Peterson Air Force BasePeterson Air Force Base
IATA: COS –
ICAO: KCOS –
FAA: COS Summary Airport type Military: Air Force BaseOwner U.S. Air ForceLocation Colorado Springs, ColoradoBuilt 1942 In use
1942-1945; 1951-1976 (as Peterson Field); 1976 - present (as Peterson AFB)
Commander ColonelJay RaymondOccupants 21st Space Wing, 302d Airlift Wing, US Northern Command, NORAD, Air Force Space Command, Army Space
CommandElevation AMSL6,187 ft/ 1,886 mCoordinates38°48′21″N 104°42′03″W / 38.80583, -104.70083Website
www.peterson.af.milRunwaysDirectionLength Surface ftm17L/35R 13,501 4,115 Concrete 17R/35L 11,022 3,360 Asphalt 12/30
8,269 2,520 Asphalt Statistics (2006) Aircraft operations 153,244 Based
aircraft 292 Sources: official web siteand FAA
Hartinger Building, home of the AFSPC
Peterson Air Force Base (IATA: COS, ICAO: KCOS, FAA LID: COS) is a base of the United States Air Force located at Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, United States and it provides runways for the adjacent City of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport under a shared joint civil-military airport arrangement.
Peterson AFB is home to the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), AFSPC's 21st Space Wing (21 SW), Army Space Command, and the Air Force Reserve's 302d Airlift Wing (302 AW). The 21 SW serves as host unit for Peterson AFB.
Peterson AFB was established on May 6, 1942 at the Colorado Springs Municipal Airport. It was renamed on December 13, 1942 from Colorado Springs Army Air Base to Peterson Field in honor of a fallen airman who lost his life in an aircraft crash on the base. 
Initially, Colorado Springs AAF was a center for Reconnaissance pilot training. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Reconnaissance Groups trained there in 1942 and early 1943 before being reassigned to one of the overseas theaters. In 1943, the base began heavy bomber combat crew training utilizing the B-24 Liberator. In June 1944 the mission at the base changed again, this time to fighter pilot training employing P–40 Warhawks.
On 31 December 1945, the Army inactivated the base, turning the property over to the City of Colorado Springs. During the next six years the base was deactivated and reactivated several times, until it finally reactivated for good in 1951 as a joint civil-military airport. In this capacity, it served as the operational airfield supporting the former Ent AFB and later the United States Air Force Academy, NORAD's Cheyenne Mountain Complex and Schriever AFB, a role it continues to perform today. On 1 March 1976, Peterson Field was renamed Peterson Air Force Base while still retaining its joint civil-military status with the City of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport.
Strategic Air Command (SAC) assumed control of the base on 1 October 1979. On 1 September 1982, control was transferred from SAC to the newly-established Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), which was activated at Peterson AFB the same day. On 15 May 1992, the 21st Space Wing was activated at Peterson to replace two other previous wings.
Principal military flight operations at Peterson AFB are currently conducted by the 302d Airlift Wing (302 AW), an Air Mobility Command (AMC)-gained unit of the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC). Previously stationed at the former Rickenbacker AFB, Ohio, the 302 AW relocated to Peterson in 1985. The wing consists of over 1,200 traditional part-time Air Force Reservists and over 200 full-time Air Reserve Technician (ART), Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) and USAF civil service personnel operating and maintaining 13 C-130H Hercules aircraft.
On 28 July 2006, operations formerly conducted in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) were relocated to Peterson Air Force Base for purposes of efficiency. The Cheyenne Mountain Complex will be left on warm standby until such time the protection of the mountain is again required. NORAD officials no longer feel there is a threat of an intercontinental nuclear attack which could disrupt NORAD's operations.
Current tenant units
- 544th Information Operations Group
- U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command / U.S. Army Strategic Command (Forward)
- 302d Airlift Wing
- USAF Academy Band
- Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center (AFOTEC), Detachment 4.
See alsoMilitary of the United States Portal
- ^ Peterson Air Force Base, official web site
- ^ FAA Airport Master Record for COS (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2007-12-20
- ^ a b PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE HISTORY Peterson AFB Website. Retrieved December 6, 2006
- ^ Peterson AFB. Global Security Website. Retrieved December 6, 2006
- ^ 302nd Airlift Wing Data
- ^ NORAD AND USNORTHCOM change underway. July 28, 2006. NORAD Website. Retrieved December 6, 2006
- ^ 2006 Base Guide. Peterson Air Force Base Website. Retrieved February 15, 2008, See p. 41/51 in electronic file, or p. 44 on printed version.
- Peterson Air Force Base
- Peterson AFB from Google Maps
- FAA Airport Diagram(PDF), effective 5 June 2008
- Resources for this U.S. military airport:
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