Tag: US Space Command

DOD Outlines Space Strategy

Article by David Vergun                                   October 7, 2020                                (defense.gov)

• In June, the US Defense Department released its Space Strategy Summary document (see here) laying out the DoD’s four-pillar strategy for space activities within the next decade and beyond.

• The first line of effort, says Justin T. Johnson, the acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy, is for the Space Force to build a comprehensive military advantage in space.

• The second effort is to integrate space in the joint force of the US Space Command and with allies and partners, to organizes military exercises and prepare for battle in space, should that become necessary.

• The third effort is to shape the strategic environment. This includes educating the public about off-planet threats, promoting responsible activities in space, and putting adversaries on notice that harmful meddling will be met with a deliberate response from the United States military.

• The fourth effort, said Johnson, is to work with allies, partners, industry and other US agencies such as NASA, the FAA and the Commerce Department, to help streamline regulations for the space industry, which the DoD relies upon. The Space Development Agency is the key strategist in this regard. Allies and partners are excited to work with the United States Defense Department. Already, 20 nations and 100 academic and industry partners are collaborating with the DoD.

• “China and Russia are aggressively developing counter-space capabilities specifically designed to hold US and allied space capabilities at risk,” said Johnson. “China and Russia have made space a warfighting domain” by deploying systems that could potentially knock out US satellites – satellites which are vital to the missile warning system; precision, navigation and timing; and weather forecasting.

• In addition to the military aspect of space, Johnson notes that space is vital to US and global commerce. “Our $20 trillion US economy runs on space.”

 

In June, the Defense Department released its Space Strategy document. That document lays out the department’s four-pillar strategy for work that

                 Justin T. Johnson

needs to be done in space within the next decade and beyond.

Justin T. Johnson, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy, discussed that strategy at a virtual Heritage Foundation event today.
The first line of effort, he said, is for the U.S. Space Force to build a comprehensive military advantage in space.

The second effort is to integrate space in the joint force and with allies and partners. That mission is primarily the responsibility of U.S. Space Command, which organizes exercises and prepares for the fight in space, should that become necessary, he said.

The third effort, he said, is to shape the strategic environment. That includes such things as educating the public about threats, promoting responsible activities in space and putting adversaries on notice that harmful meddling will be met with a deliberate response from the department at the time and means of its choosing.

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Space Weapons to Counter China and Russia

Article by Dave Makichuk                                August 28, 2020                                 (asiatimes.com)

• The Pentagon and President Trump consider space to be a warfighting domain on par with land, air and sea. And the newly established US Space Command indeed faces a clear and present danger. China has already tested anti-satellite missiles, while Russia has deployed on-orbit systems that could threaten US satellites. America’s adversaries now have the ability to use jammers, ground-based lasers, ground- and space-based kinetic weapons, attack ground facilities that support space operations or even carry out a nuclear detonation in space.

• “As a geographical combatant command focused on the space domain, those are the things that keep us up at night,” says Army National Guard Major General Tim Lawson. But Lawson told the virtual audience at the National Defense Industrial Association’s Space Warfighting Industry Forum (on August 21st) that America has new capabilities are on the way to mitigate the threat. But these capabilities classified as “black budget” projects, and he can’t tell you about them.

• “A lot of times you listen to that threat picture and you kind of get a little dismayed at what you’re seeing, but then you look at our side and — trust me — we’ve got some things coming. So, it’s good news,” said Lawson.

• Lawson highlighted the need to have resilient space architectures that utilize large networks of small communications and intelligence-gathering satellites that would be less vulnerable to enemy attacks. “If you had hundreds of small satellites up there in a constellation … the enemy can take out quite a few of those and it will really never have an impact on us,” he said. “That really is the resiliency piece that we’re seeking out there and we need.” The ‘Spacecom’ command is also interested in developments in space logistics such as on-orbit refueling or servicing of satellites. Lawson says that if American industry could put assets into orbit to overwhelm adversaries’ ability to shoot them down, “it would be a game-changer”.

• But it’s not the first time a US president has launched a major military defense project in space. President Ronald Reagan envisioned a Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) as an array of space-based X-ray lasers would detect and deflect any nukes headed toward the United States. On March 23, 1983, Reagan called upon the US scientists who “gave us nuclear weapons to turn their great talents to the cause of mankind and world peace: to give us the means of rendering these nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete.”

• But politicians and scientists argued that SDI was overambitious. Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy referred to it as Reagan’s ”reckless ‘Star Wars’ schemes.” The “Star Wars” moniker stuck. Over the course of 10 years, the government spent up to $30 billion on developing the concept without achieving operational status. It was scrapped by President Bill Clinton in 1993.

[Editor’s Note]   So where did this $30 billion go? By coincidence, the 1980’s was when the US Navy created and deployed its deep space fleet of eight oversized submarine-type warp drive spacecraft known as ‘Solar Warden’, unbeknownst to the public.

 

To say that officials at the newly established US Space Command face a clear and present danger, is an understatement.

                       Tim Lawson

America’s adversaries now have the ability to use jammers, ground-based lasers, ground- and space-based kinetic weapons, attack ground facilities that support space operations or even carry out a nuclear detonation in space.

               Ronald Reagan

China has already tested anti-satellite missiles, while Russia has deployed on-orbit systems that could threaten US satellites.

But according to Army National Guard Major General Tim Lawson, new capabilities are on the way to mitigate the threat — he just can’t tell you about them, because they are classified under the umbrella of “black budget” projects.

“As a geographical combatant command focused on the space domain, those are the things that keep us up at night,” said Lawson, who made the remarks at the National Defense Industrial Association’s Space Warfighting Industry Forum, which was held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

                Sen. Edward Kennedy

“I would love to sit behind some closed doors and have this discussion on some of the things we really think we need,” Lawson said when asked about the types of capabilities Spacecom is seeking.

“A lot of times you listen to that threat picture and you kind of get a little dismayed at what you’re seeing, but then you look at our side and — trust me — we’ve got some things coming. So, it’s good news.”

Significant portions of the US military’s space programs are classified, making it difficult for outside observers to know what’s coming down the pike.

Meanwhile, Lawson highlighted the need to have resilient space architectures that utilize large networks of small communications and intelligence-gathering satellites that would be less vulnerable to enemy attacks.

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Japan Vows to Work Closely on Lunar Exploration With the US

Article from Kyodo News                            August 26, 2020                              (english.kyodonews.net)

• In August 26th, US and Japanese officials met in Tokyo to further discuss Japan’s role in the NASA-led joint lunar exploration project culminating in a return to the Moon in 2024, actual exploration of the lunar surface beginning in 2028, and ultimately the international ‘Artemis’ lunar habitat project. This will be the first time that humans walk on the Moon since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

• The meeting was attended by Scott Pace, executive secretary of the US National Space Council, Gen. John Raymond, chief of Space Force, and Japanese government officials from the Cabinet Office, Defense Ministry and other Japanese agencies.

• Pursuant to a lunar cooperation accord signed in July 2020, the US and NASA acknowledged opportunities for “Japanese crew activities” on the ‘Gateway’, a small spaceship that will orbit the Moon, as well as participate in activities on the lunar surface.

• US officials also acknowledged Japan’s new ‘Space Operation Squadron’, an Air Self-Defense Force space unit monitoring threats to Japanese satellites in outer space. Japanese officials acknowledged the significance of the US Space Command and Space Force.

• Tokyo and Washington also touched on “growing concern for threats to the continuous, safe and stable use of outer space,” a veiled reference to the growing space capabilities of countries such as China and Russia.

 

                       Scott Pace

Japan and the United States on Wednesday pledged to work closely on a lunar exploration project led by

           Gen. John Raymond

the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration after Tokyo joined it last month.

In a joint statement issued after a meeting in Tokyo, the two governments said they “reaffirmed their commitment to Artemis,” the multilateral project intended to return humans to the Moon by 2024 and establish sustainable lunar surface exploration with NASA’s commercial and international partners by 2028.

The two sides “also acknowledged opportunities for Japanese crew activities” on the Gateway, a small spaceship that will orbit the Moon, as well as on the lunar surface, as highlighted in a lunar cooperation accord they signed in July, the statement said.

The last humans to walk on the Moon were American astronauts from the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

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