Tag: Barbara Barrett

Air Force Secretary Barrett Calls for Clean-Up of Space Debris

Article by Frank Wolfe                                 November 16, 2020                                   (defensedaily.com)

• On November 16th, Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett called on industry to help the US Space Force with cleaning up space debris to help avoid collisions in space. Barrett told the ASCEND 2020 forum sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. “What we’d like to see in the future is not just tracking, but cleaning up that litter–figuring ways how do you consolidate, how do you get that hazard–17,500 miles per hour rocketing through space, it is a great hazard.”

• “Just think about the GPS system alone,” Barrett said. “Consider how much we depend upon the GPS system. It’s free and accessible to everyone globally, and it’s operated by just eight to 10 people on a shift. So a total of 40 people operate this extraordinary system upon which so much of our current economy depends. It’s broadly used. It’s transformative, but it’s fragile. So that space debris is really a danger to things like our GPS systems. We’ve got to replace those. We’ve got to minimize their vulnerability, and we have to have, as the Space Force will do, space capabilities that will deter others from doing damage to that system upon which so much depends.”

• According to NASA’s Orbital Debris Program Office (ODPO), there are 23,000 large pieces of debris greater than 10 cm tracked by the Space Force’s US Space Surveillance Network. Prior to 2007, the principal source of debris was from explosions of launch vehicle upper stages and spacecraft. But the intentional destruction of a weather satellite by China in 2007 and the accidental collision of the American communications satellite with a retired Russian spacecraft in 2009 greatly increased the number of large debris in orbit and now represent one-third of all cataloged orbital debris.

• US Space Command’s 18th Space Control Squadron at Vandenberg AFB, California monitors 3,200 active satellites for close approaches with approximately 24,000 pieces of space debris, and issues an average of 15 high-interest warnings for active near-Earth satellites, and ten high-interest warnings for active deep-space satellites, every day.

• NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine recently suggested that nations that damage satellites are risking a legal challenge under the 1972 Liability Convention to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. In the only claim under the Liability Convention, the Soviet Union paid Canada $2 million after a Soviet nuclear-powered reconnaissance satellite crashed in western Canada in 1978, scattering radioactive debris.

• The US Space Force and the UK are working together to reduce orbiting space debris. Last year, the UK became the first nation to join the US-led Operation Olympic Defender to deter “hostile” space actors, such as China, Russia, and Iran, and decrease the spread of on-orbit space debris. The White House has noted that private companies are developing ‘on-orbit robotic operations’ for active space debris removal. Last March, Space Force chief General John ‘Jay’ Raymond announced that Lockheed Martin‘s ‘Space Fence radar system’ had achieved initial operational capability track smaller objects in low Earth orbit and in Geostationary orbit.

 

          Barbara Barrett

Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett on Nov. 16 called on industry to help the Air Force and U.S. Space Force with cleaning up space debris to help avoid collisions in space.

“For a long time, the United States Air Force has been tracking space debris, but there’s a lot more to be done,”

      progression of orbiting space debris

Barrett told the ASCEND 2020 forum sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). “What we’d like to see in the future is not just tracking, but cleaning up that litter–figuring ways how do you consolidate, how do you get that hazard–17,500 miles per hour rocketing through space, it is a great hazard.”

“Just think about the GPS system alone,” she said. “Consider how much we depend upon the GPS system. It’ s free and accessible to everyone globally, and it’s operated by just eight to 10 people on a shift. So a total of 40 people operate this

         Gen. John “Jay” Raymond

extraordinary system upon which so much of our current economy depends. It’s broadly used. It’s transformative, but it’s fragile. So that space debris is really a danger to things like our GPS systems. We’ve got to replace those. We’ve got to minimize their vulnerability, and we have to have, as the Space Force

                     Jim Bridenstine

will do, space capabilities that will deter others from doing damage to that system upon which so much depends.”

Barrett said that processes and doctrines to outline rules of the road in space and aid space traffic management are underway.
According to NASA’s Orbital Debris Program Office (ODPO), there are 23,000 large pieces of debris greater than 10 cm tracked by the Space Force’s U.S. Space Surveillance Network.

“Prior to 2007, the principal source of debris was from explosions of launch vehicle upper stages and spacecraft,” per ODPO. “The intentional destruction of the Fengyun-1C weather satellite by China in 2007 and the accidental collision of the American communications satellite, Iridium-33, and the retired Russian spacecraft, Cosmos-2251, in 2009 greatly increased the number of large debris in orbit and now represent one-third of all cataloged orbital debris.”

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A Conversation With US Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett

Article by Steve Forbes                                      November 13, 2020                                 (forbes.com)

• Space is a far cry from the peaceful region it was when we landed a man on the Moon over 50 years ago. China and Russia have become aggressive and space has become a theater of power politics. In response, the US created the Space Force almost a year ago, the first new military branch since the creation of the Air Force in 1947. It was Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett (pictured above) who oversaw the launch of Space Force.

• Barrett points out that the US and the global economy are totally dependent on satellites, especially the GPS. But as China has demonstrated, those satellites are vulnerable to attack. “It is a remarkable thing how completely dependent most Americans and people around the world are in our day-to-day lives on space (assets – i.e.: satellites),” said Barrett. She pointed out things that we take for granted that depend on GPS and other satellites. The time on our clocks are set by a satellite. Likewise our ATM machines and gas pumps. Weather predictions, crop monitoring, and environmental monitoring all depend on satellites.

• “[W]e built a glass house before we knew about stones, in that we have a vulnerable system,” says Barrett. “[W]e built it without consciousness of that vulnerability. So now … [w]e need to be able to protect that capability, and we need to deter others from attacking our GPS satellites. …[W] need to replace the current satellites with less vulnerable, more jam-resistant and protected satellites.”

• Forty people at a base in Colorado run the entire GPS system – free to the world. “I would put forward the GPS system… has had a bigger impact in a shorter time on all of mankind than any other invention in mankind’s time. I mean, think of fire, or the wheel, or the printing press — what would compete with the GPS system that has been fully operational just 25 years and is used by so many people around the world with so few people managing it?” asks Barrett. “It’s a remarkable reality of our time.”

• At age 13, Barrett become her family’s bread-winner for five siblings and her incapacitated mother, after the sudden death of her father. In the 1950’s, she trained as an astronaut in Kazakhstan and Russia where she learned the Russian language. She was the first civilian woman to land in an F-18 fighter aircraft on a moving aircraft carrier. She’s held executive positions in both the private and public sectors. She served as our ambassador to Finland, where she engaged in a war game dog fight in the air in an F-18 against the head of the Finnish Air Force. The joust was a draw.

• “[S]cience (and) technology, these are moving very rapidly right now, with artificial intelligence, machine learning, hypersonics, biological, nuclear, and chemical developments and training,” notes Barrett. “[W]e have to be fast and nimble… [a]nd that’s why the Space Force is being designed to be innovative, bold and agile.”

 

Almost a year ago, Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett oversaw the launch of a new branch of our military, the U.S. Space Force, the first new service since the creation of the Air Force itself in 1947.

In this sobering, eye-opening segment of What’s Ahead, Barrett persuasively explains the crucial need for a service totally focused on our needs in

There are currently 1,100 active and 2,600 inactive satellites orbiting the Earth.

space. Like it or not, space has become a cockpit of power politics, a far cry from the peaceful area it was when we landed a man on the moon over 50 years ago. China and Russia have become aggressive. Beijing, for instance, used a missile to blow up one of its satellites to show what it could do to the thousands of satellites that now populate space. Barrett describes two hair-raising, space-based incidents that occurred with Russia.

We are vulnerable. For example, the U.S. and the global economy are totally dependent on satellites, most especially the GPS, which is operated by the Space Force.

Barrett is the perfect person to get this mission off the ground. She trained in her late 50s as an astronaut in Kazakhstan and then in Russia. She had to learn Russian while simultaneously undergoing intense training. She was the first civilian woman to land in an F-18 fighter aircraft on a moving aircraft carrier. She has successfully held executive positions in both the private and public sectors. She served as our ambassador to Finland, where she engaged in a war game dog fight in the air in an F-18 against the head of the Finnish Air Force (the joust was a draw).

At age 13 Barrett had to become her family’s bread-winner—for five siblings and her incapacitated mother—after the sudden death of her father.
You’ll leave our conversation wanting to learn even more about the Space Force and about Barbara Barrett herself.

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Space Force Details Structure of New Service

Article by Christen McCurdy                                  June 30, 2020                                (upi.com)

• Since the military branch’s inception in December 2019, more than 16,000 military members and civilians have been assigned to the Space Force, including over 8,500 active-duty members of the Air Force who have volunteered for Space Force. Said Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett, “This is the most significant restructuring of space units undertaken by the United States since the establishment of Air Force Space Command in 1982,”

• General Jay Raymond, USSF Chief of Space Operations said in a June 30th press release, “This is an historic opportunity to launch the Space Force on the right trajectory to deliver the capabilities needed to ensure freedom of movement and deter aggression in, from and to space. How we organize the Space Force will have a lasting impact on our ability to respond with speed and agility to emerging threats in support of the National Defense Strategy and Space Strategy.”

• Under the new organizational structure, Space Force will be comprised of three field commands: the Space Operations Command (aka ‘SpOC’); Space Systems Command (aka ‘SSC’); and Space Training and Readiness Command (aka ‘STARCOM’).

• Space Operations Command is the “field command” comprised of commands, deltas and squadrons. The field organization would “consolidate and align all organize, train and equip mission execution” from space-related units formerly run by the Air Force. It will be headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.

• Space Systems Command will be responsible for launch, developmental testing, on-orbit checkout and maintenance of USSF systems. It will also be responsible for developing and acquiring lethal space capabilities for warfighters.

• Space Training and Readiness Command will train and educate space professionals and develop combat-ready troops to address the challenges of combat in space.

• “Innovation and efficiency are driving our mission as we position the Space Force to respond with agility to protect our nation’s space capabilities and the American way of life,” said Barrett.

 

           Gen. John “Jay” Raymond

June 30 (UPI) — The Space Force will be comprised of three field commands, with many of the Air Force’s existing space acquisition organizations being moved into a newly created Space Systems Command, the service announced on Tuesday.

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett

USSF officials said the field organization would “consolidate and align all organize, train and equip mission execution” from space-related units formerly run by the Air Force.

“This is an historic opportunity to launch the Space Force on the right trajectory to deliver the capabilities needed to ensure freedom of movement and deter aggression in, from and to space,” Gen. Jay Raymond, USSF chief of space operations, said in a press release. “How we organize the Space Force will have a lasting impact on our ability to respond with speed and agility to emerging threats in support of the National Defense Strategy and Space Strategy.”

The USSF field echelons will be called, in order of hierarchy, field commands, deltas and squadrons.

The service’s field commands will be called Space Operations Command, or SpOC, Space Systems Command, or SSC, and Space Training and Readiness Command, or STARCOM.

The first two field commands will be led by three-star general officers, and the third will be led by a two-star general.

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