Resilient, Ready, and Combat-Credible
February 14, 2023
[In reference to SpaceNews recent article: Space Force chief: Satellites are under threat, ‘we have to be ready’ – SpaceNews] BY NSTXL Newsroom
Following the retirement of Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, Gen. B. Chance Saltzman has recently taken over as Chief of the United States Space Force. Within his first couple of months in command of the U.S. Space Force he has released his three lines of effort to make his priorities clear.
- Fielding Combat Ready Forces
- Amplifying the Guardian Spirit
- Partnering to Win
For this first line of effort, Gen. Saltzman makes a clear distinction that “we have to be resilient, we have to be ready, and we have to be combat credible.” In his C-note for his first LOE, Gen. Saltzman notes that a capable and resilient weapon system will be operationally ineffective if its personnel, expertise, tactical employment, and sustainment are insufficient for the mission. LOE #1 focuses on comprehensively fielding forces – equipment, trained personnel, expertise, and sustainment – that are prepared to conduct prompt and enduring operations against an adversary.
The United States Space Force’s (USSF) Space Systems Command (SSC) erected the Space Enterprise Consortium (SpEC) to assist in rapidly acquiring space technology. The SpEC program was specifically established to decrease the timeline from solicitation to award for Department of Defense (DoD) prototypes. SpEC is currently averaging 110 days from solicitation to award. This rapid prototyping leads to rapid fielding of new weapons that are prepared to endure their strategic operations, exactly in line with Gen. Saltzman’s goal of being resilient, ready, and combat-credible. Through prototyping, failing fast becomes feasible and the Space Force receives operationally effective equipment promptly.
SpEC also connects the DoD with non-traditional contractors, small businesses, academia, and commercial technology providers who have the capabilities to field needed technology and are looking to collaborate with the government. Is his third LOE, Gen. Saltzman notes that the Space Force will not succeed without robust, joint academic and commercial partnerships. The SpEC program has proven it believes in Gen. Saltzman’s statement that “partnering is key to our readiness” through its commitment to facilitating teaming, connecting small businesses with larger traditional DoD contractors, and enabling Government and industry communication.
Within the article Gen. Saltzman also touched on recent reports of cyber attacks on against satellite-based communications systems and electronics jamming of GPS navigation signals. SpEC has awarded prototypes addressing these SATCOM based attacks. Recently, Boeing successfully demonstrated autonomous technology that prevents jamming attempts on DoD satellite communications (SATCOM). The SATCOM project was awarded through the SpEC OTA vehicle and is now being tested with the United States Space Force.
Through its rapid contracting, strategic partnering, and fulfillment of critical DoD solicitations, SpEC has established itself as a resilient, ready, and credible contracting vehicle for the USSF and should be utilized to fulfill the USSF Chief’s priority areas.