Credit: U.S. Air Force

 

 

At the U.S. Senate’s Subcommittee on Strategic Forces on Wednesday, May 17, 2017, the testimony and discussion centered on military space organization, policy, and programs.

The bottom line: “Space will be contested…it is now warfighting domain.”

 

 

Witness list

Hearing witnesses from the U.S. military were:

— Heather A. Wilson, Secretary Of The Air Force

— General David L. Goldfein, USAF Chief Of Staff Of The Air Force

— General John W. Raymond, USAF, Commander, Air Force Space Command

— Lieutenant General Samuel A. Greaves, USAF, Commander, Space And Missile Systems Center, Air Force Space Command

Key themes

In a prepared document, jointly authored by the key witnesses in the hearing, several themes were voiced:

Space is no longer a sanctuary. Most on-orbit capabilities are now vulnerable to America’s most challenging potential adversaries.
Credit: U.S. Air Force

  • For decades the United States has enjoyed unimpeded freedom of action in space. This benign environment allowed us to operate satellites for intelligence collection, missile warning, weather monitoring, communications, and precision positioning, navigation, and timing in support of all military operations for all of the services, without thinking about how to protect these systems. That environment no longer exists.
  • Space is no longer a sanctuary. Most on-orbit capabilities are now vulnerable to America’s most challenging potential adversaries.
  • Space will be contested in any conflict. Potential adversaries understand the advantage derived from space and view U.S. reliance on space as a vulnerability they can exploit. Near-peer competitors will offset any U.S. military advantage derived from U.S. space systems and continue to pursue capabilities to degrade or destroy them.
  • In response to increasing challenges in the space domain, the Air Force is fully committed to increasing resilience and deterrence as they retain a competitive advantage over strategic competitors. The Air Force has made tremendous advancements towards unifying efforts for efficiency as a resilient and responsive leader in the space domain—but much work remains.
  • In 2017, the Air Force will finalize a family of space warfighting Concepts of Operations, identify capability gaps, continue a posture transition to increase deterrence, and ensure the U.S. can fight and win a conflict that either starts or extends into space, and strengthen support to Combatant Commanders.
  • The Air Force must prepare to survive and fight in space so that other joint forces can deploy and achieve their objectives within a complex and dynamic battlespace.

To view the entire statement, go to:

https://www.armed-services.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Wilson-Goldfein-Raymond-Greaves_05-17-17.pdf

 

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