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JFCC Space celebrates fifth anniversary

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Lt. Gen. Susan Helms, the Joint Functional Component Command for Space and 14th Air Force commander, speaks at Vandenberg after assuming command. JFCC Space began a two-month celebration here July 19, 2011 to commemorate their fifth anniversary. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Satran)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Lt. Gen. Susan Helms, the Joint Functional Component Command for Space and 14th Air Force commander, speaks at Vandenberg after assuming command. JFCC Space began a two-month celebration here July 19, 2011 to commemorate their fifth anniversary. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Satran)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Members of the Joint Functional Component Command for Space began a two-month celebration here July 19 in honor of the unit's fifth anniversary at Vandenberg.

Lt. Gen. Susan Helms, 14th Air Force and JFCC Space commander, has decided to mark the occasion with activities that reach all members of the command.

The celebration officially began July 19, and a subsequent JFCC SPACE picnic is scheduled to take place July 29. The culminating event for this period, a dining out ceremony, is slated for an unspecified date during the second week of September.

JFCC Space was established by U.S. Strategic Command July 19, 2006, and activated Sept. 12, 2006, at Vandenberg. In the intervening five years, JFCC Space has led the way as the nation's single point of contact for military space operations.

The command stands by its mission of, "Ensuring our freedom of action in space, while preventing adversary use of space against us."

JFCC Space was formed to directly contribute to the war fighter by command and control of world-wide space forces. In 2008, the 1st Space Control Squadron and the Unified Space Vault were relocated to Vandenberg. Co-locating these two units to the Joint Space Operation Center helped to improve the integration of space command and control.

Many space events pushed JFCC Space and helped it fine-tune its enduring mission in space. From Operation Burnt Frost in February 2008 to the Iridium-Cosmos collision in 2009, JFCC Space has led the way in the coordination and precise execution of joint service space capabilities.

Operation Burnt Frost displayed the command's joint service coordination by intercepting a defunct U.S. satellite using an Aegis launched interceptor missile.

The Iridium-Cosmos collision changed the JFCC SPACE mission of tracking U.S. only assets to tracking assets from countries worldwide. The information learned from the incident was integral in planning for future satellite conjunctions.

JFCC Space demonstrated the ability to track and coordinate with nations worldwide when China launched an anti-satellite missile that destroyed an errant foreign weather satellite January 11, 2007. The JSpOC tracked the large cloud of debris in space that potentially posed a danger to space assets from the United States and other countries. This could have been catastrophic, but through the efforts of conjunction analysis, potential collisions with this space debris would be detected in advanced.

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of JFCC Space, contests have been planned throughout the celebratory period and are open to all interested Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Department of Defense civilians.

For more information, call Staff. Sgt. Brandon Lirio at 805-606-8375.