22nd Space Operations Squadron

The 22nd Space Operations Squadron, is a unit of Delta 6, headquartered at Schriever Space Force Base, Colorado. 

The 22nd SOPS operates the $11.2 billion Satellite Control Network (SCN) by developing, executing, and enforcing the Space Access Tasking Order (SpATO) and providing space safety analysis to conduct satellite operations. The 22nd SOPS coordinates the launch and on-orbit operations of over 190 Department of Defense, national intelligence, civil and Allied nation’s satellites, including the support of global warfighters, intelligence community users, the President, and Secretary of Defense. 

The 22nd SOPS Operations Center develops, publishes, and enforces the SpATO, and directs and monitors all aspects of enterprise operations for SCN users through a combination of military commanders, civilian professionals, and contract support. The squadron’s Orbital Analysts coordinate ephemeris data, launch and early orbit analysis determination, and tracking station look angles to support space operations for 29 different Satellite Operations Centers (SOCs). The 22nd SOPS also provides limited predictive and investigative Radio Frequency Interference and Collision Avoidance products to all SCN users. Further, the squadron implements protective actions to ensure continued access to space and enable space effects vital to our nation’s security. 

As the nation first established intelligence gathering satellite program, ground antennas were required to command these satellites. Over the many decades that followed, those antennas were upgraded and expanded to locations all around the globe. Today, that legacy continues under the control of 22 SOPS. 

The 22nd SOPS activated in October 1991 as an operational squadron under the 2nd Satellite Tracking Group (later 750th Space Group), Onizuka Air Force Station, California. The unit assumed the responsibilities and functions previously conducted by Detachment 9, 2nd STG. The squadron assumed full responsibility for AFSCN operations June 1, 1997. The unit was transferred to the 50th Operations Group in June 1999, and in March 2004 was reassigned to 50th NOG (formerly 50th Communications Group). 

The 50th NOG brought together all the 50th SW’s squadrons responsible for AFSCN operations and maintenance 24/7 around the globe. On November 1, 2010, command of all eight Remote Tracking Stations (RTS’s) were transferred to the 21st SOPS (Vandenberg, Diego Garcia, Hawaii, and Guam) and 23rd SOPS’ (Pituffik, Oakhanger, New Boston and the Eastern Vehicle Checkout Facility at Cape Canaveral). On July 16, 2012, operations at the Colorado Tracking Station ceased. 

As part of the United States Space Force structure change, as of July 24, 2020, 22 SOPS is assigned to Space Delta 6 and the Air Force Satellite Control Network was renamed the Satellite Control Network. 

(Current as of Feb 2024)