Backup Satellite Control Node Online

Air Force Space Command on Nov. 12 opened the new backup satellite control facility for the 3rd Space Operations Squadron at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. The new geographically separated node, dubbed Backup Satellite Operations Center-Vandenberg, is now fully capable of assuming operations of defense satellite communications system satellites and wideband global satcom spacecraft, if the squadron’s primary control node at Schriever AFB, Colo., goes down. The Vandenberg center can also take over operations of Milstar communication satellites run by the 4th SOPS at Schriever, if need be. After the opening ceremony, two crews carried out the first operations from the facility by performing state-of-health checks on the DSCS and WGS constellations. AFSPC decided to create the backup center following 9/11. Previously, the 3rd SOPS had relied on a backup facility at Onizuka AFS, Calif., which is closing as a result of BRAC 2005. (Vandenberg report)