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Det. 2, 21st Space Operations Squadron

 

Guam Tracking Station is Detachment 2 of the 21st Space Operations Squadron, a unit of the 50th Network Operations Group, 50th Space Wing, Schriever Air Force Base, CO.  The station executes a 24/7 mission of Satellite C2 in support of the warfighter and is one of seven worldwide remote tracking stations in the Air Force Satellite Control Network.  Detachment 2 is located on the northern most tip of the island on a deactivated WWII-era airstrip known as Northwest Field.

Location

The site is approximately seven miles from Andersen Air Force Base, home of PACAF’s 36th Wing.  The island is approximately 30 miles long and between four and twelve miles wide.  The climate on Guam is tropical with very warm temperatures and high humidity throughout most of the year.  Normal daily temperatures range from 80-90 degrees with 75-90 percent humidity.

History

The birth of the nation’s National Security Space Enterprise presence in space was the Corona photo intelligence gathering satellite program.  This program convinced the Air Force a dedicated unit was needed to provide satellite tracking.  In April 1959, the 6594th Test Wing was activated with temporary headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.  In 1960, land was purchased in Sunnyvale, Calif. to form the Air Force Satellite Test Center.

Detachment 2 rose out of this storied history to become the fifth of seven geographically separated units that comprise the AFSCN.  The unit was established in 1965 as 6594th Aerospace Test Wing, Operating Location 10.  The unit later became known as Detachment 5 and was organized under the 22d Space Operations Squadron.  After a 50th Network Operations Group reorganization in 2010, Detachment 5 became Detachment 2 of the 21st Space Operations Squadron.

Guam Tracking Station Overview

Detachment 2 is a tenant organization of Andersen AFB.  Two military members and 35 contractors execute the 24/7 mission enabling real-time Satellite C2 in support of the warfighter.  The unit is part of the $6.2 billion Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN). 

The mission of Detachment 2 is to execute on-demand, real-time command and control operations for launch and operation of over 190 DoD, national, allied, and civil satellites, providing warfighting commanders combat power from space through control of early-warning, communication, weather, intelligence, and navigation missions.  Detachment 2, call-sign “GUAM”, supports DoD-assigned space missions by operating and maintaining three AFSCN antennas providing data and status to multiple users and command centers.

Detachment 2, 21 SOPS Systems

Antenna                                 Transmit                    Receive                    Built

GTS-A, RBC Hybrid              1.75 to 1.85 GHz        2.2 to 2.3 GHz            1968

GTS-B, RBC                          1.75 to 1.85 GHz        2.2 to 2.3 GHz             1978

GTS-C, ARTS                        1.75 to 1.85 GHz        2.2 to 2.3 GHz            2006