U.S. Air Force to Ramp Up Commitments to Space Amid Chinese Threat

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein / Getty Images

 

China’s “rapid growth” in military capabilities and space innovation considered a top concern

The United States Air Force is accelerating investment in space as Chinese advancements threaten to penetrate American systems in the previously uncontested domain, top service officials said during a congressional hearing Tuesday.

Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Air Force secretary Heather Wilson and chief of staff General David Goldfein both identified China’s space innovation and “rapid growth” in military capabilities among their top concerns facing the service in the coming years. Continue reading

The Urgency of Modernizing Satellite Control Infrastructure

Moreover, the GPS system that the American military and society in the United States relies upon, is also nearing its expiration date and risks complete collapse. Meanwhile, China and Russia are deploying their own advanced GPS-like systems, BeiDou Navigation Satellite System and GLONASS, respectively. America’s GPS infrastructure was banned from Russian territory on June 1st of 2014. Europe has also created its own GPS-like system, Galileo, which like the previous has both commercial and military use.

If you haven’t noticed yet, there is a new inevitable chapter in world history that is post-America being opened up — and it is right around the corner. We’re talking from months (maybe even weeks) to two or three years away. Whether America itself as we know it will survive the transition to see it remains to be seen. For the most part, at this moment, its adversaries and so-called allies are making moves that want a world without America.

 

The satellite infrastructure that the DoD relies on for operational awareness is inefficient and is badly in need of modernization. The status quo isn’t acceptable, and changes must begin now.

Those aren’t my words, although I agree with them strongly. It’s the message contained in a memorandum dated July 29th sent by General John Hyten, Commander of the U.S. Air Force Space Command, to senior subordinates. As reported in this recent story from Space News, emerging threats from other powers and budget constraints are prompting the DoD to leverage commercial efficiencies and to adopt a common ground infrastructure. Continue reading

World Powers Are Preparing for Space Warfare

The entire network of U.S. military and intelligence satellites may soon be controlled through a single command center, jointly operated by the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community.

There are high-level discussions now taking place about the command center. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh told Breaking Defense those involved in the discussion include White House officials, the National Security Council, Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work, the Air Force Secretary, and Strategic Command and Space Command.

“All the pieces are there,” he said. “We just need to make sure all the authorities are clear, and that’s the difficult part.” Continue reading