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213th Space Warning Squadron

213th Space Warning Squadron
Clear Air Force Station Alaska
Active 1967-Present
Country United States
Branch   Air National Guard
Role Missile Warning
Part of Alaska Air National Guard
Garrison/HQ Clear Air Force Station, Anderson, Alaska, USA
Nickname Frontier Sentinels
Motto Sentinels of Space (13th Missile Warning Squadron)
Decorations Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
213th Space Warning Squadron emblem[1]

The 213th Space Warning Squadron of the Alaska Air National Guard provides early warning of Intercontinental ballistic missiles and Submarine-launched ballistic missiles to the Missile Correlation Center of North American Aerospace Defense Command. The squadron is a geographically separated unit assigned to the 168th Air Refueling Wing at Eielson Air Force Base.


  • Mission 1
  • History 2
  • Lineage 3
    • Assignments 3.1
    • Stations 3.2
    • Awards 3.3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6
  • External links 7


The primary mission of the 213th Space Warning Squadron is to provide early warning of intercontinental ballistic missile and submarine-launched ballistic missile launches to the Missile Warning Center at North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). The secondary mission of the squadron is to provide space surveillance data on orbiting objects to the NORAD Space Control Center.


The Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) site at Clear Air Force Station began operation in November 1961, when Detachment 1, 71st Surveillance Wing took over the site from Air Force Systems Command. The detachment was manned by civilian contractors until 1964, when active duty United States Air Force personnel began to operate the site's tactical operations room. At the start of 1967, the detachment was replaced by the newly activated 13th Missile Warning Squadron.[2]

In August 1967 a severe flood inundated the region surrounding Fairbanks, Alaska and the squadron provided shelter to 216 refugees. The squadron was assigned its first female officer in 1973, remarkable for a "remote" location. By 1986, the squadron would be employing all-female crews. Because of a fire that destroyed part of a similar facility at Thule Air Base, Greenland, in 1981 the missile tracking radar and its radome were disassembled and replaced.[2]

The radar at Clear was the last mechanically operated BMEWS site. In 1998 the radar was began to be converted to a phased array radar by employing components of the PAVE PAWS submarine-launched ballistic missile detection site from the closed facility at El Dorado Air Force Station near Laredo Air Force Base, Texas. The new system, known as the Solid-State Phased-Array Radar System achieved initial operating capability on 31 January 2001.[2]

In 21 May 2004 the 213th and the Alaska Air National Guard took over the operation of Clear Air Force Station. Clear had been selected to become a completely Air National Guard facility, rather than having guardsmen augment the regular Air Force unit operating the station. The facility's radar operated to provide tactical warning and attack assessment in case of a missile attack against the United States. The transfer to the guard permitted stability because the active duty personnel previously assigned to the site rotated every year[3]as the site was considered a remote tour. Nearly 100 guardsmen assigned to the 213 Space Warning Squadron perform the daily missile warning and space surveillance mission at Clear Air Force Station near Anderson, Alaska.[4]


  • Constituted as the 13th Missile Warning Squadron on 1 November 1966 and activated (not organized)
Organized on 1 January 1967
Redesignated 13th Space Warning Squadron on 15 May 1992
  • Redesignated 213th Space Warning Squadron, allotted to the Air National Guard, and federally recognized on 21 May 2004



  • Clear Air Force Station, Alaska, 1 January 1967 - present


Award streamer Award Dates Notes
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award 1 June 1968-31 May 1970 13th Missile Warning Squadron
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award 1 July 1971-30 June 1973 13th Missile Warning Squadron
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award 1 May 1983-30 April 1984 13th Missile Warning Squadron
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award 1 October 1995-30 September 1997 13th Space Warning Squadron
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award 1 October 1997-30 September 1999 13th Space Warning Squadron
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award 1 January 1998-31 December 1998 13th Space Warning Squadron

See also


  1. ^ Approved for the 13th Missile Warning Squadron on 11 August 1967
  2. ^ a b c "Air Force Bases: Clear Air Force Station, Alaska". The Military Standard. 
  3. ^ Susan Rosenfeld Ph.D; Charles J. Gross Ph.D (2007). Air National Guard at 60: A History. Washington DC: Government Printing Office. p. 72.  
  4. ^ State of Alaska FY2013 Governor’s Operating Budget

Further reading

  • 213th Space Warning Squadron
  • 21st Space Wing
  • Commander visits Space Warning Squadron at Clear Air Force Station
  • Alaska ANG squadron celebrates 50 years
  • Space Operations: Using the Stars to Serve the Community

External links

  • Global's Clear AFS website
  • 168th Air Refueling Wing (official site)
  • Alaska Air National Guard
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