Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska –
Clear Air Force Station, a remote military installation about 75 miles southwest of Fairbanks, was officially renamed to Clear Space Force Station during a ceremony June 15.
The renaming was part of ongoing efforts to develop the Space Force, the United States’ sixth military branch, while identifying those Air Force installations that currently execute Space operations with Space Force Guardian personnel.
Clear will continue to serve as home to the 13th and 213th Space Warning Squadrons—comprised of Arctic Airmen from the regular Air Force and Alaska Air National Guard, and Space Force Guardians— which provide 24/7 missile warning, missile defense, and space domain awareness.
The renaming of the installation establishes a distinct Space Force culture and identity as Clear forges into the future, and space is recognized as a warfighting domain.
“The mission [that] 'Team Clear' accomplishes is foundational to what we are trying to do in the U.S. Space Force, and the renaming of Clear Air Force Station to Clear Space Force Station demonstrates a needed progression in our profession of arms,” said Col. Richard Bourquin, U.S. Space Force, Space Delta 4 commander.
During the ceremony, Clear Space Force Station members wrote history as they unveiled the new sign, signifying steadfast space operations that will continue in the arctic region.
“As we first heard about the Space Force and now to see it come to fruition today with the renaming ceremony, it certainly is exciting to be a part of a page in history,” said Chief Jamie Kurzenberger, Alaska Air National Guard superintendent of the 213th Space Warning Squadron.
Members of the Alaska Air National Guard comprise about 75 percent of the full-time uniformed personnel assigned to Clear SFS.
The history and mission of the base began in 1958 when the U. S. Air Force acquired the site to set up a Ballistic Missile Early Warning System and became fully operational in November 1961 as the second detachment of the 71st Missile Warning Wing. The detachment became the 13th Missile Warning Squadron in January 1967. The unit was re-designated as the 13th Space Warning Squadron and reassigned under the 21st Space Wing at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.
On Dec. 20, 2019, United States Space Force was officially established and 13 SWS was realigned under the newest branch of the Armed Forces. On July 24, 2020, the 13 SWS was transferred to Space Delta 4 headquartered at Buckley AFB, now Buckley Space Force Base, Colorado.
“The future of Clear Space Force Station remains bright, and it will continue to be an indispensable location conducting critical national missions supporting missile defense and space domain awareness operations,” said Bourquin.
Clear Space Force Station was the third Air Force Station renamed as a Space Force Station, out of several planned, along with Space Force bases. As the stand-up of the USSF continues, additional installations, including overseas locations with space-focused missions, may be identified for renaming.