U.S. Space Force takes over Army battalion mission in Colorado

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 6:15 PM MST

PETERSON SFB, Colo. (KKTV) - A U.S. Army battalion was officially inactivated Monday afternoon as the Space Force takes on its mission.

The 53rd Signal Battalion, which was first activated in 1927, was inactivated as the members of that battalion transfer to the Space Force. Although the battalion is inactive, the soldiers--now guardians--and civilians in the unit will continue its mission.

The 53rd was first established with a mission based on tele-type communication. It has been activated and inactivated a few times since then, with its most recent inactivated being in 1971, before coming back in 2005. Since it was first established, the unit’s mission has evolved to include satellite communication for the Department of Defense.

While this ceremony would simply relieve a unit of its mission until they are needed again, this ceremony marked a continuation in modernizing the battalion mission.

“It’s growth in DoD.,” Major Nathan Gadberry said. “It’s growth in the Space Force mission as we transfer what we do over to the Space Force and the guardians to allow them to better serve the nation, the DoD.”

The decision to transfer the troops comes as the Space Force takes on more responsibilities related to space operations. Lieutenant General Daniel Karbler with the Army said the transfer of a unit can be difficult, especially without disruption to the mission. But he said the unit did everything right.

“Most important, we had to keep out 24/7, no fail mission going,” Lt. Gen. Karbler said, “and that’s what makes me most proud of the soldiers, civilians, and now guardians of keeping that mission going during this transfer period.”

Major Gadberry said it is entirely possible that the Army eventually decides to reactivate the 53rd; however, for the time being, its responsibilities will be handled by a branch better equipped to continue its mission.