A new detachment to train and certify operators on the Pave Paws Upgraded Early Warning Radar activated at Beale AFB, Calif., earlier this month. The 21st Operations Group activated Det. 4 at Beale in response to Air Force Space Command units taking over responsibility for training operators from Air Education and Training Command in December, according to a Dec. 16 release. “What we train and operate at Beale … is critical to the defense of our nation and allies,” 21st OG Commander Col. Troy Endicott said in a release. “This detachment allows us to strengthen mission excellence by partnering our training assets with space operations,” he added. The US and Britain operate five Pave Paws stations at Beale, Cape Cod AFS, Mass., Clear AFB, Alaska., Thule AB, Greenland, and RAF Fylingdales, UK, to detect and track ballistic missile launches and provide space monitoring. Det. 4 at Beale will be responsible for training US and allied operators at each of the sites world-wide, according to the release. The detachment stood up at Beale on Dec. 8.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.