DEL 15 activates, brings C2 support to NSDC

  • Published
  • By Ms. Bridget Bonnette

Space Operations Command and Joint Task Force-Space Defense officials activated Space Delta 15 during a ceremony here, March 10, 2023.

The mission of DEL 15 is to provide service command-and-control (C2) capability, mission ready crew forces, skills training, certifications, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), and cyber mission defense support, as well as special mission support to the National Space Defense Center.

“The USSF is normalizing its force presentation to the space superiority mission with the establishment of Delta 15,” said U.S. Space Force Brig. Gen. Dennis O. Bythewood, JTF-SD commander, who presided over the activation ceremony. “The new unit will grow to provide the core infrastructure and manpower for the NSDC, while continuing to work closely with our National Reconnaissance Office and Intelligence Community partners to ensure unity of effort across the mission area.”

Delta 15 and its subordinate squadrons, the 15th Command-and-Control Squadron, 15th ISR Squadron, 15th Cyber Squadron, and the 15th Combat Training Squadron, are the U.S. Space Force’s force presentation to U.S. Space Command to organize, train and equip the NSDC.

The activation of DEL 15 provides for the execution of C2 functions in support of the NSDC’s space superiority mission.

DEL 15 will develop training environments, testing, and simulation to prepare USSF forces, and designated joint and allied partners, to prevail in a contested, degraded, operationally limited (CDO), all-domain environment.

“Delta 15 provides the NSDC’s USSF-certified space defense training and crew positions, intel support and space cyber defense,” said U.S. Space Force Col. Stephen G. Lyon, DEL 15’s inaugural commander. “Delta 15 is USSF personnel, while the NSDC will remain joint with mission partner, contract and NRO support.”

During the activation ceremony, Lyon quoted the Chief of Space Operations, U.S. Space Force Gen. Chance Saltzman, who stated, “Capabilities only become forces with effective C2. Now more than ever, we need to protect-and-defend forces, so Delta 15 is critical for the success of the Space Force.”

Lyon is now triple-hatted as the JTF-SD Director of Operations, NSDC Director, and commander of DEL 15.  

Although the NSDC’s mission remains the same, DEL 15 will integrate into the NSDC’s current space defense mission while working closely with the joint personnel operating within the NSDC today.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and a truly humbling and historic experience,” said Senior Master Sgt. Kristopher-Michael K. Kainoa, DEL 15 senior enlisted leader. “Our committed Guardians and teammates will continue to shape our shared military history and weave their stories into the greater fabric of our nation’s Profession of Arms.”

DEL 15 will be co-located with the NSDC, here.