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Operational Milestone Achieved on First SBIRS HEO System

Los Angles Air Force Base, Calif. -- The Air Force announced today readiness for final dedicated operational utility evaluation and trial period operations of the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO-1) payload and associated ground system in preparation for use by the warfighter. 

SMC Commander Lt. Gen. Tom Sheridan said, "Congratulations to the entire SBIRS Team - Well Done!" 

"This is a historic day for Air Force Space Command," said SMC's Space Based Infrared Systems Wing Commander Col Roger Teague. 

The system will enter trial period operations in which for the first time, live HEO data will be injected into the warfighters operational networks providing critical warning and intelligence information. This will culminate with U.S. Strategic Command's certification of the HEO-1 payload and ground processing elements later this year. 

The HEO sensor provides an unprecedented infrared view of the battlefield that represent the first steps in an evolving battlespace awareness capability while also providing real-time data on missiles, aircraft and other events.