by Staff Sgt. Robert Cloys
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
1/9/2013 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Infrastructure
for the 3rd and 4th Space Operations Squadrons' integrated operations
environment at Schriever Air Force Base is complete and combined
operation is slated to begin there Jan. 15.
"The start of satellite command and control operations in the integrated
ops environment this week is the culmination of countless hours of work
by hundreds of government and industry people," said Col. James Ross,
50th Space Wing commander. "This new facility will allow 3 SOPS and 4
SOPS professionals to more effectively and efficiently deliver decisive
communication effects on a global scale."
The IOE is a 50th Space Wing initiative to integrate the operations of
Department of Defense military satellite communications systems and
architectures into a single operations floor.
"This is designed to strengthen the effectiveness of military satellite
communication operations and enhance operational efficiencies and
situational awareness while creating a truly integrated MILSATCOM
operations center," said Capt. Gail Smicklas, 3 SOPS IOE project
The demand for efficiency is increasing as the difficulties within the
operational environment continue to grow. This is why a highly effective
work environment is critical.
"Without question, the geosynchronous space environment has become
increasingly congested," said Lt. Col. Chadwick Igl, 3 SOPS commander.
"The warfighters demand for reliable, space borne communications becomes
even more critical as the nation prepares for a potentially contested
environment. IOE realizes this vision of a combined MILSATCOM operations
center where the two premier SATCOM squadrons at the 50th Space Wing
will have unprecedented situational awareness to recognize, react and
respond to potential hostile actions and satellite anomalies. We hope to
expand the synergies realized to our mission partners when they join us
in the IOE and provide an even greater opportunity to enhance the
combat effects provided by the 50th Space Wing to our U.S. and allied
The IOE concept has been in development for a decade, but the current
configuration was solidified in 2005. The original concept was to have
one massive operations center that was two stories tall and could
facilitate all satellite operations squadrons. Eventually leadership
decided that 3 and 4 SOPS were best suited for the combined environment.
"During 2012, 3 and 4 SOPS tested the IOE concept by performing
co-located operations," said Capt. Micah Dodds, 4 SOPS operations flight
commander. "Building on the success of that experience, we are looking
forward to moving into the new operations center."
The IOE aims at preparing the U.S. to successfully operate far into the
future, in a spectrum of environments, including peacetime, degraded
operations and full hostilities in space.
"We are very excited to enter the next phase of making MILSATCOM
operations more effective and efficient," said Lt. Col. Scott Trinrud, 4
The layout of the ops floor is designed to encourage inter-squadron
communication and situational awareness to respond to satellite
anomalies, potential attacks or interference.
"What started with a vision many years ago by my forward thinking
predecessors Lt. Gen. John Hyten, Brig. Gen. Teresa Djuric, Brig. Gen.
Cary Chun and Col. Wayne Monteith is now becoming a reality. We should
be proud to continue the 50 SW tradition of innovation and operations
excellence," said Ross.