GPS Operators

The Space and Missile Systems Center’s GPS directorate handed off control of the tenth GPS IIF satellite to the 19th Space Operations Squadron and the 2nd SOPS on July 24. The 19th SOPS “has lead responsibilities for launch and checkout operations of new satellites,” said squadron commander Lt. Col. Sam Baxter. However, once transfer is complete the 2nd SOPS will operate the satellite, states a July 27 release. “Today’s GPS constellation is the largest and most robust it has ever been,” said Capt. Aaron Blain, GPS analyst flight commander. “With a constellation composed of 40 satellites and four different models, it is both a challenge and a privilege to operate and maintain.” The satellite launched from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., on July 15.