Change of Command: 18 SDS says farewell to Lintker, welcomes Mugg

  • Published
  • By Combined Force Space Component Command Public Affairs
  • 18th Space Defense Squadron

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif.,The 18th Space Defense Squadron (18 SDS) held a Change of Command ceremony here, June 21, 2023.

U.S. Space Force Lt. Col. Matthew J. Lintker, relinquished command of 18 SDS to Lt. Col. Jordan O.E. Mugg in a ceremony presided over by Col. Marc A. Brock, Space Delta 2-Space Domain Awareness commander.

“No other squadron in the service gets after how we enable fighting in the space domain more so than the 18 SDS,” said Brock, speaking to members of the 18 SDS and ceremony attendees. “Lt. Col. Lintker is a strategic-focused thinking leader who motivated his team to focus on threats in the space domain.”

Mugg received the 18 SDS guidon from Brock after it was relinquished by Lintker, who is scheduled to attend a Senior Leader Education Fellowship at Stanford University, Calif., starting in July.

“I am both humbled and excited for this opportunity,” said Mugg. “This is an incredible unit with an awesome mission set, to provide and advance a continuous, comprehensive, and combat-relevant understanding of the space situation. I am particularly honored to take the guidon at this point in history, when the contested and congested nature of the domain means we need to enhance information advantage and enable space superiority in the defense of U.S. and allied interests..”

Lintker’s leadership was vital to the squadron’s response to the 2021 Russian anti-satellite test which resulted in the expedited characterization of 1,700 pieces of debris, garnered accolades from the Vice President of the United States and directly informed the Vice President’s historic announcement regarding the nation’s ban on destructive anti-satellite weapons testing.

The 18 SDS tracks all man-made objects in Earth's orbit. It provides command and control of the U.S. Space Surveillance Network and executes U.S. Space Command's Space Situational Awareness sharing program.

The squadron's mission is to promote peaceful and responsible use of space and reduce uncertainty in the space domain, including launch detection and tracking, identifying potential collisions between space objects, human spaceflight support, maneuver detection, breakup identification, and reentry assessment.

18 SDS maintains the most complete satellite catalog of Earth-orbiting artificial objects, currently tracking more than 44,400 objects including about 8,200 active spacecraft, which is available to the public on the website There are more than 163,000 active accounts on, representing 205 countries, and U.S. Space Command currently has Space Situational Awareness Sharing Agreements with 133 commercial companies, more than 30 countries, and seven universities.