CAVALIER AIR FORCE STATION, N.D. — The 10th Space Warning Squadron Spartans hosted Sen. Kevin Cramer and his staff during a visit to Cavalier Air Force Station, Feb. 21, 2019.
The senator’s visit to Cavalier AFS was part of a large, state-wide tour and marks the second time in two years that he has visited the installation.
As part of the tour, Cramer and his staff received briefings on everything from ongoing and completed quality-of-life initiatives, to crucial missile warning and space situational awareness operations conducted by the 10th SWS operations team.
“On this particular trip, we got the chance to highlight where we have continued to improve since his last visit,” said Lt. Col. Stephen Hobbs, 10th SWS commander. “We were also able to communicate the long-term plan to improve the mission, facilities and quality of life for 10 SWS members.”
The tour began with a look at the base Community Activity Center, where Cramer saw firsthand the recreational amenities available to the members of the Air Force’s only CONUS-isolated installation.
Next, the team showcased the base’s newly built unaccompanied Airmen dormitory.
Senior Master Sgt. Karmann Pogue, 10th SWS superintendent, emphasized the importance of the project, which gives unaccompanied Airmen safe and comfortable accommodations as they spend 15 plus months separated from their families.
“The new dorms are a significant improvement for the base and its military members, as they replaced the 46-year-old ‘temporary’ unaccompanied dorms and were highlighted as a critical need during his last visit,” said Hobbs.
Cramer and his staff also visited the Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterization System building.
The PARCS building is one of the tallest in the state of North Dakota and it houses the phased-array radar used by the operators to detect incoming ballistic missile threats over the U.S. and southern Canada.
In addition to its primary missile warning mission, the radar also tracks satellites and debris orbiting the earth and provides approximately one hundred thousand data points daily to the 18th Space Control Squadron, the command and control entity at Vandenberg Air Force Base tasked with delivering foundational space surveillance and battlespace awareness, ensuring global freedom of action in space.
The mission tour demonstrated how the site generates and regulates the massive amount of power required to operate the radar. During this segment, the senator saw—and climbed to the top of — a 16-cylinder modified tugboat engine, which is used to generate power for the entire installation.
The mission tour continued with a visit to the Missile Warning Operations Center, where the visitors were briefed on PARCS capabilities and the operational procedures for the missile warning and space situational awareness missions.
The tour concluded with lunch at a local café, where he interacted heavily with local residents. He then attended the City of Cavalier Chamber of Commerce meeting, where he highlighted the importance of Cavalier’s mission and stressed his appreciation for the vital support the local community provides the 10th SWS.
“We very much appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate how the Spartans of Cavalier AFS are flawlessly performing our mission to defend the nation and our allies each day,” said Hobbs. “We are very thankful for the tremendous support we receive from our elected civilian leaders like Sen. Kevin Cramer.”