Army Unit That Tracks Ballistic Missiles has Global Mission

Army Unit That Tracks Ballistic Missiles has Global Mission
U.S. Air Force photo by SSgt Samuel Bendet

A tiny Army unit from Colorado Springs is keeping troops safe from ballistic missiles around the globe.

The 1st Space Company, with fewer than 200 soldiers now based in an office building off Powers Boulevard, operates missile warning sites in the Middle East, Germany and Japan that use infrared satellite images to track launches across the globe. And their job could get easier in 2017 as the unit begins using a new system of ground stations to track missile threats.

"The mission is the most important thing; it can never fail," said the company's Chief Warrant Officer Manny Marrero.

The company is part of the Army Space and Missile Defense Command's contingent in Colorado Springs. Its sister units here provide satellite communications and operate the Army's ballistic missile interceptors.

The unit has its origins in the Persian Gulf War, when Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein used short-range ballistic missiles to attack American and allied installations and Israel in the run-up to the 1991 ground war.

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