AURORA | A Colorado Springs-based missile warning squadron will be moving to Aurora’s Buckley Air Force Base in the coming months.
The 11th Space Warning Squadron, currently based at Schriever Air Force Base in El Paso County, will move its 69 members over a few months to Buckley AFB, according to 460th Space Wing public affairs officer 1st Lt. Trevor Z. Zakrezewski.
The move was approved in June after the Air Force Space Command proposed moving the 11th to Buckley as a way to boost the speed and efficiency of the missile warning systems. Specifically, it helps the Air Force units as the Block 10 system — part of the Space-Based Infrared System — is instituted to improve technical intelligence and battlespace awareness.
“Our wing is running hard to simultaneously realize the new Space-Based Infrared ‘Block 10 Ground’ Weapon System and stand up this new squadron focused on innovation,” said Col. John Wagner, commander of the 460th Space Wing at Buckley. “This is extremely important. The weapons we will face in a future fight are faster, more accurate and more lethal. This squadron will tightly link to combatant commands to increase their warning and awareness.”
The 11th SWS, once moved to Buckley, will support the Overhead Persistent Infrared Battlespace Awareness Center (OBAC). The data, collected by Buckley’s constellation of satellites, will then be put in the hands of the 11th SWS to be communicated to commanders across the globe in an unprecedented way.
“We are changing missions,” said 11th SWS commander Lt. Col. Brent Morris. “Having the intelligence analysts (with) the space operators — analyzing, processing and distributing assessments — in near real-time, just hasn’t been done before.”
Members of the 11th SWS will take a 60-day training course once arriving at Buckley.
“(This) will enable us to rapidly adapt to the changing battlespace,” Wagner said. “And it will ultimately save lives and increase combat capability.”
Morris, upon taking command of the 11th SWS in 2015, noted the mission focus would shift as the members linked up with the 460th Space Wing.
“It’s an exciting and very busy time as we, first and foremost, continue to provide critical missile warning data to the warfighter, supports SBIRS Block 10 integration, develop HEO-3 tactics, and plan the movement of the squadron.”
The 11th SWS was established by Air Force Space Command in January 1994 and activated as an operational squadron later that year, serving as one of many ballistic missile warning squadrons that belonged to the 21st Space Wing at Peterson Air Force Base.