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Rocket in clouds: Rocket Science. Air Force Space & Missile Systems Center

The Space and Missile Systems Center is the Air Force’s very own space program. It’s real rocket science with launch pads, missiles, countdowns, and of course rockets.

The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (AFSMC) supports the overall mission of the U.S. Air Force by developing space systems to meet ever-changing military objectives. Technology and innovation make the possibilities for enhanced military capabilities in space very real. We’re at the vanguard of that development, enhancing both our offensive and defensive assets. The technologies we develop play an integral role in modern military planning and strategic thinking.

But our work impacts more than national security. We enable the satellite technology that make ATMs function, foster on-time flight arrival, provide life-saving weather warnings, and power the response systems used to track natural disasters and help rescue people possible.  Heard of GPS? Yeah, that’s us. Satellite communication. Weather mapping and tracking. Satellite control networks. That’s the side of our business every American uses just about every day.

Space, the “final frontier,” has fostered great curiosity and become a highly charged icon of American culture and is emblematic of the accomplishments we have made as a nation. But now there’s a “new frontier.” It’s call cyberspace. AFSMC is there as well with technologies and systems to help guard our military infrastructure and digital assets.

Together with the Air Force Space Command, we are leaders in providing integrated systems to help meet the Air Force mission in air, space, and cyberspace.

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Decisive Space Power

The AFSMC mission is to deliver resilient and affordable space capabilities to make our forces offensively and defensively unrivaled. To carry out this mission, the Center is responsible for on-orbit checkout, testing, sustainment and maintenance of military satellite constellations and other Department of Defense space systems.

AFSMC is a unit of the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), one of 10 major commands within the Air Force, headquartered at Peterson AFB, CO. AFSPC provides military-focused space and cyberspace capabilities with a global perspective to our joint warfighting team. All in support of the Air Force’s greater vision of global vigilance, reach, and power.

In today’s ever-changing technical landscape, AFSMC remains a leader in military space technology with centers across the nation, at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

As our challenges continue to evolve, our mission to provide Air Force decision-makers effective, innovative space power is now more important than ever. It is a big responsibility and the men and women of AFSMC are dedicated to meeting, and exceeding, this critical mission.

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The Birthplace of Military Space Innovation

AFSMC’s rich legacy can be traced to the dawn of the Space Age. Our corps of civilian and military professionals constructed the first generation of Minuteman missiles, launched Thor, Atlas, and Titan rockets, and laid the foundation for America’s military space power in times of national crisis, as well as in peacetime. 

In 1955, AFSMC's responsibilities expanded to include developing the world’s first military satellite system, a reconnaissance and missile warning system called the Military Satellite System. Since then, AFSMC has played the lead role in developing satellites to serve a number of other purposes including nuclear surveillance, weather observation, navigation, and communication. 

Beginning with Operation Desert Storm in 1991, AFSMC’s contributions to U.S. military superiority became steadily more apparent, and military commanders became more reliant on them. By the time Operation Iraqi Freedom was underway, space-based surveillance, communications, navigation, and meteorology had added previously unimaginable speed and precision to American military operations. AFSMC continues to provide the technological edge from the high frontier to our nation's men and women in uniform and to our allies.

AFSMC is part of the Air Force Civilian Service (AFCS). That’s the indispensable force that provides the brain power and manpower that keep the Air Force ready for action.

At 180,000 strong we at AFCS are a force to be reckoned with. We fill positions in over 600 different occupations. Dedicated and confident, we work shoulder to shoulder with Airmen around the country and around the world, committed to the vital Air Force mission in air, space, and cyberspace.

Together we are ... Forces. Joined.

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