Space Delta 4 conducts first-of-its-kind exercise

  • Published
  • By Airman Wyatt Stabler
  • Buckley Garrison Public Affairs

Space Delta 4 completed the first-of-its-kind exercise this month that will change the future of Space Domain Awareness.

The exercise, known as Strategic Exercise (STRATEX) 1, was the first exercise using non-traditional missile warning sensors and was conducted at Buckley AFB and Beale AFB from March 22-26, 2021.

Teams from across Space Operations Command, including the 2nd Space Warning Squadron (2 SWS),  7th Space Warning Squadron (7 SWS), Joint Overhead Persistent Infrared Center (JOPC), and 18th Space Control Squadron (18 SPCS), constructed a ‘proof-of-concept’ intended to significantly increase the United States’ ability to find, fix, and track anti-satellite threats from launch through engagement. Their ultimate objective was to reduce command and control timelines for the successful defeat of the threat by improving indications and warnings.

“In a day-to-day operation, missile warning sensors are not traditionally used for Space Domain Awareness, but this proof-of-concept exercise shows we can support the SDA mission as well,” said Capt. Angelo Centeno, the 2nd Space Warning Squadron weapons and tactics flight commander.

Competitors have demonstrated capabilities in recent years, including successful direct ascent anti-satellite tests. Anti-satellite weapons present risks to global free access to space and vital resources for the global community, this includes weather, communications. This event exercised new methodologies for integrating non-traditional support to counter anti-satellite threats.

“Things happen fast in space and the space domain is the largest warfighting domain in existence,” said 1st Lt. David Trusty, chief of weapons and tactics for 7 SWS. “The exercise intended to nail down procedures for integrated planning and employment to ensure nothing occurs in the space domain beyond the watchful eye of the United States Space Force.”

As the missile-warning Delta, DEL 4 Airmen and Guardians were able to challenge themselves while collaborating with their mission partners to support the foundation for space operations and maintain the ultimate high ground. They will continue to make improvements to their processes based on the outcome of this exercise and execute a second iteration later this year.

“These exercises are so important for the Space Force because they are pushing the envelope on being prepared for tomorrow’s fight. It also tests the operators’ abilities to work outside of the bounds of their unit and integrate with peers across the Space Force,” said Centeno.

This is just another example of how DEL 4’s motto, “Videmus Mundum” proves true: “We See the World.”