Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

6th Space Warning Squadron

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Active  1979-present
Country  United States
6th Space Warning Squadron
Branch  United States Air Force
Role  Missile warning and space surveillance
Part of  Air Force Space Command
Garrison/HQ  Cape Cod Air Force Station

The 6th Space Warning Squadron is located at Cape Cod Air Force Station, in Sandwich, Massachusetts. It operates the PAVE PAWS radar to watch for submarine launched and intercontinental ballistic missiles launched toward North America. The squadron is assigned to the 21st Space Wing, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. The squadron was first organized in October 1979 as the 6th Missile Warning Squadron



The mission of the 6th SWS is to observe United States coasts for incoming sea–launched or intercontinental ballistic missiles using the PAVE PAWS radar system. Also, the 6th is to determine the potential threat of the numbers and destination of incoming missiles; then report continuous information to the North American Aerospace Defense Command, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Air Combat Command, and NORTHCOM.


The 6th Space Warning Squadron was founded at Cape Cod Missile Early Warning Station in August 1977. It was the first squadron in the country to be equipped with PAVE PAWS. The squadron also had a detachment at North Truro Air Force Station from 1977 to 1985, when the station closed and operations at the accompanying radar dome were taken over by the Federal Aviation Administration. The 2165th Communications Squadron was a separate tenant at CCAFS until 1986 when it was merged with the 6th SWS.


  • Constituted as the 6th Missile Warning Squadron
  • Activated on 1 October 1979 Redesignated 6th Space Warning Squadron on 15 May 1992


  • 21st Air Division, 1 October 1979
  • Aerospace Defense Command 1 October 1979
  • 45th Air Division, 1 December 1979
  • 1st Space Wing, 1 May 1983
  • 21st Operations Group, 15 May 1992 – present
  • Stations

  • Cape Cod Air Force Station, Massachusetts, 1 October 1979 – present
  • Commanders

  • Lt Col Paul S. Hamilton (14 Dec 2004 - 10 Aug 2006)
  • Lt Col Craig Z. Lowry (29 June 1995-???)
  • Col William R. Smith
  • Col Mario V. Mascola
  • Col Richard Cable
  • Awards and Decorations

  • Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
  • 1 January 1998 – 31 December 1998
  • 1 October 1997 – 30 September 1999
  • 1 October 1995 – 30 September 1997
  • 2004 Partridge Slemon Award as North American Aerospace Defense Command’s most outstanding unit for its support of the common defense and partnership in protecting the U.S. and Canadian homelands
  • References

    6th Space Warning Squadron Wikipedia

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