614th Space Intelligence Squadron

614th Space Intelligence Squadron

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= 614th Space Intelligence Squadron


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dates= 19xx-2007-06-18
country= United States
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branch= United States Air Force
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size=
command_structure=USAF Squadron
current_commander=
garrison= Vandenberg Air Force Base
ceremonial_chief=
colonel_of_the_regiment=
nickname=
patron=
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march=
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anniversaries=

The United States Air Force's 614th Space Intelligence Squadron was a unit located at Vandenberg AFB, California. It was inactivated on 2007-06-18 when the 614th Space Operations Group was redesignated the 614 Air and Space Operations Center.

Mission

The 614th Space Intelligence Squadron is the first squadron in the nation that has been designed to protect satellites belonging to the military. This squadron is stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom the US was using ten times the satellite capability it had in 1991. Before the second invasion of Iraq, the space shuttle Endeavor used its radar to make a map of Iraq; this map was used to make targets for the invasion. Satellites have provided and still do provide reliable pictures and information to the US and its allies. Satellites not only provide photographs, but are crucial when it comes to launching and guiding missiles. The US is not the only country that uses satellites for a military advantage, Australia and Great Britain are two countries that put them to use as well.

The 614th Space Intelligence Squadron is essential to the survival of not only the US military, but to the US economy. Our economy relies heavily on assets in space, and the 614th Space Intelligence Squadron could later be tasked with protecting those assets in the future. For now their duties are limited. High ranking government officials and experts have pointed out that the next terrorist attack could potentially be a space “Pearl Harbor” due to a report in 1999. The world has changed dramatically since the Cold War. New threats have emerged and the US has realized that its satellites are very vulnerable to attacks even though such attacks have not happened. That is why the 614th Space Intelligence Squadron was created so they could protect the majority of space assets. The military depends heavily on smart bombs and GPS and those two things are vulnerable to being disrupted by commercially available “jammers”. If those two things were to be interfered with the US military would have no more smart bombs; a majority of their firepower would be taken away. If their GPS was taken away many of their mapping systems would fail. The 614th Space Intelligence Squadron has been tasked with preventing such attacks from happening. The 614th Space Intelligence Squadron will be dealing with only Air Force Space Command satellites such as Milstar: a series of advanced military communications satellites invented to provide global jamming resistant communications for the military. In addition they will be dealing with GPS and the Defense Support Program: a reliable satellite born system that incorporates infrared detectors to detect heat from missile plumes against the background of the earth, they are also to detect space launches, missile launches, and nuclear detonations. However the 614th Space Intelligence Squadron has made clear it is only responsible for Air Force satellites. They are not in charge of national security satellites such as top secret spacecraft launched for spy use. However the 614th Space Intelligence Squadron will eventually have more duties including: working with space-based infrared satellites and space-based radar.

The 614th Space Intelligence Squadron includes a vast variety of personnel. The unit will include computer analysts and intelligent experts. The unit has somewhere between 20 and 88 members. They are positioned in an existing headquarters building. They know their job is very important because they know that no one wants to go to war in today’s world of modern technological warfare. They also know that if someone wants to take on the United States, they have to take them on in space as well. That is why their job is so important; they need to protect assets in space so the US war machine can function effectively. The 614th Space Intelligence Squadron has the help of many other US agencies. The NSA (National Security Agency), Defense Space and Missile Analysis Center, CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), and the National Aerospace and Intelligence Center will give information to the 614th Space Intelligence Squadron to help identify potential threats and the ways to respond to those threats.

The 614th Space Intelligence Squadron is a very important part of the US military. Without them the US would be way more susceptible to attacks on its space assets.

History

The 614th Space Intelligence Squadron is relatively new. It was formed on Tuesday 22nd, 2003 by the US Air Force. The squadron was assigned to Vandenberg Air Force Base. The purpose of this squadron was to defend navigation, weather, communications, and missile warning satellites form enemy attacks not only in space, but on the ground. When the 614th Space Intelligence Squadron was first formed the commander, Lt Col Earl White, had this to say during a short ceremony; "Everybody in the world has been watching this Iraq war, and the Gulf War before that," said Lt. Col. White in an interview after the ceremony. "And they know what space does for the U.S. military. That is a key enabler. Without space, we're back to World War II. Anyone who wants to take on the United States knows they've got to handle us in space."

This statement shows how important space is to the military. In the past two Iraqi conflicts satellites, in space, have been used extensively. Satellites are what give the US the edge over its enemies. Before the Gulf War in 1991, the US was alerted to the large presence of Iraqi troops on the border of Kuwait by satellites up in space. This allowed the US to prepare a successful counter-attack that eventually wiped out the invading Iraqi forces and made them retreat back into Iraq. Many people have said that military satellites are the key to US military power. This makes perfect sense seeing that many of the missiles that the US has in its arsenal depend on the help of GPS (global positioning system), which in turn depend and can only function in conjecture with satellites in space. So without satellites the US military will lose a huge advantage and will have to fight their battles drastically different.

Locations

Vandenberg Air Force Base is located between San Francisco and Los Angeles on the “Central Coast”. It is located on a 98,000 acre piece of land. The base is operated by Air Force Space Command’s 30th Space Wing and has a spaceport. A spaceport is an installation for testing and launching spacecraft. The base originally named Camp Cooke, was renamed Vandenberg Air Force Base in 1957 when the US Air Force took over control of the base. Vandenberg Air Force Base is nicknamed “VandyLand” by the people who work there. The base is home to the 614th Space Intelligence Squadron. Some of the duties upheld at the base include: responding to global contingencies, operating the Western Range, and conducting and supporting missile and space launches.

References

* http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/agency/614sops-doi-flt.htm
* http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=4687
* http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2003/030423-space-war01.htm
* http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=118
* http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/warning/dsp.htm


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