6th Space Warning Squadron

The 6th Space Warning Squadron is located at Cape Cod Air Force Station, in Sagamore, Massachusetts. It operates the PAVE PAWS radar to watch for missiles launched toward North America. The squadron is assigned to the 21st Space Wing, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. The squadron was first organized in October 1979 as the 6th Missile Warning Squadron

6th Space Warning Squadron
Air Force Space Command.png
Pave PAWS at Cape Code Air Force Station (090806-F-9876Z-005).jpg
Country United States
Branch United States Space Force
RoleMissile warning and space surveillance
Part ofAir Force Space Command
Garrison/HQCape Cod Air Force Station
Motto(s)Ever Aware
DecorationsOutstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Greg Moore
6th Space Warning Squadron emblem (approved 31 March 1995)6th Space Warning Squadron.png


The mission of the 6th SWS is to observe United States coasts for incoming sea–launched or intercontinental ballistic missiles using the PAVE PAWS radar system. Also, the 6th is to determine the potential threat of the numbers and destination of incoming missiles; then report continuous information to the North American Aerospace Defense Command, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Air Combat Command, and NORTHCOM.[1]


The 6th Space Warning Squadron was founded at Cape Cod Missile Early Warning Station in August 1977. It was the first squadron in the country to be equipped with PAVE PAWS.[2]

PAVE PAWS also generates information on the location and velocity of earth-orbiting satellites to NORAD.

The squadron also had a detachment at North Truro Air Force Station from 1977 to 1985, when the station closed and operations at the accompanying radar dome were taken over by the Federal Aviation Administration. The 2165th Communications Squadron was a separate tenant at CCAFS until 1986 when it was merged with the 6th SWS.


  • Constituted as the 6th Missile Warning Squadron
Activated on 1 October 1979
Redesignated 6th Space Warning Squadron on 15 May 1992




  • Lt Col Paul S. Hamilton (14 Dec 2004 - 10 Aug 2006) [3]
  • Lt Col Craig Z. Lowry (29 June 1995-???)[4]
  • Col William R. Smith
  • Col Mario V. Mascola
  • Col Richard Cable

Awards and DecorationsEdit

  • Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
    • 1 January 1998 – 31 December 1998[5]
    • 1 October 1997 – 30 September 1999[6]
    • 1 October 1995 – 30 September 1997[7]
    • 2014
  • 2004 Partridge Slemon Award as North American Aerospace Defense Command's most outstanding unit for its support of the common defense and partnership in protecting the U.S. and Canadian homelands[8]


  1. ^ Global Security: 6th SWS Mission
  2. ^ Global Security: PAVE-PAWS
  3. ^ 21st Space Wing Roster of Key Personnel (as of 1 Aug 2006)
  4. ^ AFHRA FOIA Req 09-0061: 21st Space Wing Roster of Key Personnel (as of 31 December 1996)
  5. ^ AFSPC Special Order GA-62, 6 December 1999
  6. ^ AFSPC Special Order GA-58, 6 December 1999
  7. ^ AFSPC Special Order GA-09, 1 November 1997
  8. ^ NORAD Public Affairs Post Tuesday, May 3, 2005

External linksEdit