The 12th Space Warning Squadron is a United States Space Force ground-based radar used for missile warning, missile defense, and space situation awareness, stationed at Thule Air Base, Greenland.
|12th Space Warning Squadron|
|Active||1967 – present|
|Branch||United States Space Force|
|Role||Missile Detection and Warning|
|Part of||Space Delta 4|
|Headquarters||Thule Air Base, Greenland|
|Motto(s)||Top of the World|
|Decorations||Air Force Outstanding Unit Award|
|Lt Col April Foley|
|Former 12th Missile Warning Squadron emblem|
|Former 12th Missile Warning Squadron emblem, c. 1994|
|12th Missile Warning Group emblem|
The primary mission of the 12th SWS is to provide critical, real-time missile warning, defense, and space surveillance to the President of the United States, Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, NORAD, and unified commands by operating a phased-array radar—which continuously provides warning of submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) and intercontinental ballistic missile attacks against North America—and detect, track, and identify earth-orbiting objects in support of USSTRATCOM's space control mission, thus "knitting a blanket of freedom".
The 12th Space Warning Squadron is a unit of the Space Delta 4 which is under Air Force Space Command.
To accomplish its mission, the squadron operates the solid-state phased-array radar located at the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS), Site I. The BMEWS site is located approximately 11 miles northwest of Thule AB 76°34′08″N 68°19′05″W / 76.569°N 68.318°W. It provides early warning detection of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launches from the Russian land mass and submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) launches from the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans against North America. Additionally, BMEWS keeps track of polar orbiting satellites. The operational crews report through the Missile Warning Center to the NORAD/USNORTHCOM Center.
The Operation Support Flight (DOO) provides direct operational support to the missile warning crews. The flight's Operations Training Section (DOT) provides all crew force initial, recurring, and supplemental training. Other flight responsibilities include hardware, software and maintenance support (MA), operational test and evaluation (DOV), and crew force management (DOU).
The 12th SWS was formed in January 1967 as a successor organization to the Air Defense Command 931st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, which was inactivated at the end of 1965. The 931st AC&WS operated a series of Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) radar sites in Greenland to detect intrusion of unknown aircraft. The squadron relayed information to the 64th NORAD Region Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system DC-31 Direction Center, and interceptor squadrons stationed at Thule Air Base.
With the development of ICBM and SLBM technologies, the mission to monitor aircraft coming over the horizon from the Soviet Union was transferred to other units, and the 931st AC&WS at Thule AB was inactivated.
This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (October 2021)
|June 2002||June 2003||Lt Col Shawn Barnes|
|June 2003||June 2004||Lt Col Thomas Doyne|
|June 2004||June 2005||Lt Col Franklin "Joey" Hinson Jr|
|June 2005||June 2006||Lt Col Scott Peel|
|June 2006||June 2007||Lt Col Timothy Lincoln|
|June 2007||June 2008||Lt Col James Forand|
|June 2008||26 June 2009||Lt Col David O. Meteyer|
|26 June 2009||February 2010||Lt Col James Oldenburg|
|February 2010||3 June 2010||Lt Col Kimberly Damalas (appointed)|
|3 June 2010||16 June 2011||Lt Col Jeffrey Van Sanford|
|16 June 2011||21 June 2012||Lt Col Christopher S. Putman|
|21 June 2012||11 July 2013||Lt Col Gregory G. Karahalis|
|11 July 2013||June 2014||Lt Col Kelly S. Easler|
|June 2014||June 2015||Lt Col Jason Resley|
|June 2015||June 2016||Lt Col Marc A. Brock|
|June 2016||June 2017||Lt Col David L. Ransom|
|8 June 2017||June 2018||Lt Col Carl B. Bottolfson|
|7 June 2018||June 2019||Lt Col Neil A. Menzie|
|~June 2019||24 June 2020||Lt Col Jared Smith|
|24 June 2020||~June 2021||Lt Col Brandon Alford|
|June 2021||June 2022||Lt Col Christopher R. Hill|
|June 2022||present||Lt Col April Foley|
This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency.