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Buckley AFB welcomes SecAF Barbara Barrett

Col. Richard Bourquin, Space Delta 4 commander, gives a mission brief to Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett, on Sept. 23, 2020, at DEL 4’s Mission Control Station on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.

Col. Richard Bourquin, Space Delta 4 commander, gives a mission brief to Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett Sept. 23, 2020, at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Bourquin highlighted how Space Delta 4’s Integrated Space Based Infrared Systems and Ground Based Radars are used in the Department of the Air Force to protect the nation. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua T. Crossman)

The Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett speaks to Capt. Christopher Billups, Space Delta 4 executive officer, Sept. 23, 2020, at DEL 4’s Mission Control Station on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett speaks to Capt. Christopher Billups, Space Delta 4 executive officer, Sept. 23, 2020, at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Space Delta 4 operates and supports three constellations of Overhead Persistent Infrared satellites and two types of Ground-Based Radars for the purpose of conducting strategic and theater missile warning for the U.S. Space Force. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua T. Crossman)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) --

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett visited Buckley Air Force Base Sept. 23, to observe the capabilities and role Space Delta 4 provides the U.S. Space Force.

Space Delta 4 showcased the U.S. Space Force’s role in protecting the nation and highlighted the benefit of the service’s organizational structure during Barrett’s first visit to a Space Delta.

“The U.S. Space Force mission at Buckley Garrison is organized for agile, innovative, and bold action,” Barrett said. “Zooming above the Earth at thousands of miles per hour, satellites operated by the Space Force are indispensable to national defense.”

One of the topics discussed was how to build on previous successes enabled by missile warning systems, such as when a 2nd Space Warning Squadron missile warning crew provided early warning of an Iranian ballistic missile attack against Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, alerting military officials and enabling them to make life-saving decisions.

“Missile warning systems, operated by Space Professionals assigned to Space Delta 4, are integral to protecting the U.S. homeland and the interests of our allies,” Barrett said.

In addition to providing Overhead Persistent Infrared surveillance to Combatant Commanders through a constellation of satellites known as the Space Based Infrared Systems, Space Delta 4 commands several powerful ground-based radars. These radars are in key positions across the globe to provide early detection of Sea-Launched Ballistic Missiles and Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles.

“I had the honor of introducing the Secretary of the Air Force to Space Delta 4’s extraordinary missile warning operations and the exceptional men and women of the SBIRS enterprise,” said Col. Richard Bourquin, Space Delta 4 commander.

During the visit, leaders also discussed the Space Force’s organizational structure. With fewer levels of reporting and more authority at lower levels, officials cite more effective communication throughout the chain of command. This allows for more informative and accurate information to be passed along for better decision making.

“The more warning we can provide, the better off we’ll be at detecting exactly where the threats are going to land, and then give our people ample forewarning,” said Chief Master Sgt. Willie Frazier II, Space Delta 4 senior enlisted leader. “It’s imperative we provide these capabilities better than anyone else on the planet.”