23d Space Operations Squadron

The 23d Space Operations Squadron, a unit of Delta 6, headquartered at Schriever Space Force Base, Colorado, is geographically located at New Boston Space Force Station, New Hampshire


The 23d SOPS provides assured access to space through operations and maintenance of satellite command and control systems. 

The squadron provides assured access to space and cyberspace by operating and maintaining the largest Satellite Control Network remote tracking station at New Boston SFS, as well as at three other Geographically Separated Units located at Pituffik Space Base, Greenland, Oakhanger, United Kingdom, and the Eastern Vehicle Checkout Facility located at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The squadron provides real-time capability to users performing on-orbit tracking, telemetry, commanding and mission data retrieval services.

The squadron also operates and maintains a Defense Satellite Communications System Heavy Earth Terminal, and additional equipment in support of other mission partners.

In the squadron’s unique role in maintaining the installation at New Boston SFS, 23rd SOPS operates and maintains a 2,864-acre installation and infrastructure worth over $1.25B. The squadron performs all station operations for the installation including security, civil engineering, communications, services, natural resources, and safety.


The 23rd SOPS was originally activated July 25, 1942, as the 23rd Airways Detachment. The squadron served in India and China during World War II, earning campaign streamers for India-Burma (1942-1945) and the China Defensive (1942-1945) before disbanding on Dec. 1, 1943. The Air Force reconstituted the squadron and designated it the 23rd SOPS. Air Force Space Command activated the unit at New Boston AFS on Nov. 1, 1991. The squadron assumed responsibility for the operation of the New Hampshire Tracking Station, replacing a detachment of the 2nd Satellite Tracking Group.

Satellite support operations at New Boston Satellite Tracking Station began April 1, 1960, using van-mounted equipment. Simultaneous with van operations, the installation of equipment in permanent facilities began under the Weapons Systems 117L program. Van operations were gradually phased out, and by June 1964, the entire station was operating in permanent facilities.

By the summer of 1964, the station had dual satellite tracking, telemetry and commanding capabilities. The squadron was transferred to AFSPC, and the station moved from a research and development environment into the operational Air Force Oct. 1, 1987. The 23rd SOPS was realigned under the 50th NOG March 10, 2004, and the station celebrated its 50th Anniversary.

Assigned to the 50th NOG, the 23d SOPS later gained responsibility and oversight and began supporting three other AFSCN sites including 23rd SOPS Detachment 1, located at Pituffik SB, Greenland, and Oakhanger, United Kingdom, Oct. 1, 2010. The third site, the Eastern Vehicle Checkout Facility is located at Cape Canaveral and ensures SCN capabilities and operation of satellites prior to and during initial launch. The 23rd SOPS began supporting two GPS ground antennas and monitor stations Aug. 1, 2011. One is located at Cape Canaveral and the other is located at Ascension Auxiliary Air Field on Ascension Island. Later, that support was turned over to the GPS mission team, 2 SOPS on 1 Oct 2023.

As part of the U.S. Space Force's structure change, New Boston Air Force Station became New Boston Space Force Station and as of July 24, 2020 the squadron is assigned to Delta 6. 

(Updated as of February 2024)