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New Pentagon Strategy to Defend U.S. Dominance in Space

Article by Sandra Erwin                             June 17, 2020                          (spacenews.com)

• On June 17th at a Pentagon news conference, the DoD’s unveiled a ten-year Defense Space Strategy to replace an Obama-era 2011 space strategy based upon the Trump administration’s 2018 national defense strategy that calls for the U.S. military to prepare to compete with rising military powers such as China and Russia.

• China and Russia have developed capabilities to challenge U.S. access to space and “present the most immediate and serious threats to U.S. space operations.” “Both countries consider space access and denial as critical components of their national and military strategies.” Threats from North Korea and Iran are also growing, the document states.

• “DoD has to confront the new reality that adversaries have more advanced weapons designed to target U.S. military satellites and deny the United States a key military advantage,” according to the new strategy paper. “Now we have to defend U.S. and allies to secure the domain.” The DoD will work with allies and with the private sector to ensure space superiority.

• Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy Steve Kitay said that the DoD has taken significant actions to stay ahead of other powers, such as the establishment of a) the U.S. Space Force as a new military service; b) the U.S. Space Command as a unified combatant command; and c) the Space Development Agency to help accelerate the acquisition of new technologies. The DoD recognizes there’s a space technology race underway and the United States has to accelerate the pace of innovation. Part of the strategy will be to “leverage commercial technological advancements and acquisition processes.”

• The DoD will focus on these key priorities: a) to protect and defend U.S. and commercial space capabilities; b) to deter and defeat adversary hostile use of space; c) to deliver advanced operational space capabilities; d) to bolster the domestic civil and commercial space industry; and e) to uphold internationally accepted standards of responsible behavior.

 

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department has released an updated space strategy that replaces the 2011 document issued by the Obama

                   Steve Kitay

administration.

The Defense Space Strategy unveiled June 17 provides broad guidance to DoD for “achieving desired conditions in space over the next 10 years,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy Steve Kitay said at a Pentagon news conference.

The space strategy builds on the Trump administration’s 2018 national defense strategy that calls for the U.S. military to prepare to compete with rising military powers such as China and Russia.

DoD will work to maintain space superiority, provide space capabilities to U.S. and allied forces, and ensure stability in space, the strategy says.

“DoD has to confront the new reality that adversaries have more advanced weapons designed to target U.S. military satellites and deny the United States a key military advantage,” says the strategy. “Now we have to defend U.S. and allies to secure the domain.”

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The Pentagon’s Plan to Pepper Space With Surveillance Satellites Takes Shape

 

Article by George Dvorsky January 22, 2020 (gizmodo.com)

• The first major initiative from the DoD’s new Space Development Agency (SDA) to to build the National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA). The NDSA will consist of seven layers, or “constellations” of the U.S. military. Launched in March 2019, the stated mission of the SDA is to unify and integrate the military space capabilities necessary to ensure U.S. technological and military advantages in space, and to detect and knock out surface-to-air and hypersonic missiles on the Earth below. The SDA will become a part of the US Space Force in 2022.

• Speaking at a Pentagon briefing on January 21st, the director of the Space Development Agency, Derek Tournear., announced that the first layer of the NDSA, the ‘Transport Layer’, will consist of hundreds of surveillance satellites that will attain full global coverage by 2026. By as early as 2022, however, the Transport Layer should be capable of ‘regional coverage’, pinpointing targets on the ground or at sea and tracking advanced missiles.

• The seven NDSA ‘constellations’ are described as follows:
       • Transport Layer: to coordinate global military data and create a full range of “warfighter platforms”
       • Battle Management Layer: to facilitate mission command and data control
       • Tracking Layer: to provide global-tracking and targeting of missile threats
       • Custody Layer: to constantly track enemy missiles and missile launchers
       • Navigation Layer: to provide an alternative back-up to GPS navigation
       • Deterrence Layer: to deter hostile actions up to lunar distances
       • Support Layer: to enable integration between ground and space-based assets

• Under the plan, one new satellite will be constructed per week. Each satellite will be relatively small, weigh a “few hundred kilograms,” cost around $10 million, and have a life expectancy of around five years. To that end, the SDA issued a broad agency announcement that it is looking for commercial partners to help develop and implement these technologies. The SDA will be soliciting bids for the first batch of satellites in late spring 2020 and awarding contracts in the summer.

• The entire National Defense Space Architecture system will eventually involve thousands of satellites. Each layer will perform a different function, such as detecting incoming missiles, alerting ground forces of potential threats, keeping tabs on potentially hostile weapons systems, and augmenting navigational capabilities, among other important defense roles. Considering that Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink megaconstellation may deploy up to 45,000 internet satellites, low Earth-orbital space is quickly becoming cluttered.

 

New details have emerged about the Pentagon’s ambitious plan to build seven different defense constellations, the first of which will include hundreds of surveillance satellites that are expected to attain full global coverage in just six years.

Known as the National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA), it’s the first major initiative from the newly hatched Space Development Agency (SDA), a part of the Department of Defense.

             Derek Tournear

Once it’s built, the NDSA will consist of seven constellations, or “layers” in the parlance of the U.S. military. Each layer will perform a different function, such as detecting incoming missiles, alerting ground forces of potential threats, keeping tabs on potentially hostile weapons systems, and augmenting navigational capabilities, among other important defense roles.

Launched in March 2019, the SDA is “responsible for unifying and integrating [the Department of Defense’s] space development efforts, monitoring the department’s threat-driven future space architecture and accelerating the fielding of new military space capabilities necessary to ensure U.S. technological and military advantages in space,” according to a press release from the DoD. The agency is on track to become part of the U.S. Space Force in 2022.

Speaking at a Pentagon briefing yesterday, Derek Tournear, who was appointed director of the SDA in October 2019, said the first of these layers, the Transport Layer, will consist of several dozen satellites by the end of 2022, reported SpaceNews. Once at this early threshold, the system will “show that we can operate a proliferated constellation and that the constellation can talk to weapon systems,” said Tournear.

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Pence Briefed on Space Force Proposal at Pentagon Meeting

by Sandra Erwin                    December 19, 2018                        (spacenews.com)

• On Tuesday December 18th,Vice President Mike Pence announced President Trump’s Pentagon directive to establish a four star U.S. Space Command. While at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida on Tuesday, Pence said, “We’re working as we speak with leaders in both parties in Congress to stand up the United States Space Force before the end of 2020.”

• On Wednesday, VP Pence was at the Pentagon to receive a briefing on space operations and cyber defense. One of the topics was the Pentagon’s draft proposal, named SPD-4, establishing a Space Force as a sixth separate military branch. The directive is being finalized and could be signed by the president shortly after the new year.

• The SPD-4 directive would instruct Department of Defense to submit a legislative proposal on how the new service would be organized and a budget request. Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said to reporters, “We’re right now in final coordination in the building on the legislative proposal.”

• The Space Force will most likely be initially organized under the Department of the Air Force. This approach would be less costly and more likely to get congressional support, experts said. The Air Force had already included an Air Force Space Command. Under this construct, Space Force would still meet the criteria to be considered a sixth service, said Thomas Taverney, the former vice commander of the Air Force Space Command.

• The Pentagon could keep costs under control by making the Space Force a leaner organization that does not require multiple layers of bureaucracy to get things done, Taverney said. “Maybe we can come up with a more efficient way to set up the organization.”

• One part of the plan that is still unresolved is the establishment of a preliminary Space Development Agency to accelerate innovation and insertion of commercial technology into space programs. Its functions and makeup have not yet been decided. A study team will have 60 days to complete this task. “What is it going to be? An overarching policy organization? A separate acquisition organization? Or a new acquisition organization that takes pieces from the others?” Taverney asked.

• Air Force brass is pushing for Fred Kennedy, the director of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) Tactical Technology Office, to head the Space Development Agency. Kennedy has past experience working at the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center and has ‘space acquisition’ expertise.

[Editor’s Note]   It now appears that the Deep State tentacles of the Air Force and DARPA are creeping into the creation and control of this supposedly “separate sixth branch of the military”. Is this the ‘Space Force’ that President Trump intended?

 

Vice President Mike Pence visited the Pentagon on Wednesday to receive a briefing on space operations and cyber defense. One of the topics was the proposal the Pentagon is drafting to establish a Space Force as a separate military branch.

Speaking with reporters shortly before Pence arrived at the Pentagon Wednesday morning, Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said the establishment of a Space Force was one item on the agenda. “We’re going to talk to him about a number of projects going on here in the building,” Shanahan said, according to a pool report.

Pence came to the Pentagon one day after announcing that President Trump directed the Defense Department to establish U.S. Space Command as a four-star combatant command. Speaking on Tuesday at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, Pence said Trump will also sign a new space policy directive in the coming days that will lay out plans and a timeline to create a U.S. Space Force as a sixth branch of the armed forces. “We’re working as we speak with leaders in both parties in Congress to stand up the United States Space Force before the end of 2020,” said Pence.

The new space policy directive, named SPD-4, is the fourth major space policy action by the Trump administration. According to sources, the directive is being finalized and could be signed by the president shortly after the new year. The policy memo would instruct DoD to submit a legislative proposal on how the new service would be organized and a budget request. The National Space Council, led by Pence, has been in back and forth coordination with DoD on the legislative proposal.

Shanahan told reporters on Wednesday that the legislative proposal has not yet been shared with Congress. “We’re right now in final coordination in the building on the legislative proposal,” he said. “I think we’re still on the timeline. We’ve kind of all talked about it.”

DoD sources said the Space Force proposal will likely recommend organizing the new branch initially under the Department of the Air Force. This would make the Space Force comparable to the Marine Corps, which is part of the Department of the Navy. This approach would be less costly and more likely to get congressional support, experts said.

Organizing the Space Force under the Department of the Air Force is “probably the most logical way to solve this in the near term, said Thomas Taverney, a retired Air Force major general who served as vice commander of Air Force Space Command.

The Space Force under this construct would still meet the criteria to be considered a sixth service, Taverney told SpaceNews.

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FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. ExoNews.org distributes this material for the purpose of news reporting, educational research, comment and criticism, constituting Fair Use under 17 U.S.C § 107. Please contact the Editor at ExoNews with any copyright issue.

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