Mission Control Station Two Reporting

Air Force Space Command is consolidating control of its missile-launch early warning satellite systems to a single mission control center at Buckley AFB, Colo., officials announced. The “Block 10” control floor at Buckley conducted its first set of test communications with a Space Based Infrared System satellite in late January, according to a Feb. 17 release. The facility will soon be redesignated Mission Control Station 2, controlling both SBIR’s highly elliptical orbit and geostationary Earth orbit systems, as well as the legacy Defense Support System satellites that SBIRS is replacing. “This is a major milestone for a multi-billion dollar system toward a critical national mission in which we have been diligently working for a very long time,” said Col. Michael Jackson, commander of Buckley’s 460th Operations Group. The control center plans to continue testing interface with each satellite, before moving to multi-satellite operations, and eventually control of DPS, HEO, and GEO within about 18 months.