EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
Major Warren Pearce was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas on November 4, 1944 and grew up in small towns in northern Arkansas. His father was a Methodist Minister, so the family moved about every 4 years. Though quite mobile, the small town experience afforded by each move allowed Warren to cultivate many friendships along the way. After high school, Warren attended the University of Missouri where he obtained his degree in Electrical Engineering in 1968. When the Air Force sent him to New Hampshire, he developed an interest in backpacking and nature photography. This hobby continued as he was transferred to Los Angeles AFB. Once established in LA, Warren pursued an active involvement in the Sierra Club Photography group. Warren met his wife, Linda, at a Sierra Club outing and the couple is still active in nature photography.
After getting his Electrical Engineering degree and Air Force commission from the University of MO in January of 1968, 2nd Lieutenant Pearce was sent to the New Hampshire Satellite Station, also known as NHS or BOSS. This site was one of the original AF tracking stations and was built in 1959. In 1972, Warren transferred to the AF Satellite Control Facility (AFSCF) headquarters on Los Angeles Air Force Base (LAAFB) to continue doing satellite tracking station related engineering.
After 2 years in CA, the AF transferred Capt Pearce to Hanscom AFB to work on the Air Force Satellite Communications (AFSATCOM) program developing satellite-based communications equipment for the Air Force’s Strategic Air Command (SAC) command posts. But in 1980, Warren’s AF career took an interesting turn when he received orders for the Consolidated Space Operations Center (CSOC) System Program Office (SPO) back at Los Angeles AF base. The CSOC SPO was chartered to provide the systems for the AF use of the Space Shuttle (STS) to launch AF Satellites. The program was later cancelled, but not before the AF built much of the Space Shuttle infrastructure at Johnson Space Center and Kennedy Space Center under his direction.
In 1985, the AF moved Warren to Schriever AFB, Colorado Springs, CO to support the Consolidated Space Operations Center construction of the computer security program. Warren retired from the AF in 1988. He then joined space contractor TRW, which later became Northrop Grumman, where he continued his system security career working with the AF satellite control system. Warren retired from Northrop Grumman in 2010.
IMPACT ON SPACE COMMAND
In the middle of the Cold War, even as detente emerged from mutual assured destruction capability, Lt Col Pearce secretly worked on a new AF satellite communications system (AFSATCOM) with global reach for Strategic Air Command. The AFSATCOM system carried the Emergency Action Messages used to communicate bomber targets against the Soviet Union. This system would eventually evolve into today’s Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM), currently owned by Air Force Space Command.