Tag: China

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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Biden Not Seen as a Threat to Space Force

Article by Sandra Erwin                                 November 9, 2020                                 (spacenews.com)

• President-elect Joe Biden has said he plans to reverse a number of Trump policies but he is expected to continue to support the US Space Force. “If Space Force did not already exist, I think Joe Biden probably would not create it. However I think it’s pretty unlikely that Biden would seriously try to eliminate Space Force at this point,” said David Burbach, associate professor of national security affairs at the US Naval War College. Burbach’s views are his own and he does not speak for the government.

• The Space Force is enshrined in Title 10 of the U.S. Code as the sixth branch of the U.S. armed services so any move to dismantle it would require congressional legislation. And the Republicans are poised to control the Senate. “No way the Republican Senate would go along with undoing that accomplishment for Trump,” said Burbach. “Things get institutionalized pretty quickly in Washington,” Burbach said. “I think it would be very difficult to roll back Space Force. We now have officers and enlisted personnel in the Space Force even if they haven’t figured out what to call them.”

• Burbach noted that there is broad consensus in Washington that space is a “contested domain.” Many Democrats agree that the Pentagon needed to do more to address threats to US space assets. “Space Force is not the solution that Democrats would have preferred but given that it’s been done, I think the focus will be on trying to make it work effectively.”

• Joshua Huminski, director of the Mike Rogers Center for Intelligence and Global Affairs’ National Security Space Program, said it is too early to tell how President Biden will view Space Force. “I think the important thing to consider is that the intellectual foundation of the Space Force existed well before President Trump — the need for a separate culture, space as a warfighting domain, and the threat from Russia and China on orbit. That foundation, those needs, and the mission and threat will continue on and perhaps accelerate into President Biden’s administration, so you may see more constancy than immediate change.” “President Biden can set the tone, for sure,” says Huminski. “But Congress will ultimately have the final say.”

 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Space Force was a signature initiative of the Trump administration. President-elect Joe Biden has said he plans to reverse a number of Trump policies but he is expected to continue to support the U.S. Space Force, experts told SpaceNews.

             David Burbach

“If Space Force did not already exist, I think Joe Biden probably would not create it. However I think it’s pretty

                       Joshua Huminski

unlikely that Biden would seriously try to eliminate Space Force at this point,” said David Burbach, associate professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College.

Burbach said his views are his own and he does not speak for the government.

The Space Force is enshrined in Title 10 of the U.S. Code as the sixth branch of the U.S. armed services so any move to dismantle it would require congressional legislation.

With Republicans poised to control the Senate, that would be a non-starter, Burbach said. “No way the Republican Senate would go along with undoing that accomplishment for Trump.”

Burbach said the Space Force would not be targeted even if Democrats gained control of the Senate. “Things get institutionalized pretty quickly in Washington,” he said. “I think it would be very difficult to roll back Space Force. We now have officers and enlisted personnel in the Space Force even if they haven’t figured out what to call them.”

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Defense Officials Highlight Space Force’s Achievements, Path Forward

Article by Charles Pope                                     October 29, 2020                                  (spaceforce.mil)

• On October 28th, Department of the Air Force Secretary, Barbara M. Barrett, described in stark terms how the shifting security environment in space is validating the nation’s new Space Force military branch. “Increasingly, free and open access to space is under threat. Though the United States will not be the aggressor in space, we will, we must, build a Space Force to defend our space interests,” Barrett said in a virtual address at Space Symposium 365, an influential gathering of space advocates from government, commerce and defense sponsored by the Space Foundation.

• Barrett was joined by Chief of Space Operations, Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, highlighting the mounting threats in space. “Last year, Russia maneuvered an ‘inspector satellite’ into an orbit threateningly close to a sensitive US satellite. And just two months ago, China launched and recovered a reusable space plane … suspiciously similar to our own space plane, the X-37B.”

• As space is becoming more crowded and contested, it became necessary to establish Space Force as “purpose built” to meet its missions and responsibilities in space. “We set out for this first year to invent the force. And I use that term ‘invent’ purposefully because we were given an opportunity to start with a clean sheet of paper and not do business the way we’ve done in the past,” said Raymond.

• “On all fronts—on organization, on personnel, on doctrine, on budget—we have tried to think differently and be an incubator for change across the department, while delivering goodness and value to our nation,” Raymond continued. The goal is to form a “lean and agile” digital service that, while the smallest of all the military services, delivers on a much bigger scale. This demands a “forward leaning, forward looking strategy.”

• The result is a command structure that fights bloat and inefficiency in which the field command organizational structure has “collapsed two layers of command”. Efficiency is also displayed in an acquisition process “that delegates authority down to the lowest level, shortening the gap between approval authority and those who are actually doing the work,” said Raymond. “Big organizations are slow and we don’t want to be slow.”

• As Space Force approaches its first anniversary on December 20th, the service is evolving from establishing foundational elements of policies and doctrines to actually ‘inventing’ the force. Today, the Space Force numbers more than 2,000 men and women. At full strength, Space Force is expected to have about 16,000 people. The work ahead is challenging, with a relentless need to go fast. Other goals include revising the acquisition system and re-evaluating how information and hardware are classified. “We don’t deter (aggressor nations) from their negative behavior if they don’t know what our (military hardware) capabilities are,” said Barrett. “We reveal to deter, and conceal to win.”

• As the session came to a close, Barrett suggested that perhaps the biggest Space Force achievement to date is the public’s increasing understanding that space is important and it must be protected. “A year ago, Space Force was an idea,” said Barrett. “There’s been a big mindset change, and we’ve got to build on that … to achieve what people now agree needs to be done.”

 

         Gen. John “Jay” Raymond

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) — Department of the Air Force Secretary, Barbara M. Barrett, offered an upbeat assessment Oct. 28 of the Space Force’s development while also describing in stark terms how the shifting security environment in space is validating the nation’s newest branch of the military.

“Increasingly, free and open access to space is under threat. Though the United States will not be the aggressor in space, we will, we must, build a Space Force to defend our space interests,” Barrett said in a virtual address at Space Symposium 365, an influential gathering of space advocates from government, commerce and defense sponsored by the Space Foundation.

                  Barbara M. Barrett

Barrett, who was joined by Chief of Space Operations, Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, underscored that assertion by highlighting activities and threats in space that in the past had been given less emphasis.

“Last year, Russia maneuvered an ‘inspector satellite’ into an orbit threateningly close to a sensitive U.S. satellite. And just two months ago, China launched and recovered a reusable space plane … suspiciously similar to our own space plane, the X-37B.”

That environment, and the fact that space is becoming more crowded and contested, coincide with the creation of the first new and independent branch of the military since 1947. Together, Barrett and Raymond provided a detailed status report on the Space Force as it approaches its first anniversary and looks to the future.

“We set out for this first year to invent the force. And I use that term ‘invent’ purposefully because we were given an opportunity to start with a clean sheet of paper and not do business the way we’ve done in the past,” Raymond said, describing the Space Force as “purpose built” to meet its missions and responsibilities in space.

“On all fronts—on organization, on personnel, on doctrine, on budget—we have tried to think differently and be an incubator for change across the department, while delivering goodness and value to our nation,” he said.

The goal, Raymond said, is to form a “lean and agile” digital service that, while the smallest of all the military services, delivers on a much bigger scale. This demands a “human capital development strategy … a forward leaning, forward looking strategy.”

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