New space control trainer brings efficiency
Space and Missile Defense School students in Colorado Springs, Colorado, continue critical training during the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020. Pictured from left are 1st Space Battalion, 1st Space Brigade, Soldiers Spc. Philip Sechow, Pfc. Jarod Milliman, Spc. David Sheek and Sgt. Elizabeth Hughes. (U.S. Army photo by Dottie K. White) (Photo Credit: Dottie White (USASMDC)) VIEW ORIGINAL

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- A new multi-million-dollar Organization Space Control Trainer delivered in February to the U.S. Army Space Defense Missile School has increased efficiency and support to the overall Army space mission.

The OSCT supports 1st Space Brigade at Fort Carson, Colorado, and an Intelligence, Information, Cyber, Electronic Warfare and Space unit, also known as I2CEWS, at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington.

“It’s allowed us to be more efficient and also allowed us to increase the throughput,” said Maj. Yonatan Abebie, Space Control Course manager, SMD School. “It qualifies the space operators to do their job and enables the commands to increase their combat power and readiness.

“It’s a great training tool and helps the warfighter replicate operations so that when they arrive at their unit, they are well prepared,” he said.

Before the school received the new OSCT, students learned space situational awareness by training on a Mobile Integrated Ground Suite, which only allowed five to 10 students to qualify in six weeks. With the new trainer 15 to 20 students are qualifying in seven weeks.

Cougar Babin, an instructor at the SMD School, praised the OSCT saying it consolidates the training for a MIG to one central location and improves the quality on the satellite link of the device.

“It allows us to teach and provide instruction without impacting the operational schedule of units that are using similar equipment,” he said. “Prior to us getting the trainer, we didn’t have a dedicated piece of equipment.”

Babin said the OSCT provided much needed upgrades to Soldiers’ training.

“It simulates a real-world environment to show the impact of space weather as well as atmospheric weather on satellite communications and radio frequencies,” he said. “Soldiers are going to know how to identify the distortion on the satellite link and the impacts on the communication link, which are essentially interchangeable.”