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5th Space Surveillance Squadron

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Active  1989-2003
Type  Space Surveillance
Size  132 American/3 British
Country  United States
Role  Data Acquisition
5th Space Surveillance Squadron
Branch  United States Air Force

The United States Air Force's 5th Space Surveillance Squadron (5 SSS) was a space surveillance unit located at RAF Feltwell, United Kingdom.



The mission of the 5 SSS was to operate the Low Altitude Space Surveillance (LASS) system and Deep Space Tracking System (DSTS) to gather space intelligence and track space systems in both near- and far-Earth orbits.


The dual LASS/DSTS operation supported USAF space intelligence requirements, while being assisted by the 18th Intelligence Squadron's Det 4 for SIGINT support. This coverage augmented worldwide coverage of space signals activities at similarly equipped sites at Misawa AB, Japan, Osan AB, Republic of Korea and at Griffiss AFB in the United States.

The Deep Space Tracking System uses sensitive, highly accurate 20-foot dish antennas to detect and track S-band radio signals transmitted by radio beacons on most satellites. There were DSTS receivers located at Griffiss AFB, New York; RAF Feltwell, Great Britain; and Misawa AB, Japan.

The 5 SSS was inactivated in 2003, with administration of RAF Feltwell transferred to Detachment 4, 18th Intelligence Squadron.

Previous designations

  • 5th Space Surveillance Squadron (1989–2003)
  • Bases stationed

  • RAF Feltwell, United Kingdom (1989–2003)
  • Commanders

  • Lt Col John Amrine (June 1999-July 2000)
  • Lt Col John W. Raymond (April 2000 - June 2001)
  • Lt Col Steven R. Prebeck (28 September 1996-???)
  • Lt Col James L. Burling, Jr. (August 1994-28 September 1996)
  • Lt. Col Ronald P. Mitchell (1 Oct 1990 - ??)

    Equipment Operated

  • Low Altitude Space Surveillance (LASS) (1989–2003)
  • Deep Space Tracking System (DSTS) (1989–2003)
  • Decorations

  • Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
  • 1 January 2000-31 August 2001
  • 1 January 1999-31 December 1999
  • 1 January 1998-31 December 1998
  • 1 October 1997-30 September 1999
  • 1 October 1995-30 September 1997
  • References

    5th Space Surveillance Squadron Wikipedia

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