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16th Space Control Squadron


The 16th Space Control Squadron is the Air Force’s premier defensive space control unit.  The squadron protects critical satellite communication links by employing multiple weapon systems to achieve a near-global capability to detect, characterize, geolocate and report sources of electromagnetic interference (EMI) on US military and commercial satellites.  The squadron also provides combat-ready crews to deploy and employ defensive space control capabilities for theater combatant commanders.  The squadron is assigned to the 21st Space Wing, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.


Operating space control capabilities to rapidly achieve flexible and versatile space superiority in support of theater campaigns.


16 SPCS was activated in November 1966 as the 16th Surveillance Squadron, Shemya AFS, Alaska, under Air Defense Command.  The unit’s mission was to operate the Cobra Dane long-range early warning radar system, used to track Soviet missile launches.  It was assigned to the 73rd Aerospace Surveillance Wing in January 1967 and then to the 14th Aerospace Force in April 1971.

The unit was again reassigned in 1983, this time to the 1st Space Wing as one of the original squadrons in the newly established Air Force Space Command.  In 1991, it was assigned to the 73rd Space Group.  In 1992, the unit was designated the 16th Space Surveillance Squadron.  The unit was inactivated in 1994.

The unit was reactivated at Peterson AFB in May 2007 under the 21st Space Wing to operate the Air Force’s premier defensive counterspace system.