The 10th Space Warning Squadron (10 SWS) at Cavalier Air Force Station, North Dakota, is located 15 miles south of the Canadian and U.S. border. The squadron is a geographically separated unit of Space Delta 4, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado.
The mission of the 10 SWS is to provide flawless missile warning and space surveillance to ensure space superiority and to defend our nation and allies.
The vision for the 10 SWS is America's Premier Space Warning Squadron, we drive excellence today and tomorrow to enable space combat operations.
EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES
The squadron operates and maintains the world's most capable phased-array radar system. The Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterization System (PARCS) continuously provides critical missile warning and space surveillance data to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), United States Space Command (USSPACECOM), and regional combatant commanders. PARCS monitors and tracks more than half of all earth-orbiting objects to enable space situational awareness and space control. Additionally, 10 SWS provides attack characterization data to the Secretary of Defense and the President for real time war plan execution decisions.
A mixture of military and civil service personnel are permanently assigned to 10 SWS. Most of the military members are assigned to the operations directorate, which is responsible for the Missile Warning Operations Center where missile warning and spacetrack missions are performed. The remainder of the assigned military and civilian personnel provide support functions and the quality assurance evaluation functions for various contracted activities on Cavalier AFS.
The unit was originally the acquisition radar portion of the United States' only operational anti-ballistic missile system, known as SAFEGUARD. Due to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (SALT II), components of the SAFEGUARD complex, with the exception of the PARCS radar at Cavalier AFS, were deactivated in February 1975.
The forerunner of the present day 10 SWS began passing tactical warning and attack assessment data to Cheyenne Mountain Air Station, Colorado, in January 1977. In October 1977 the NORAD Early Warning Mission was transferred to the Air Force and two months later the spacetrack capability was added. In December 1979, the unit was transferred from Aerospace Defense Command to Strategic Air Command.
The 10 SWS joined Air Force Space Command in 1983 as Detachment 5, 1st Space Wing. On Aug. 1, 1986, the unit was redesignated as the 10 Missile Warning Squadron, 1st Space Wing. It was renamed the 10 SWS on May 15, 1992, when the 1st Space Wing and 3rd Space Support Wing were inactivated and the 21st Space Wing was activated. In September 2007, the installation, along with PARCS, was transferred to the Air Force.
On Dec. 20, 2019, United States Space Force was officially established and 10 SWS became a part of the newest branch of the United States Department of Defense. On July 24, 2020, the 10 SWS was transferred to Space Delta 4, Buckley AFB.
Since its construction, PARCS and the military members and civilians, who operate and maintain it, have constantly watched the skies for any signs of threat and allowed the tracking of satellites and other manmade objects.