Aerial view of the Schriever Air Force base. The base is situated 16km east of the Peterson air force base in El Paso County in the state of Colorado, US. Image courtesy of the 50th Space Wing Public Affairs Office.
Senior Airman Nayibe Ramos runs through a checklist during GPS satellite operations at the Schriever air force base. The base tracks and maintains the GPS and other Department of Defence Satellites to provide military and civilian users with navigation and secure satellite communications data. Image courtesy of United States Air Force, by Airman 1st Class Mike Meares.
The 50th Mission Support Group dowses the flames during a simulated training exercise held at the Schriever air force. Image courtesy of US Air Force, photo by Dave Ahlschwede.

Schriever Air Force Base (SAFB) is situated 16km east of Colorado Springs in El Paso County of Colorado, in the US. The base is owned and operated by the United States Air Force (USAF). It was built to endorse Onizuka Air Force Station, California.

Approximately 8,100 military personnel reside at the base.

The SAFB can command and control 170 warning, navigation and communication satellites of the Department of Defence (DoD). It is also the main control station for the global positioning system (GPS) of the US.

The GPS constellation expansion (Expandable 24) at the base was completed in June 2011. The expansion increases the GPS global coverage and renders the users with a robust signal even in hostile environments.

History of Schriever Air Force Base

"The SAFB serves as the headquarters for the 50th Space Wing (50 SW) and 310th Space Wing (310 SW)."

Schriever Air Force was opened in May 1983 under the designation Consolidated Space Operations Centre (CSOC) and was later renamed as Falcon Air Force Station.

The 2nd Space Wing (2 SW) was activated at the base in September 1985. It took operational control of the air force satellite control network (AFSCN) in October 1987.

The Falcon Air Force Station was renamed as Falcon Air Force Base (FAFB) in June 1988. The 2 SW was superseded with the 50th Space Wing (50 SW) in January 1992 as part of the air force restructuring.

The FAFB was redesignated as the Schriever Air Force Base in June 1998 in the honour of retired General Bernard Adolph Schriever, the father of the American ballistic missile programmes.

The DoD advocated shut down of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station at New York and transfer of the 914th Airlift Wings’ expeditionary combat support (ECS) to the 310th Space Wing at SAFB as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Recommendations.

Design and construction of the SAFB

MWH Constructors built the Space Innovation and Development Centre (SIDC) headquarters at the SAFB in August 2009 at a cost of $19m.

The SIDC is a 52,850ft2, single-storey communication building which features a secured compartment information facility and unites multiple operations of the air force space command (AFSC) into an effective and aesthetically appealing command centre.

Cromwell Architects was the prime subcontractor involved in the design of the headquarters. MWH Constructors was awarded the USAF 2010 Honour Award for its SIDC facility design.

SkyBlue Builders was contracted by the US Army Corps of Engineers to remove, haul and dispose 4,300 gallons of existing transformer fluid and add FR3 transformer fluid at the base. The work is scheduled for completion by February 2012.

Garrison facilities at the United States Air Force’s (USAF) base

The SAFB serves as the headquarters for the 50th Space Wing (50 SW) and 310th Space Wing (310 SW).

"Schriever Air Force Base (SAFB) is situated 16km east of Colorado Springs in El Paso County of Colorado, in the US."

The 50 SW offers precision navigation, surveillance and secure satellite communication to the war fighters by tracking and controlling the DoD satellites worldwide. It is organised into three groups which include the 50th Operations Group, 50th Mission Support Group and 50th Network Operations Group.

The 310 SW was activated in 1997 to render specialised expertise, continuity and combat ready personnel. It is organised into two groups, namely the 310th Operations Group and 310th Mission Support Group.

Major tenant units hosted at the base include the Missile Defense Integration and Operations Center, SIDC, Joint National Test Facility, AFOTEC Detachment 4, Space and Missile Defense Command-Space, Ballistic Missile Defense Forces, 21st Medical Group, US Army 100th Missile Defense Brigade, 53rd Signal Battalion and Space and Missile Systems Center Detachment 11.

Other squadrons and units deployed are the 527th Space Aggressor, 17th Test, 576th Flight Test, 55th Space Weather, 2nd Command and Control, 18th Intelligence, 25th Space Range, Detachment one 392nd Training, 1st Space Test Detachment 12 and 11th Space Warning.

Other facilities at the Colorado-based Schriever AFB

The personnel residing at the base are offered education, child care, medical care facilities, 68 temporary lodging units and 494 family housing units.

The base features a basketball court, commissary, weight room, six cardio theatre channels, racquetball court and dining facility.

US Defence Sector – Market Opportunity & Entry Strategy, Analyses and Forecasts to 2015

Detailed analysis and forecasts of the US defence market are available from our business information platform Strategic Defence Intelligence. For more information click here or contact us: EMEA: +44 20 7936 6783; Americas: +1 415 439 4914; Asia Pacific: +61 2 9947 9709 or via email.