233d Space Group and subordinate units officially activated

  • Published
  • By Air National Guard 1st Lt. Ben Garland
  • 140th Wing Public Affairs
The newly established 233d Space Group and its subordinate units were activated March 10 during a ceremony at the Greeley Air National Guard Station in Greeley, Colo.

The 137th Space Warning Squadron was assigned its unique Mobile Ground System mission in 1996, and after 17 years of efforts made by multiple commanders and staff, the squadron finally received approval to reorganize into the 233d Space Group in order to meet Air Force organizational standards.

The 233d Space Group's activation was accompanied by the activation of the new subordinate units: the now-smaller and streamlined 137th Space Warning Squadron, the 233d Space Communications Squadron, the 233d Security Forces Squadron and the 233d Logistics Readiness Flight.

This historic event occurred without adding any additional manpower or increase in the Department of Defense's budget. These highlights are critical during these tough fiscal times.

Another major benefit of this transition is the creation of multiple new command positions. Command experience is a rare opportunity and crucial for Guardsmen's success. Each of the newly appointed unit commanders have proven worthy of command through their track records of success.

Even the most junior of the new commanders, Capt. Aaron Kemplin, who took command of the 233d Security Forces Squadron, proved his ability to lead when his Security Forces Unit was recognized as the best across the entire National Guard.

And security is a top priority since the 233d Space Group operates the only mobile and self-sustaining early-missile warning system in the nation. Brig. Gen. Trulan Eyre, 140th Wing commander, describes it as "a national treasure... a mission where perfection is the standard ... a standard that they continue to meet day after day."

When it came down to naming this essential new group, the Guard was unable to keep the 137th designator due to the fact that the Air Force already has a 137th Group. Wanting to maintain a name from the proud history of the Colorado Air National Guard, the 233d was selected.

The 233d has a long lineage in Colorado beginning in 1953 as the 233d Airways & Air Communications Service Operations Flight. The name was changed four times until the 233d Flight Facilities Flight was eventually deactivated by the Air Force in 1971. During that span, the 233d earned the Air Force Outstanding Unit award and helped the town of Deer Trail recover from the 1965 flood.