Satcom’s Vigilant Vanguard

Space leaders broke ground on a new $14.3 million facility at Peterson AFB, Colo., from which airmen will help defend military satellite communications against attack and interference. Airmen from Peterson’s active duty 16th Space Control Squadron and Air Force Reserve Command’s associate 380th SPCS will work in the 47,427-square-foot control facility—the central operating location for the Rapid Attack, Identification, Detection, and Reporting System—to pinpoint signal interference and characterize threats, said base officials. “DOD uses satellites to communicate over vast distances, and these satellite communication links are vulnerable,” said Lt. Col. Roger Sherman, 16th SPCS commander. “In the case of something hostile, we can provide decision-makers with information as to where the hostile action is coming from,” he added. The building’s construction is scheduled for completion in Fiscal 2013. RAIDRS, when fully capable, will include a worldwide network of remote monitoring sites in places like Hawaii. The ground-breaking ceremony took place on Jan. 17. (Peterson report by Lea Johnson)