) in Boulder, CO, an integrated unit that also includes the Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center Remote Sensing Systems Directorate (SMC/RS), Lockheed Martin, and support contractors. The Detachment is a U.S.-based GSU subordinate to the 460th Operations Group. It participates in SBIRS HEO and GEO launch and early on-orbit testing activities as well as leading mission operations of the $5.3 billion SBIRS GEO satellite constellation from the $145 million Interim Test Center (ITC). Their mission is to, "Launch, test, and operate the next generation SBIRS satellites and payloads to deliver unrivaled capabilities to our warfighters, allies, and the nation." The Detachment links operations and acquisition programs by ensuring development and testing activities align with operational priorities.
The 8th Space Warning Squadron (8 SWS), an Air Force Reserve unit administratively subordinate to the 310th Space Wing, is collocated on Buckley AFB with the 460th Operations Group and is an associate unit to the 2d Space Warning Squadron. Their mission is to, "Defend the United States and its Allies globally by providing ready, reliable, and scalable forces that form the cornerstone of the SBIRS Total Force." Their vision is, "A world-class Reserve organization perfectly aligned as the foundation of expertise, surge capability, and readiness that leads the SBIRS team through the evolution of OPIR operations." The squadron provides the backbone of DSP and SBIRS knowledge and expertise to the active-duty, operational squadrons that run those programs. Their personnel are fully integrated into crew and support operations throughout the 460th Operations Group.
The 233d Space Group (formerly the 137 Space Warning Squadron), a Colorado Air National Guard unit located in Greeley, Colorado, is comprised and 305 citizen airmen. The Group supports and employs a unique survivable and endurable missile warning platform known as the Mobile Ground System. They deploy mobile, combat-trained units on short notice to remote U.S. and overseas locations to provide continuous warning of missile launches and nuclear detonations. Their mission is to, "Survive and operate through all levels of nuclear, biological, or chemical conflicts to provide warning and attack assessment data to surviving national command elements."
The 460th Air Base Wing was activated Oct 1, 2001, and assumed full control of the support mission in the Denver area. On Aug 19, 2004, it was designated as the 460th Space Wing and added an operational space mission to its responsibilities. Subordinate to the wing, the 460th Operations Group was constituted as such on Aug 2, 2004 and activated on the same date as the wing, Aug 19, 2004.
(Updated July 2015)
460th Space Wing Public Affairs
510 S. Aspen St. (Stop 88)
Buckley AFB, CO 80011