The 11th Space Warning Squadron is a United States Space Force missile warning squadron, located at Buckley Space Force Base, Colorado.
|11th Space Warning Squadron|
|Branch||United States Space Force|
|Part of||Space Delta 4|
|Garrison/HQ||Buckley Space Force Base, Colorado|
|Motto(s)||In The Fight|
|Decorations||Air Force Meritorious Unit Award|
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
|Lt Col Michael Hall|
The mission of the 11th Space Warning Squadron is to provide theater missile warnings to warfighters worldwide.
The squadron was the first operational unit using technological procedures developed following Desert Storm for the Air Force. Commanders in Saudi Arabia pinpointed a need for more timely and accurate information on incoming short-range ballistic missiles.
The technology available was accurate enough, as each Scud missile launched by Iraq was detected by Defense Support Program satellites but wasn't intended for theater use. Commanders in Saudi Arabia needed information quicker and more precise targeting information for anti-missile batteries, such as the Patriot.
To meet that need, the Air Force set up a research and development program called TALON SHIELD. The program was tasked to improve and enhance sensor processing from Defense Support Program (DSP) spacecraft to optimize space-based warning support for theater commanders.
The first fruit of that study is the Attack and Launch Early Reporting to Theater, or ALERT, system. ALERT uses improved satellite data processing equipment and programs to speed up identifying when missiles anywhere in the world are launched. Improvements to the system have sped up this critical aspect of warfighting ten-fold.
The Talon Shield system was declared operational, and the 11th Space Warning Squadron was activated on 1 October 1994.
The squadron used infrared data from the constellation of Defense Support Program satellites to warn deployed troops in the theater of short-range missile launches, as well as significant other events around the globe. The 11th also formerly operated and maintained the Attack and Launch Early Reporting to Theater (ALERT) system, which provided continuous surveillance and early warning of theater missiles and other threats in direct support of theater warfighters worldwide. When the mission control station was completed at Buckley Space Force Base late in 2001 as part of the transition to the Defense Support Program follow-on, Space-Based Infrared System, the squadron mission was reduced, and it was inactivated on 31 December 2002.
The 11th was reactivated at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, in December 2007. The squadron replaced Detachment 1 of the 460th Operations Group. Its new role is to operate the latest Space-Based Infrared Systems satellite payload, using a new sensor in a highly elliptical orbit to provide an increase in warning time and accuracy.
In August 2016, the Air Force announced plans to relocate the squadron back to Buckley and rename it the 11th Space Experimentation Squadron. The relocated unit will focus on how battlefield commanders can use space-based infrared imagery to find enemies. Although the infrared sensors were designed to detect missile launches, they can detect other heat sources that provide intelligence information. A new system will replace the ground control station the squadron was operating at Schriever.
Gen. Seth J. McKee Award for best space warning squadron 2009, 2018
Since taking command as a commander about 10 months ago...