Beyond the Air Domain: Battle Management in Space Operations
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB United States
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This study aims to show that a new control system is necessary for space battle management in light of the recent development of counter-space capabilities by competitors of the US. By studying the history of both air and space domain control, the paper seeks to show how contextual development impacted control in each domain. Next, by studying current air and space doctrine, the text highlights missing guidance for future contested space operations when compared to the more extensive set of air operations documentation. It next examines the air domain control architecture, known as the Theater Air Control System TACS through a series of case studies. The first case study outlines the decentralized nature of TACS and its ability to sectorize airspace to handle large volumes of tactical engagements. The second case study distills the value of having TACS sensors and procedures in place before the start of a conflict. Otherwise, fog and friction inevitably occur trying to integrate new systems during war. The third case study empirically displays the value of a tactical battle management system by showing gains in combat effectiveness with TACS missing and then in-place. The paper concludes with recommendations for a future space battle management construct modeled on the doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities DOTMLPF framework as defined by the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System JCIDS process. The result aims for a space control system organized, trained, and equipped to provide core battle management competencies and core functions analogous to the Theater Air Control System.
- Space Warfare