Now that we finally have a U.S. Space Force, it’s great to see that they’ve been on the job and are already getting results. They just confirmed that their nifty new satellites “were used to detect more than a dozen Iranian missiles aimed at U.S. war fighters in Iraq in January.” They gave our allies and us just enough time to save lives.
Space based infrared sensors
Operations chief General John Raymond praised the 2nd Space Warning Squadron at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, for “saving the lives of American and coalition forces.” General Raymond observed, “they operated the world’s best missile warning capabilities and they did outstanding work, and I’m very very proud of them.”
Their primary missile warning satellite gear uses highly accurate infrared sensors “to detect ballistic missile launches all around the world.” At the heart of the space based system are four geosynchronous satellites, soon to be five, that hang over the same spot on the Earth all the time.
Added to that are “another two payloads riding on host satellites operating in highly elliptical orbits to provide global coverage.” Each of the GEO space satellites comes equipped with both “a scanner and a step-starer.” The scanning sensor “continuously monitors the earth,” while “the more accurate step-starer can provide coverage for theater missions.” Each HEO “includes a scanning sensor.”
The rumors were confirmed
Informed observers were pretty much convinced that the space based infrared warning system was used in January as soon as President Donald Trump mentioned “an early warning system” had helped avoid casualties. Nobody confirmed that until now though. According to the Pentagon, “Iranian forces launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces on January 7.” Around 10 of those exploded at Al Assad Air Base.
With tensions rising in the region for days, the 2nd Space Warning Squadron prepared for duty well ahead of a potential attack. They stayed glued to their screens watching for any sign of an Iranian launch. General Raymond had special things to say about Captain Tasia Reed and Lieutenant Christianna Castaneda for “personally planning the SBIRS mission in the lead up to the attack, ensuring optimal sensor coverage of the area.”
Because of their fine work, “This optimization resulted in vital early warning getting to the theater of operations and preserving the lives of U.S. personnel and their partners.” With equipment like that hanging up there in space, the United States is giving both Russia and China an expensive bar to match in the global arms race.