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Need a space tactician? Det. 1 is at your service

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- About one year ago, on March 1, 2016, the 21st Operations Group, Detachment 4 at Beale Air Force Base, California, was realigned under the 21st Operations Support Squadron as Detachment 1.

The 21st OSS provides operations support to 21 geographically separated units of the 21st Space Wing, including weather, maintenance, intelligence, airfield operations, weapon system training, and weapons and tactics capabilities. The squadron supports warning, surveillance and space control units while deploying trained Airmen to fulfill specific duties.

The mission of Det. 1 is to instruct Airmen and allies on upgraded early warning radar fundamentals so they are tactically trained and knowledgeable on the equipment. The detachment consists of nine personnel including two officers, six enlisted and an enlisted Canadian service member.

The realignment under 21st OSS was a move of efficiency.
“The 21st OSS can better support the large amount of administrative oversight and logistics required for operating a training detachment,” said Capt. Jonathan Brydie, Det. 1 commander.

Following realignment the detachment’s mission remained the same, to develop the next generation of Upgraded Early Warning Radar tacticians, he said.

Students come from about 30 different groups and locations including Canada. Leadership at Beale AFB provided help in simplifying the student experience by providing an effective process to establish lodging in advance of arrival for training, Brydie said.

Ensuring there is no training gap between the Initial Qualification Training and Mission Qualification Training, which is conducted by the units, is another important part of Det. 1’s mission.

The base provides a van for Det. 1, as well. The van eliminates the need for students renting vehicles, or driving their own, and offers transportation between classes, lodging and other Air Force Instruction approved locations. Other services from the base have made life for Brydie’s team easier.

“The base has assisted Det. 1’s instructor cadre by offering the Principles of Instruction course which eliminated the need for the formal instructors to go on a temporary duty assignment for a basic instructor course,” he said.

Since the realignment under 21st OSS the detachment can count numerous successes among its accomplishments. For example, it is the first tactical-level formal training unit in the Air Force Space Command.

Another notable accomplishment is having seven instructors perform a total of 3,400 hours of training resulting in the graduation of 56 new space tacticians. They developed more than 220 hours of training curriculum, comprised of 3,000 documents, within a three-month period earning them a 21st SW Gold Knight Award.

The accomplishments continue to accumulate, but the biggest milestone goes back to the beginning.

“One of the largest milestones was establishing the Detachment from the ground up,” said Brydie. “Not only the administrative requirements, but the training curriculum for our mission in the support of our operational units.”

The 7th Space Warning Squadron provides Det. 1 with facility support operations including security management, janitorial services, and information technology. Additionally, the 7th SWS, 12th SWS, Thule Air Base, Greenland, and the 13th SWS, Clear Air Force Station, Alaska, help shape Det. 1’s curriculum by providing feedback on student performance and other input.

Shellie-Anne Espinosa, 21st Space Wing Public Affairs writer contributed to this article.

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