Accession Number:

ADA626050

Title:

Space Resilience and the Contested, Degraded, and Operationally Limited Environment: The Gaps in Tactical Space Operations

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:

AIR AND SPACE POWER JOURNAL MAXWELL AFB AL

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2014-12-01

Pagination or Media Count:

19.0

Abstract:

The ability of space assets to deliver combat effects to theater operators is at a critical juncture. Over the past decade, not only have adversary counterspace capability and strategy surged markedly but also the number of objects occupying space have risen exponentially. A significant proportion of US Air Force space systems were conceived and brought online during a much different operational landscape, and we have continued to operate a number of them well past their design life. Space is not the invulnerable high ground it once was. National security space leadership has recognized these challenges and describes our present environment as contested, degraded, and operationally limited CDO. Gen William L. Shelton, who recently retired after serving as commander, Air Force Space Command AFSPC, has challenged the space operations and acquisitions community to reevaluate mission resiliency in light of these new circumstances. This appeal has manifested in the institution of new strategy and policy focused on bolstering space situational awareness SSA, the disaggregation of system capability across new architectures, and the cultivation of international partnerships. While these initiatives may eventually result in the desired resiliency, they face implementation challenges in the form of tightened budgets and constrained manning. History has shown that the strategic advantages provided by technological capability are contingent upon their application by a well-trained, competent fighting force. These rules of warfare are no less applicable to space the most effective defensive space control system will be the tactical crews and support personnel on whose shoulders mission assurance firmly sits. We assert that in a CDO environment, space operations squadrons are not prepared to provide global combat effects in support of joint force commander JFC objectives.

Subject Categories:

  • Space Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE