|18th Space Control Squadron|
|Active||1966 – 1975|
1990 – 2004
2016 – present
|Branch||United States Space Force|
|Size||64 military and 25 civilian personnel|
|Part of||Space Delta 2|
|Home base||Vandenberg Space Force Base, California|
|Motto(s)||"Semper vigilans in sine alto" |
(Latin for 'Ever Vigilant in the High Frontier')
|Decorations||Air Force Outstanding Unit Award|
|Lt Col Matthew Lintker|
|Former 18th Space Control Squadron emblem|
The 18th Space Control Squadron (18 SPCS) is a United States Space Force space control unit located at Vandenberg Space Force Base, California. Reactivated in 2016, the 18th SPCS is tasked with providing 24/7 support to the space surveillance network (SSN), maintaining the space catalog and managing United States Space Command’s space situational awareness (SSA) sharing program to United States, foreign government, and commercial entities. The squadron also conducts advanced analysis, sensor optimization, conjunction assessment, human spaceflight support, reentry/break-up assessment, and launch analysis.
The mission of the 18th SPCS is to deliver foundational Space Situational Awareness to assure global freedom of action in space.
The 18th Space Surveillance Squadron (SPSS) was the optical portion of the United States Space Force's Space Surveillance Network. They were responsible for operating four worldwide GEODSS sites, in addition to the Transportable Optical System (TOS), and the Maui Space Surveillance Complex (MSSC). The focal point for all optical command and control was centralized at the Optical Command, Control and Communications Facility (OC3F). The 18 SPSS became part of the 1st Space Wing, Air Force Space Command, on 1 February 1990.
The 18th SPSS relocated to Edwards Air Force Base, California in July 1995. The 73rd Space Group was inactivated in May 1995 and all units were then assigned to the 21st Space Wing. With a force-wide renaming of space units, the 18th SPSS became the 18th Space Control Squadron (18 SPCS) in February 2003. This renaming did not last long, however, since the unit was inactivated in June 2004, with all detachments falling under the 21st Operations Group.
On 22 July 2016, the 18th Space Control Squadron was reinstated at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The squadron has a mission focused on space situational awareness in support of launches, object and debris tracking, and human spaceflight.