Buckley annual State of the Base

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Aleece Williams
  • SBD2/PA

Buckley Space Force Base senior leadership, community leaders, mission partners, members of the Aurora Rotary Club and the Aurora Chamber's Defense Council gathered for the annual State of the Base in Aurora, Colorado, Jan. 25, 2023. 

The keynote speakers were U.S. Space Force Col. Marcus Jackson, Space Base Delta 2 commander, accompanied by U.S. Space Force Chief Master Sgt. Charles Shurchay, SBD2 senior enlisted leader. Each year Buckley coordinates and briefs the surrounding community and special interest groups about the past and future endeavors about the base.

“Over the past year, collectively we have accomplished a tremendous amount as a team,” said Jackson. “Buckley has a commitment to maintaining powerful community ties and a moral obligation in our efforts to be a strong and dependable neighbor, while completing our mission to defend America's interests.”

According to Jackson, throughout 2022, Team Buckley grew as an installation, contributing $1.38 billion, over a $10 million increase from 2021. This number reflects construction projects, materials, supplies, services, and disbursement of salaries for the installation's workforce. This year Buckleys’ efforts have created jobs for 5,496 people. These contributions are invaluable and the installation plans to nurture these efforts as Buckley continues to grow.

“While the mission of Buckley Space Force Base has been in an evolutionary stage over the past year, we would not have been able to accomplish what we have without the amazing support and welcoming arms of our community,” said Shurchay. “There are so many other remarkable events that we have had the opportunity to join in with our communities. These moments, like this event today, continue to build upon the foundation we have created.”

The presentation additionally discussed accomplishments of each tenant unit on the installation, while also focusing on the future of the base as well. Some of the accomplishments and successes of SBD2 in 2022 were:

The successful completion of the Energy Resilience Readiness Exercise where the sole point was to test the back-up power systems, allowing the 460th Civil Engineer squadron to identify any gaps between mission requirements and infrastructure capabilities.

Secondly, was the SBD2 emergency management personnel forward deployed to Clear Space Force Station, Alaska for 4 weeks, to provide emergency support during the 2022 Clear Fire. The fire consumed over 72,000 acres and threatened Clear missions and personnel.

Finally, SBD2 aligned with 460th Security Forces Squadron and opened the Large Vehicle Inspection point. The LVIP cuts down on commercial traffic at the Mississippi gate and also limits congestion for people gaining access to the installation.

“Over the course of 2023, we will continue to accelerate change by streamlining innovation with our community, and mission partners while modernizing Space Force capabilities as a digital service,” said Jackson. “Resilient infrastructure and architecture are the most cost-effective solution towards building an effective and robust system for staying ahead of the threat.”

A few of plans that Buckley is looking at for the future are:

The transition of the Army’s Joint Tactical Ground Stations (JTAGS) to the Space Force. These satellite ground stations for decades have been operated by the U.S. Army and will be officially handed over to Space Delta 4 in 2023.

This transfer will mark the first time all Department of Defense military satellite communication functions will be consolidated under one branch of service.

Secondly, Buckley will be opening a new visitor center at the Mississippi Ave gate. This joint project was a combined effort between several agencies which will close a ten-year deficiency, modernizing the overall base defensive posture for Buckley and its mission partners.

Finally, the Long-Range Discrimination Radar at Clear Space Force Station, Alaska, will become fully operational, approximately the Summer of 2023. Furthering the capabilities to provide data to improve ballistic defense discrimination and replace existing sensors in the ballistic missile defense system.

According to Jackson, the future of warfare is in space, and Team Buckley will play a big part in how it unfolds. Collaboration is an important function in completing the mission both domestically and abroad.

“I cannot express the amount of gratitude and admiration I have for your work and dedication in supporting Team Buckley, and all those who call it home,” said Jackson. “I look forward to watching what great things this community and Buckley will continue to do together. It is because of you all that I am confident that the State of the Base is stronger than ever.”