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6th Space Operations Squadron

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Title: 6th Space Operations Squadron  
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Subject: List of United States Air Force space squadrons, 50th Operations Group, 850th Space Communications Squadron, Space Superiority Systems Directorate, 689th Combat Communications Wing
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

6th Space Operations Squadron

6th Space Operations Squadron
6th Space Operations Squadron emblem
Active ?-present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Satellite Operations
Role DMSP C2
Garrison/HQ Schriever AFB, Colorado
Motto SUPRA ET ULTRA – "Above and Beyond"

The 6th Space Operations Squadron (6 SOPS) is an Air Force Reserve satellite command and control squadron located at Schriever AFB, Colorado. 6 SOPS is a backup to NOAA for Defense Meteorological Satellite Program operations.


The 6th Space Operations Squadron provides a backup command and control center for the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). DMSP is the longest running production satellite program ever. The DMSP satellite constellation provides strategic and tactical weather prediction to aid military operations planning at sea, on land, and in the air. The satellites can image visible and infrared cloud cover, measure precipitation, surface temperature, and soil moisture. In addition, it collects specialized global meteorological oceanographic and solar-geophysical information in all weather conditions. It also has sensors for space weather data that is used to assist in high-frequency communications, over-the-horizon radar and spacecraft drag and reentry tasks. The information provided by the DMSP satellites is used to compile various worldwide weather products for numerous users, such as the Air Force Weather Agency and Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center as well as civilian authorities through the Department of Commerce. The 6 SOPS is located at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo.


In May 1983, the 4000th Satellite Operations Group at 2d Space Wing in 1985. In May 1989, Detachment 1 at Fairchild AFB, Washington, was upgraded to squadron status, becoming the 5th Satellite Control Squadron. In July 1992, the 1000th Satellite Operations Group downsized to a squadron-level organization, becoming the 6th Space Operations Squadron. The unit was still a Regular Air Force unit located in Omaha, NE.

In 1994, President William Clinton signed a bill that would merge federal weather programs. Prior to the merge, federal programs were deemed to be redundant. This merger would save the government money and allow one entity to control national weather products. The merger would move weather operations to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) located in Suitland, MD.


Major Command

Numbered Air Force



Previous designations

  • 6th Space Operations Squadron (31 July 1992-30 Sep 1998; 1 Oct 1998 – present)[1]
  • 1000th Satellite Operations Group (1983–1992)

Bases stationed


  • Lt Col Jennifer Waller (2014-present)
  • Lt Col Jody Merritt (2012–2014)
  • Lt Col Michael DiTondo (2008 – 2012)
  • Lt Col Byron Hays (2006–2008)
  • Lt Col Mark Hustedt
  • Lt Col Kevin Kiser
  • Lt Col Keith Amburgey
  • Lt Col John Hyten (Last Active Duty)

Spacecraft flown


  1. ^ National Reconnaissance Office: "A History of the Military Polar Orbiting Meteorological Satellite Program", 2001

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