While no large Colorado military units are now in the Persian Gulf, any missile attack against U.S. interests in the Mideast would have troops in Colorado Springs and Aurora hopping.
Space Force crews at Buckley Air Force Base and at Peterson and Schriever Air Force bases use satellites with infrared cameras to detect missile launches around the globe.
Two satellite constellations, the Cold War-era Defense Support Program and the Space-based Infrared program, detect launches in real time, and can trigger warnings to U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, both headquartered at Peterson.
Partnering with U.S. radars aboard ships and on the ground, the airmen can issue warnings of an incoming attack and in some cases trigger missile defenses.Those radars include a mobile unit based in the Persian Gulf that's operated by Fort Carson's 1st Space Brigade.
For attacks in the gulf, warnings are transmitted to U.S. Central Command.
The continental United States is shielded from intercontinental ballistic missile attacks by the Colorado Springs-based 100th Missile Defense Brigade, a multi-state National Guard unit that controls interceptors in California and Alaska that can destroy incoming missiles mid-flight.