BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Nestled in the restricted area of barbed-wire fencing, security guards and surveillance, lies the hub of America’s missile warning system which safeguards our country and our allies.
What most people don’t know, is that the service members behind the fence couldn’t do their job without the support of the 460th Space Communications Squadron satellite communication and technical control Airmen.
These Airmen provide guaranteed communication, maintenance and efficiency between the satellites in space and their end-users. End-users can be anything from other bases, to other countries and government agencies.
“We’re not the ones processing the intelligence or gathering it, but we are connecting the gathering to the intel operators,” said Tech. Sgt. William, 460th SCS radio-frequency transmissions systems shift lead. “Without us, the communication wouldn’t happen.”
Not only does this team help relay data from one end to another, but they also have to maintain the antennas, radome, radios and other control systems on base. Inside each radome is an antenna, which is the core function to the SBIRS mission. SATCOM Airmen must stay proactive, and be ready to repair or reconnect the system at a moment’s notice.
“The Airmen conduct preventative maintenance inspections every day on every antenna to make sure they are running properly,” said William
. “Then when something breaks, it becomes our number one priority; we have to get that mission back up.”
Another group of communication specialists on Buckley is technical control. Technical control Airmen are responsible for over 1,300 circuits, keeping Buckley and all of the Air Force Space Command connected.
“Acting as Defense Information Systems Agency coordinators, we coordinate, install, maintain and troubleshoot DISA directed circuits that connect everyone,” said Senior Airman Clayton, 460th SCS circuit actions technician. “From Buckley to Korea to Germany, we keep everyone on a platform and up to date with what’s going on.”
The priorities of SATCOM and technical control may not be operating the SBIRS network or reading the missile warning data, but they make sure the right data reaches the right user. This way every person is “in the know”, and they are able to provide effective missile warning capabilities.
“This is one of the few stateside missions where we actually contribute to the warfighter from our home station,” said William. “We protect the U.S. with the things we do every day.”