8th Combat Training Squadron

The 8th Combat Training Squadron (8 CTS) is a component of Space Delta 8 – Satellite Communications and Navigational Warfare, headquartered at Schriever Space Force Base, Colorado.

The 8 CTS mission is to “Lead warfighter development for Satellite Communication (SATCOM) and Position, Timing, and Navigation (PNT) Guardians.” The 8 CTS leads Space Operation Command’s (SpOC) largest training program to develop Guardians to fight through a Contested, Degraded, and Operationally limited (CDO) space domain for the Department of Defense's largest satellite Delta. The squadron trains and develops hundreds of space warfighters spanning six operational squadrons across the globe: the 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2 SOPS) and their reserve counterpart 19th Space Operations Squadron (19 SOPS) operating the Global Positioning System (GPS); 4th Space Operations Squadron (4 SOPS) and their guard counterpart 148th Space Operations Squadron (148 SOPS) operating protected and wideband Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM); 10th Space Operations Squadron (10 SOPS) operating the Narrowband MILSATCOM systems; and the 53rd Space Operations Squadron (53 SOPS) operating the wideband payload operations centers (WSOCs) across 5 geographically separated detachments.

The 8 CTS’s select cadre of instructors and evaluators execute Initial/ Mission Qualification Training (IQT/MQT) and Upgrade Training, graduating approximately 300 operators per year. The 8 CTS delivers tens of thousands of hours of weapon system and operator training critical to developing our next generation of warfighters. Courseware development personnel produce more than 22,000 training materials in the form of lesson plans, study guides, tests and computer-based training each year. Its personnel also maintain a $71.6 million Standard Space Trainer, essential in providing 8,900 hours of annual hands-on simulator training.

In addition to training and evaluations, the 8 CTS’s Operations Support Flight leads the Instructor Qualification Course (IQC), certifying instructors for not only Delta 8, but operators from other Deltas and the Joint Force. 8 CTS certifies approximately 150 instructors per year, educating them in the systemic processes of Instructional Systems Design (ISD) and manning the training programs for a wide variety of space missions across the Department of Defense.

Finally, the tacticians of the 8 CTS Weapons and Tactics Flight execute tailored Advanced Training (AT) for each Delta 8 squadron, integrating intelligence and cyber operations to train warfighters in overcoming adversaries that threaten our space systems and capabilities. The Weapons and Tactics team also prepares Guardians for service and joint exercises through the Tactics Certification Course (TCC), a rigorous program that focuses on mission planning and joint integration of space capabilities.

The War Department constituted the 50th Airdrome Squadron on Jan. 25, 1943 and activated it under the command of 2nd Air Force, with station at Herington Army Airfield, Kansas, Feb. 1, 1943. The squadron moved to Casper Army Air Base, Wyoming, on March 25 and returned to Herington AAF, May 9, 1943. The War Department disbanded the squadron April 1, 1944.

The Department of the Air Force reconstituted the squadron Jan. 1, 1992, renaming it 50th Operations Support Squadron and assigning it to the Air Force Space Command. AFSPC activated the squadron as a unit of the 50th Operations Group with station at Falcon Air Force Station (later renamed Schriever AFB) Jan. 30, 1992.

The 50 OSS earned the American Theater Service Streamer for World War II and four Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards between Oct. 1, 1998 and Oct. 2, 2003.

On July 24, 2020, the 50 OSS was aligned under Delta 8 – Satellite Communications and Navigational Warfare, Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, as part of the U.S. Space Force's structure change. 

On Feb. 8, 2022, the 50 OSS was inactivated and the 8 CTS was activated and aligned under DEL 8 at Schriever Space Force Base, Colorado.

(Current as of August 2022)