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Army transfers satellite communications mission to USSF: All military SATCOM under one service for first time  

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler (left), commander of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, presents the 53rd Signal Battalion colors to U.S. Space Force Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting (right), commander of Space Operations Command, during a ceremony at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Aug. 15, 2022. The passing of the colors signifies the U.S. Army
satellite communications mission transferring to the U.S. Space Force, consolidating all Department of Defense SATCOM functions under one service for the first time. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aliviah Williams)

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler (left), commander of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, presents the 53rd Signal Battalion colors to U.S. Space Force Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting (right), commander of Space Operations Command, during a ceremony at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Aug. 15, 2022. The passing of the colors signifies the U.S. Army satellite communications mission transferring to the U.S. Space Force, consolidating all Department of Defense SATCOM functions under one service for the first time. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aliviah Williams)

U.S. Space Force Col. David Pheasant, Space Delta 8 – Satellite Communications and Navigational Warfare commander, presents Michael Chandanais, director of the former U.S. Army SATCOM Directorate, with the DEL 8 patch, signifying its realignment to the delta during a mission transfer ceremony at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Aug. 15, 2022.  DEL 8 provides the world-class position, navigation and timing signals as the focal point for U.S. protected and assured military SATCOM. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlin Castillo)

U.S. Space Force Col. David Pheasant, Space Delta 8 – Satellite Communications and Navigational Warfare commander, presents Michael Chandanais, director of the former U.S. Army SATCOM Directorate, with the DEL 8 patch, signifying its realignment to the delta during a mission transfer ceremony at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Aug. 15, 2022. DEL 8 provides the world-class position, navigation and timing signals as the focal point for U.S. protected and assured military SATCOM. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlin Castillo)

U.S. Space Force Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, commander of Space Operations Command, and U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, commander of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, cut a cake to commemorate the transfer of the U.S. Army satellite communications mission to the U.S. Space Force during a  ceremony at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Aug. 15, 2022. The transfer marks the first time all U.S. military SATCOM capabilities fall under one service, as well as the first transfer of Army assets and personnel to the Space Force. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlin Castillo)

U.S. Space Force Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, commander of Space Operations Command, and U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, commander of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, cut a cake to commemorate the transfer of the U.S. Army satellite communications mission to the U.S. Space Force during a ceremony at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Aug. 15, 2022. The transfer marks the first time all U.S. military SATCOM capabilities fall under one service, as well as the first transfer of Army assets and personnel to the Space Force. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlin Castillo)

U.S. Space Force Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, commander of Space Operations Command, gives remarks during the U.S. Army satellite communications mission transfer ceremony at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Aug. 15, 2022. The ceremony marked the official transfer of U.S. Army 53rd Signal Battalion and SATCOM Directorate mission and personnel to Space Delta 8 – Satellite Communications and Navigational Warfare. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlin Castillo)

U.S. Space Force Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, commander of Space Operations Command, gives remarks during the U.S. Army satellite communications mission transfer ceremony at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Aug. 15, 2022. The ceremony marked the official transfer of U.S. Army 53rd Signal Battalion and SATCOM Directorate mission and personnel to Space Delta 8 – Satellite Communications and Navigational Warfare. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlin Castillo)

Members transferring from the 53rd Signal Battalion to the 53rd Space Operations Squadron stand to be recognized during the U.S. Army satellite communications mission transfer ceremony at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Aug. 15, 2022. Along with the SATCOM mission, approximately 200 civilian and 300 military billets transferred from the Department of the Army to the Department of the Air Force. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlin Castillo)

Members transferring from the 53rd Signal Battalion to the 53rd Space Operations Squadron stand to be recognized during the U.S. Army satellite communications mission transfer ceremony at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Aug. 15, 2022. Along with the SATCOM mission, approximately 200 civilian and 300 military billets transferred from the Department of the Army to the Department of the Air Force. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlin Castillo)

U.S. Space Force Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, commander of Space Operations Command, and U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, commander of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, sign the 53rd Space Operations Squadron board at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, to recognize the transfer of the satellite communications mission and personnel from the Army’s 53rd Signal Battalion to the Space Force’s 53rd Space Operations Squadron Aug. 15, 2022. The 53rd Signal Battalion’s five geographically separated detachments in Maryland, Hawaii, Germany and Japan now fall under the 53rd SOPS. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlin Castillo)

U.S. Space Force Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, commander of Space Operations Command, and U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, commander of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, sign the 53rd Space Operations Squadron board at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, to recognize the transfer of the satellite communications mission and personnel from the Army’s 53rd Signal Battalion to the Space Force’s 53rd Space Operations Squadron Aug. 15, 2022. The 53rd Signal Battalion’s five geographically separated detachments in Maryland, Hawaii, Germany and Japan now fall under the 53rd SOPS. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlin Castillo)

U.S. Space Force Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, commander of Space Operations Command, presents a plaque with the Army Satellite Operations Brigade and Space Force Delta 8 patches to U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, commander of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, during a ceremony at Peterson Space Force Base, Aug. 15, 2022. The ceremony marked the official transition of the satellite communications mission from the brigade to the delta, consolidating all military SATCOM functions under one service for the first time. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlin Castillo)

U.S. Space Force Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, commander of Space Operations Command, presents a plaque with the Army Satellite Operations Brigade and Space Force Delta 8 patches to U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, commander of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, during a ceremony at Peterson Space Force Base, Aug. 15, 2022. The ceremony marked the official transition of the satellite communications mission from the brigade to the delta, consolidating all military SATCOM functions under one service for the first time. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlin Castillo)

Peterson Space Force Base, Colo. --

 The U.S. Army’s satellite communications mission officially transferred to the U.S. Space Force during a ceremony at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Aug. 15, 2022.  

  

This transfer from the Army to the Space Force marks the first time all Department of Defense military satellite communication functions have been consolidated under a single military service.   

  

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, commanding general of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, and U.S. Space Force Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, commander of Space Operations Command, presided over the ceremony.   

  

“This is a historic moment for the Department of Defense and military satellite communications as we bring all military SATCOM capabilities under one service for the first time ever,” Karbler said. “My thanks to the U.S. Space Force, and in particular Lieutenant General Stephen Whiting and his team for their tremendous teamwork throughout this transition period. I know our SATCOM professionals will continue to provide world-class service and support while embodying the proud heritage of the Army SATCOM mission.”  

  

The SATCOM mission will be transferring from USASMDC’s Satellite Operations Brigade, which includes the 53rd Signal Battalion and SATCOM Directorate, to the 53rd Space Operations Squadron and SATCOM Office, which fall under SpOC’s Space Delta 8.  

 

During the ceremony, approximately 200 civilian and 300 military billets transferred from the Department of the Army to the Department of the Air Force.    

  

“Thanks to Lieutenant General Karbler’s leadership and his team’s can-do spirit, we are ready for this transfer and postured to continue our vital missions without any disruptions,” Whiting said. “We are proud to continue the Army’s legacy as we assume this mission, and we are committed to never forgetting the users of this remarkable SATCOM enterprise—namely, the entire Joint Force, including U.S. Army Soldiers.”  

  

With the official mission transfer, the 53rd SOPS is the only DOD organization that conducts payload and transmission control for the Defense Satellite Communications System and Wideband Global SATCOM Satellite constellations. These constellations provide mission-critical communications connectivity for users ranging from the president of the U.S. to interagency and international partners conducting global operations.  

  

The 53rd SOPS at Schriever SFB was activated June 29, 2022, and has detachments at Fort Detrick, Maryland; Fort Meade, Maryland; Landstuhl, Germany; Wahiawa, Hawaii; and Fort Buckner, Japan. These detachments were previously under the 53rd Signal Battalion.   

 

The SATCOM Office manages wideband payloads on the Wideband Global SATCOM and Defense Satellite Communications System, narrowband payloads on Fleet SATCOM, Ultra High Frequency Follow-On, and the Mobile User Objective System Global Broadcast Service. It is responsible for four regional SATCOM support centers located at Peterson SFB; MacDill Air Force Base, Florida; Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii; and Patch Barracks, Germany.   

 

Activated in 1941, the 53rd Signal Battalion traces its heritage to World War II, and in the 1960s transitioned its mission to satellite operations. Its legacy and history will remain an integral part of the 53rd SOPS identity moving forward.    

 

Delta 8 provides SATCOM and the world-class position, navigation and timing signals, providing the focal point for U.S. protected and assured military SATCOM, as well the only global utility for PNT signals to military and civilian users.  

 

The Navy Satellite Operations Center along with three detachments transferred to the 10th SOPS, which also falls under Delta 8, on June 6, 2022. With Guardians, Airmen, Sailors and Soldiers coming together for essential SATCOM operations, Delta 8 is a fusion of military culture that benefits from its members’ the diverse backgrounds and vast experiences. The Army and Navy members will transition to Space Force Guardians over the next year. 

  

SpOC generates, presents and sustains combat-ready intelligence, cyber, space and combat support forces and serves as the USSF service component to U.S. Space Command.