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Space Balloon Operations

Space Balloon Operations

Air Force Research Laboratory scientists at Holloman conduct tests aboard high-altitude free and low-altitude tethered balloons throughout the United States. Among the many types of tests accomplished are infrared radiation studies above normal atmospheric turbulence, capsule deceleration testing, atmospheric composition measurements, preliminary satellite communication systems evaluations and experiments with Ballistic Missile Defense. As part of the mission, they strive to improve the state of the art in total balloon capability to meet future requirements. Under Air Force Materiel Command, the balloon operations branch conducts approximately 10 balloon systems tests each year. AFRL has launched payloads as large as seven tons and conducts lightweight experiments at altitudes of up to 170,000 feet. 

Det. 225, Air Force Office of Special Investigations
Det 225, Air Force Office of Special Investigations—Identify, exploits and neutralize, criminal and terrorist threats to U.S. Air Force, Department of Defense and U.S. government. 

Det. 4, 2nd Weather Squadron, Holloman Solar Observatory
Holloman Solar Observatory is Detachment 4 of the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA). The observatory was established April 1, 1977 and is the lead observatory in the Air Force’s worldwide Solar Electro-Optical Network. The observatory has Sun-tracking optical telescopes, a schoolhouse, a maintenance section and Central Repair Activity (CRA) and an administrative section. The observatory’s analysts and scientists perform sunrise-to-sunset observational patrol of the sun. They detect, analyze and report solar events and features, study sunspot activity and monitor the solar cycle. This data is then sent to the DoD forecast center at AFWA and the civilian forecast center at the Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colo. 

The unit also develops and tests new technical procedures for the worldwide network to enhance overseas and remote operations. The schoolhouse is the official training center for worldwide network. Instructors conduct a five-week analyst course, four-week maintenance course and a one-week executive level course in observatory operations, solar analysis and solar physics for specialists stationed overseas. The maintenance section and CRA is collaboration between AFWA and the 49th Communications Squadron, which provides personnel and supervision. The specialists perform maintenance and optimization of the observatory’s telescopes and equipment. They also travel to the remote observatories in Australia and Italy to perform annual maintenance and are the depot-level repair for the optical observatory network. For more information, call (575) 572-3461 or  (575) 572-3462. 

Air Force Audit Agency
The Air Force Audit Agency is the U.S. Air Force’s internal audit organization that provides comprehensive audit to all Air Force organizational components, functions, activities and levels of operations. The AFAA’s internal activities include examining and evaluating policies, systems, procedures, records and reports relating to operations having an impact on the expenditure of funds, utilization of resources, mission accomplishment or effective accomplishment of management objectives. Professional auditors assigned to 53 Air Force installations worldwide accomplish these audit responsibilities. 

Area Defense Counsel
The Area Defense Counsel is located in the same building as the Military Personnel Flight in Building 222, 681 Second St., Suite 205. The ADC is independent of the wing’s Staff Judge Advocate and provides defense services to active-duty military personnel in courts-martial, nonjudicial punishment actions and other adverse administrative actions. To contact the ADC call (575) 572-3473.

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