Trading Spaces: A Proud Legacy

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Koby Mitchell
  • 35 Fighter Wing Public Affairs

On April 12, 2024, the U.S. Army 22nd Space Company, 1st Space Battalion, held a deactivation ceremony, officially transferring full command of the Joint Terminal Ground Station (JTAGS) mission to the U.S. Space Force 5th Space Warning Squadron Detachment 4.

The Space Warning Squadron Detachment 4 activated on October 25th, 2023, and has since worked with the 22nd Space Company on training up the next generation of Guardians to take over the JTAGS mission.

Today was our deactivation ceremony, and while it is a sad day for me as I loved leading my Soldiers here, our unit is passing on the mission to the Space Force and we have been training them for a long time now.
U.S. Army Captain Gideon Bernthal, 22nd Space Company commander

The transfer of this process was faster than usual due to the needs of the Space Force, and the capable leadership of the previous company.


“Normally it’s a 9-to-10-month process to get someone trained from a junior member to the qualifications of a team leader, and our Guardians had to do that much more quickly,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Smith, 22nd Space Company operation sergeant. “It takes a different kind of military professional to blend these two teams, while simultaneously respecting both branches’ cultures. I believe our command teams did a great job with that.”

The 22nd Space Company has been present on Misawa Air Base since 2008, and during their time here, they massively contributed to both the base’s community and mission.

“We’ve had participants in every community event held at Misawa Air Base,” said Bernthal. “Whether it’s the Sakura Olympics or the Norwegian Foot March, we’ve had members volunteer.”

The deactivation of the Army company marks the end of the Army permanent party assigned to Misawa Air Base, ending their 16 yearlong mission.

“As leaders, we serve the service members under us,” said Sgt. 1st Class Andra Watson, 22nd Space Company first sergeant. “It is our job to put their best interests first, and to make sure that everyone can rely on one another. It is not just a job; it is a family.”

With the departure of the 22nd Space Company, Misawa Air Base now officially relies on the 5th Space Warning Squadron Detachment 4 to maintain and excel at the JTAGs mission.

“I know the new commander, and she has a lot of goals that the company is looking forward to,” said Bernthal. “A lot of these guys are some of the hardest workers I have seen. I want to thank everyone for everything they did during the transition process, and all the hours that they stayed late to make sure that we set up the next group properly.”

Serving Misawa Air Base from 2008 to 2024, the 22nd Space Company forms an important part of Misawa Air Base’s rich history. While one story ends, another chapter begins as the Space Force takes up another mission, further growing the nascent service branch into a cornerstone of Misawa Air Base.