HomeNewsArticle Display

460th Space Wing accepts America's newest missile warning payload

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- SBIRS HEO team members celebrate the Operational Acceptance of the HEO-2 Payload by Air Force Space Command July 23. (U.S. Air Force photo)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- SBIRS HEO team members celebrate the Operational Acceptance of the HEO-2 Payload by Air Force Space Command July 23. (U.S. Air Force photo)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The 11th Space Warning Squadron, Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. completed the evaluation period for the second Space Based Infrared System Highly Elliptical Orbit payload and accepted for operational use July 23.

The SBIRS HEO, built by Lockheed Martin, is designed to provide early warning of ballistic missile launches, missile defense, technical/measures intelligence and battlespace awareness. Operational acceptance of HEO-2 represents a dynamic change in the missile warning and defense architecture with two IR sensors now available for tasking by Air Force Space Command.

"It has been an amazing experience to be a part of such a huge milestone in SBIRS' history," said Airman Philip Graham, 11 SWS mission crew chief. "We have shown everyone that hard work and dedication pays off."

During the trial period, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center personnel observed the daily operations of the HEO systems, including transmitting operational data across missile warning networks. Their evaluation validated SBIRS HEO's significant additional warning and intelligence capabilities and paved the way for Air Force Space Command's acceptance into the operational inventory. This milestone paves the way for U. S. Strategic Command's formal certification of HEO-2 system next month.

"The goal that we have been working toward for three years has been reached, but we still want to take it to the next level and make operations better," said Master Sgt. David Hagar, 11 SWS flight chief.

Building upon the operational acceptance of the first HEO payload in Nov, 2008, operational acceptance of the HEO-2 payload culminates years of efforts by 460th Space Wing personnel. HEO-1 and HEO-2 data will be collected and analyzed by operators in the 11 SWS at Schriever Air Force Base, and forwarded to the mission control station at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Here SBIRS HEO data will be combined with data from the 2nd Space Warning Squadron and transmitted to warfighters throughout the world.

"The announcement of operational acceptance by Air Force Space Command is a success story for the HEO team," said Master Sgt. Aaron Rath, 11 SWS, Operations Training NCO-in-Charge. "It's has been a lot of work, but marks the beginning of a new era of improved missile warning."
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.