The Under Secretary of the Air Force visits Cape Cod Air and Space Installations

  • Published
  • By Mr. Timothy Sandland, Public Affairs
  • 102nd Intelligence Wing

The Honorable Gina Ortiz Jones, Under Secretary of the Air Force, recently visited Joint Base Cape Cod, Mass., on November 24, 2021. The installation is home to Otis Air National Guard Base and Cape Cod Space Force Station.

The Under Secretary of the Air Force is the second-highest ranking civilian official in the Department of the Air Force, serving directly under the Secretary of the Air Force. Together with the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and the Chief of Space Operations, as well as the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force and the Chief Master Sergeant of the Space Force, the six make up the senior leadership team of the Department of the Air Force.

While at Otis, Jones was briefed by wing leadership on a variety of topics including the wing’s two Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions, Cyber Engineering and Installation mission, as well as the wing’s significant successes over the last year.

Col. Sean Riley, commander of the 102nd Intelligence Wing, expressed the significance of Jones’ visit to Cape Cod.

“It was truly an honor and privilege to be able to host the Honorable Gina Ortiz Jones, Under Secretary of the Air Force today,” said Riley.

“Being able to showcase the incredible Airmen of the 102nd Intelligence Wing and brief Ms. Jones on all of their efforts performing our federal mission sets while providing unprecedented support to the Commonwealth over the past year has been one of the high points of my command.”

During her tour, Jones stopped to speak to a group of Airmen to share her appreciation for their efforts.

“Thank you to those who are standing watch, especially over the holidays,” said Jones. “We can talk about China and childcare at the same time. It’s all about how we prepare for that high-end fight but also how we ensure our people can serve, everyone can serve, to their full potential.”

Continuing her tour at Cape Cod Space Force Station, Jones learned about the 6th Space Warning Squadron’s mission, monitoring and tracking over 23K Earth-orbiting objects to enable space domain awareness, continuously providing crucial missile warning and space surveillance data to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM), and coalition partners.

The 6 SWS is the only land-based east coast radar site in the United States, located 60 miles south-east from Boston, Massachusetts.

“Having the USecAF here today gives the 6th Space Warning Squadron the opportunity to showcase our response to the recent Russian anti-satellite event which threatened critical space assets,” said Lt. Colleen O’Hara of the 6th Space Warning Squadron.

“Our team members demonstrated their innovation, critical thinking, and collaboration in response to this unprecedented threat. Having the USecAF visit lets our team know their hard work recognized and appreciated at the highest level.”

Spanning 22,000 acres, Joint Base Cape Cod is a full-scale, joint-use base that is home to five major military commands that operate and train for missions at home and overseas in a partnership between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and others. The Soldiers, Airmen, Guardians, Coast Guardsmen, and civilian employees of JBCC conduct airborne search and rescue, cyber and traditional intelligence, ballistic missile early warning, cyber engineering and installation, expeditionary medical support as well as training on these and in many other areas that prepare service members for operational assignments overseas as well as here at home, serving and protecting the Commonwealth and the nation.