Arguing for a Comprehensive Space Protection Strategy
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES WASHINGTON DC
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The contributions that space brings to our daily lives extend far beyond the military. In June 2006, while serving as chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, I held a hearing to bring focus to the magnitude of our military and economic dependence on space. Lt Gen C. Robert Kehler, vice-commander of U.S. Strategic Command, provided several examples of how space capabilities are integral to the daily execution of virtually every military campaign, operation, and exercise involving U.S. forces. In Operation Iraqi Freedom OIF space capabilities enabled blue-force tracking which lowered combat losses, command and control of dispersed ground forces which facilitated ground maneuver around enemy strong points, and the geolocation of downed aircrews. The use of global positioning system GPS-guided precision munitions also resulted in lower collateral damage, more efficient use of limited munitions inventory, and mission execution during adverse weather conditions. On the commercial side, the executive director of the Satellite Industries Association, Mr. David Cavossa, estimated that space contributes over 90 billion dollars annually to the global economy, supporting daily activities such as truck fleet management, credit card validations, pay-at-the-pump services, ATM withdrawals, high-speed Internet, traffic and weather reports, and almost all television and radio distribution. Not only has space become essential to modern warfare, it also has established itself as a permanent utility in our global commerce.
- Unmanned Spacecraft