Peterson AFB Community
721st Mission Support Group and Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station
Cheyenne Mountain AFS is host to a number of missions and organizations: USSTRATCOM’s Missile Warning Center; NORAD and USNORTHCOM’s training, exercise and alternate command center functions; Detachment 2 of the 17th Test Squadron; Air Force Technical Applications Center’s research laboratory; the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Western Continental U.S. Regional Service Center; and the 721st Mission Support Group, which falls under the 21st Space Wing.
Cheyenne Mountain AFS is at the center of a worldwide network of satellites, radars and sensors that provide early warning of any missile, air or space threat to North America. It processes theater ballistic missile warning for U.S. and allied forces. In support of the JSPoC, it provides a continual data feed of what is in space and where it’s found to enable space situational awareness-protection, prevention and negation functions supported by the surveillance of space.
Cheyenne Mountain AFS is a unique installation. Apart from the fact that 5.1 acres are housed 2,000 feet underground, operations are conducted 24/7.
On Sept. 11, 2001, Cheyenne Mountain AFS added another mission to its historic legacy in the defense of North America. The terrorist attacks against the United States marked the beginning of Operation Noble Eagle, which requires the monitoring of the interior airspace of Canada and the United States where previously NORAD only looked outward from our borders. Today, it stands ready to support North American defense continuity of operations during any contingency from limited nuclear war to pandemic influenza to high-altitude electromagnetic pulse.
The 721st MSG operates and sustains a survivable, reliable and secure installation for Cheyenne Mountain AFS and operates the global Integrated Tactical Warning/Attack Assessment Network and space situational awareness system. As such, it ensures that all the organizations at Cheyenne Mountain AFS have the support they need to carry out their many missions. The 721st MSG has three squadrons.
721ST COMMUNICATIONS SQUADRON
The 721st CS operates and maintains command, control, computer, communications and intelligence systems that process and display the air, land and space picture for command centers around the nation. The Global Strategic Warning/Space Surveillance Systems Center operates 24/7 and is a one-of-a-kind function that manages the worldwide Integrated Tactical Warning/Attack Assessment Network. The Test Control flight manages the planning and execution of the worldwide air, missile and space mission systems tests. Its charter is to safeguard the integrity of ITW/AA and Space Surveillance Network data by establishing strictly controlled test environments and ensuring all simulated test traffic does not feed into the operational processors and mission systems. The 721st CS ensures connectivity for more than 685 data circuits to sensor sites and forward users around the world. It provides five local area networks, information assurance, base information management and land mobile radio support to the mission partners in the complex. In 2017 the 721st Communications Squadron established a first-ever defensive cyber ops mission to protect Cheyenne Mountain’s key cyberspace capabilities. This mission is part of the broader AF-wide transformation of base-level communications squadrons and focuses on characterizing and deterring advanced persistent threats arrayed against the national capabilities housed at CMAFS.
721ST SECURITY FORCES SQUADRON
The 721st SFS provides security and force protection for the organizations and missions at Cheyenne Mountain AFS 24/7. The squadron is responsible for installation security, pass and registration, antiterrorism and base defense. The squadron also provides expertly trained combat support forces to theater commanders engaged in Overseas Contingency Operations.
721ST CIVIL ENGINEER SQUADRON
The 721st CES operates and maintains critical infrastructure and reliable utilities, engineering and construction management, environmental support, fire protection, prevention and emergency management services. The Central Control Center manages all Cheyenne Mountain AFS life support/survivability processes all day every day. Across 587 acres and 63 buildings, this mission-critical support sustains operational mission connectivity to “no fail” missions of the Integrated Tactical Warning/Attack Assessment network, providing strategic missile warning and air warning information to USNORTHCOM, NORAD, USSTRATCOM and National Command Authorities as well as space surveillance to the JSPoC and other forward users around the world — in a survivable environment.