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Friday Space Group "Space Power for the Warfighter" Seminar.

Air Force Association Mitchell Institute, Washington D. C.--September 19, 2014

This is a transcript of the Air Force Association Mitchell Institute Friday Space Group "Space Power for the Warfighter" Seminar with Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) and General John Flyten, Commander, United States Air Force Space Command, on "Space Communications" from September 19, 2014.

MR. PETER HUESSY: Good morning. My name is Peter Huessy and this is the Space Power for the Warfighter seminar series that is sponsored by the Air Force Association and our colleagues that are here today from a number of different companies. I welcome you all and thank you for your help for this, the inaugural year for this series that started in February with General Shelton as our first speaker.

I also want to welcome Congressman Bridenstine who is here for the very first time to speak at our series. I also want to say hello and a warm welcome to General Teague and his wife, and of course to General and Mrs. Flyten. I want to thank also the various embassies that we have represented here today. I want to thank you.

And also to say a particular thank you to Lieutenant Colonel Brunswick (ph), who is the Air Force liaison who has helped us disseminate our invitations to members of Congress and legislative assistants. And she will be retiring, I believe January is your official date. And I want to thank you Michelle for all your real help on this.

I also want to thank my two colleagues Kathleen Ryan and Steve Steele. We both had this idea, probably within the same day or two weeks or whatever, and we went to General Shelton and said, you know, we do have to have a dedicated seminar series solely on space issues--military space issues, and he agreed. That was in December of last year and by January we had enough support to put the series on starting on the first Friday of every month. That's why we call it The Friday Space Group.

And Kathleen is in Ireland today at a family wedding and couldn't make it, but she has been extraordinarily helpful on this series. I also want to thank the Department of Defense and Air Force for helping us not only with speakers but also with the various MLAs (ph) who are here today that have also been very instrumental.

Our next breakfast is October 3rd. It will deal with space overhead persistent infrared radar. We will have Colonel John Wagner from the 460th Wing at Buckley Air Force Base, who is a user. And we're going to have a provider, Colonel Michael Guetlein who is from SMC.

And on November 7th we're going to have a seminar on assured access to space. We will let you know the speaker. And then we're honored on December 5th to have again General John Hyten, who is the Commander of Air Force Space Command, who will wrap up the year and tell us about the challenges facing U.S. Air Force Space Command.

And we then will start planning--well, probably tomorrow I'll start planning next year's 2015 seminar series. And any of you who would like to sponsor again or would like to start sponsoring our seminar series, please let me know. And I also want to say thank you to our friends from the Marshall Institute. John, who is here today, is the new president. And the video that we get for these events is given to us gratis by Marshall Institute, and I want to thank you very much.

It's my pleasure to welcome General John Hyten to the seventh of our 10th "Space to the Warfighter" breakfasts. It is appropriate that General Hyten will introduce the Congressman. He has been a major factor in getting this educational series underway and has helped us to come up with the topics to be discussed and the speakers.

As you know, he is the new commander of the Air Force Space Command in Colorado Springs, and has previously served in numerous positions in the Air Force Secretariat and the Joint Staff and as Cheyenne Mountain Mission Director. He deployed as the Director of Space Forces in Southwest Asia during Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. And prior to assuming the command of the Air Force Space Command, he served as the command's vice commander.

He is also a graduate of Harvard, with his ROTC commission through MIT. He is joined today by his wife, Mrs. Laura Hyten, whom we are pleased to have here along of course with Major General Teague's wife, Mrs. Kim Teague, and the general. Thank you both for being here.

With that, would you please give a warm welcome to the Commander of U.S. Air Force Space Command, General John Hyten?

(Applause).

GEN. JOHN HYTEN: Good morning, everybody. It's a pleasure to be here this morning. It has been a great week in Washington, D.C., although I have to admit I'll be glad to get home to Colorado this afternoon.

The Air Force Air and Space Symposium was this week at the Air Force Association. That was a very busy time. I got to go over to the Swedish embassy yesterday for a conference on space, talking about international cooperation. That's a very interesting thing.

But it's my privilege this morning to introduce the Congressman from the 1st District of Oklahoma, Congressman Jim Bridenstine. The Congressman has some unique qualities that I'd like to point out real quick. Number one, he is a naval aviator. Aviator is a good thing, Navy is a pretty good thing.

(Laughter).

His is a Hawkeye pilot, but he has combat experience too. And that means he understands the things that our men and women in uniform go through every day. And that brings a very unique perspective to his life as he works the challenges he has on the Hill. I think most importantly, though, he loves his family and he loves his country. I think if you ask any person what they want out of a congressman or a senator, it's to love your family and love your country. And that's maybe the most important thing.

So I could talk about space enthusiasts. I could talk about anything, but just family and country is enough. It's an extraordinary thing, Congressman, so thank you very much for being here today and I look forward to talking to you.

Ladies and gentlemen, Congressman Jim Bridenstine.

(Applause).

REP. JIM BRIDENSTINE: Well it's an honor to be here. I can tell you this is the first time in my life I have been introduced by a four-star general. That is not something that normally happens to us lowly lieutenant commanders in the Navy. But it's an honor to be here, certainly it's an honor to be invited to speak at this forum.

As a Navy guy, I flew E-2 Hawkeyes--initially flew combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. I eventually transitioned to the F18 and flew red air for the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center in Fallon, Nevada. For the Air Force folks that are here, what that means is that I was the target. I got shot down quite frequently by top gun folks, and it was a great experience. After you get shot down you get to fly home at under 500 feet and faster than mock, so I wasn't terribly disappointed when that happened.

The whole time I was in the Navy, I probably met two admirals or generals, and I shook hands with one of them. I come to Washington, D.C., I get a phone call from Leon Panetta, he asks me over to the Pentagon and there's a whole room full of them. Immediately my palms started sweating and I'm nervous, and I'm like, this isn't where I should be right now. And then they come over and they start calling me sir.

(Laughter).

As a freshman member of Congress, that was--I'll never forget, the chief of naval operations came up to me and he called me sir. And I called him sir back, and he said, don't call me sir. Under his breadth he goes, around here you don't call me sir. I call you sir. I'm like, what will I call you? And he says, call me admiral. Roger that, I'll call you admiral, sir.

(Laughter).

So this has been a great experience. It's an honor to serve my district here in Washington, D.C. Certainly as a war fighter I take my responsibilities as they relate to space very importantly. Before I get started on some of my thoughts, there's a couple of people I'd like to thank.

Number one, Steve Kitay is in the room. He's on the Armed Services Committee staff in the House of Representatives. He has spent a lot of time with me trying to get me smart on these issues, and I appreciate you for doing that.

I'd also like to thank Chairman Mike Rogers, he's the Chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee on the Armed Services Committee. I have obviously spent a lot of time on that committee. And of course his leadership has been instrumental to what we're trying to accomplish as a nation, as well as Vice Chairman Thornberry and Chairman McKeon who have given me a lot of leeway in my questioning and my ability to implement things.

Certainly the National Defense Authorization Act is something we work hard on every year. And acquisition reform is going to be something we continue to work hard on and it's something that's going to be relevant to the folks in this room, for sure. So I'd like to thank all of those folks for their leadership and their willingness to help a guy like me get caught up.

I'm a Navy pilot, not a space guy. All I know is the gadgets in my airplane worked and I was grateful for it. Now I've got to be responsible for making sure they continue to work, and it's an honor and a privilege to have this responsibility.

A couple of thoughts, when you think about the acquisition of military SATCOM and commercial SATCOM, we've really gone in two different directions. Military SATCOM and commercial SATCOM use different spectrums. They have different ways of being utilized.

On military SATCOM you've got anti-jam capabilities and encryption capabilities. And I think this is an important point that a lot of people--quite frankly that I talk to in industry as well as war fighters--anti-jam and encryption are very different. Anti-jam is difficult because you've got to do this spectrum spreading and it prevents you from--you can be encrypted all you want, but at the end of the day they can deny you access to that signal. And we've got to make sure that we have the resiliency so that our war fighters can be both encrypted and protected. And so I think that's an important point.

And if you look at where we have come as a nation, we were almost entirely reliant, not entirely, but mostly reliant on military SATCOM for a long time. Then September 11 happened and things became very difficult. We had to very quickly ramp up our communications.

And where we turned to is commercial satellite communications, which was necessary. It was appropriate. It was available. We needed it. Our war fighters in the field needed it, and we went in that direction.

So the capacity has increased dramatically in the commercial SATCOM realm. And at the same time, the encryption requirements and the anti-jam requirements didn't necessarily keep up with COMSATCOM. And if you talk about protected tactical waveform, that's a direction that I think is critically important as we continue down this path of commercial satellite communications. And so that's an area that I fully support for our war fighters of the future.

I also think it's important to note that we have challenges given where we have come from. When you talk about KAband and X-band for MILSATCOM and KU-band for COMSATCOM, you end up going in two different directions where the assets on the ground have terminals that don't necessarily work with one or the other. And this puts us in a position where the interoperability, and our ability to maximize our forces and give them the flexibility that they need to be in the right place at the right time receiving the right information, and actually being the lethal force that we need to have, sometimes that's a big challenge.

So where we need to go is, in my opinion, towards terminals, receivers, transmitters, that have the ability to do both. Because here's the reality, we need MILSTACOM. Nobody I've talked to argues otherwise. We also need COMSATCOM. And it's not going away, and people know that.

So we need to be able to work with both. We've got to have terminals that have the capability of going in both directions to give flexibility to the war fighter. And at the same time, we've got to make sure that the war fighter is protected, both with encryption and the anti-jam capabilities, especially as it relates to the COMSATCOM side.

So those are some of my thoughts. From a legislative perspective, there are things we can do. And I think that one of the biggest challenges we're going to have in coming years as a nation is going to be how we purchase COMSATCOM.

We're in a situation right now where we buy COMSATCOM in one year increments on the spot market. And I know there are five year contracts, but it's really only one year and then renewable years after that. And that is not an efficient way to buy COMSATCOM.

Everybody I've talked to in the industry, and people that do this as professionals on the government side, they recognize that we can do this in a more efficient way. COMSATCOM is not going away. We've got to figure out a way to make it--to give us the ability to purchase it more efficiently.

The reason this whole thing came about, of course, is when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began, all of a sudden we needed all this capacity. We turned to DISA. They started buying the COMSATCOM on the spot market. That market only continued to grow and has grown ever since 9/11.

And now those budgets, the overseas contingency operation budgets, guess what folks, they're going away. There is nobody that I've talked to who would indicate they're not. And if they're not going away, they're going to shrink.

And as they shrink we've got to figure, what is the enduring demand that we have for COMSATCOM, and roll that enduring demand into programmatic budgeting. Because if we don't do that, we're going to find ourselves left in the position where we're going to be making decisions by default. And ultimately, if we can't figure it out today, when the OCO goes away there's going to be systems, capabilities, readiness, other items that have to be cannibalized because we didn't prepare for the day when OCO was going to shrink to the point where COMSATCOM was going to have to be rolled into programmatic budgeting. So as a legislator, one of the things I think I can be effective in is encouraging our space elements in all the branches to start thinking about programmatic financing of COMSATCOM, because we don't want to hit that day when ultimately it gets cut and we're having to cannibalize other important missions of our services.

One of the challenges we have also is that when it comes to COMSATCOM, it's very decentralized. You have a situation where each of the combatant commands and each of the services, they're all purchasing COMSATCOM based on their demand right now, today. And they're not centralizing. And if you're trying to figure out what the enduring demand is for our nation, it's a very difficult thing to do when you've got this decentralized process of purchasing COMSATCOM.

There was a report that the Senate requested that got published and members of Congress had the opportunity to read. The Senate requested it, the DOD published it, and it's "Communications Satellite Strategy for the Department of Defense in the Future." And in that report, they acknowledged that if we're going to start purchasing COMSATCOM in a more efficient way, we've got to figure out a way to get it out of this very decentralized process so that we can figure out what that enduring demand is and enable our officials to purchase COMSATCOM in longer periods.

I'm going to turn it over here back to the general. And certainly I'm open for questions. The general is going to talk for a few minutes and then we'll both be willing and able to answer questions.

A couple of things that I think are important as we go forward, if you look at weather, if you look at imagery, if you look at communications as it relates to space, we need resiliency. We need disaggregation. We need smaller satellites. We need hosted payloads.

We need to do the things that enable our systems to not be so much at risk. When you build billion dollar satellites and you launch them on one rocket, that's a high risk. And certainly given the folks in this room--a lot of Air Force folks--we all know that space is no longer--it's contested. It's not just up there peacefully operating. It is contested.

We need resiliency. We need to disaggregate our assets. Flosted payloads, I think, are a good way to go. And I know the Air Force Space Command has been leading this for a long time. We need to continue in that direction.

We need better situational awareness in space. And, of course, we're making those investments today. Certainly on the Armed Services Committee, that's an area I'd like to be helpful on.

And as we disaggregate, we need to turn to the commercial sector. We need to turn to the private sector. And we need to start buying data, whether we're buying imagery or we're buying weather data or we're buying communications capabilities, from the private sector.

Friends, that very quickly and rapidly disaggregates our systems. It makes it extremely difficult for the enemy to shoot down potentially a satellite that's got a billion dollars' worth of American investment in it and at the same time cripples our ability to do what we need to do as a nation. So I think that's another big piece.

I'm going to turn it back over to the general. I'm going to be here to answer questions until 9 o'clock. And, of course, it's an honor to be here. It's an honor to serve in Congress and I appreciate everybody here for taking the time to be here this morning. Thank you so much.

(Applause).

GEN. HYTEN: Congressman, that was really superb. In many cases, I was thinking I was listening to myself talk. That was really a very informed, structured approach to some of the things that we need to do.

If I could, though, I'd like to play off a couple of things you said, and I don't want to say correct, I'll just say modify and amplify. The first thing that I will correct, though, is you just have to get over this sir thing, sir.

(Laughter).

You are a congressman from the great state of Arizona REP. BRIDENSTINE: Oklahoma, although Arizona is great too.

(Laughter).

GEN. HYTEN: Oklahoma. And I will call you sir, and the chief will call you sir, and that's the way it should be. That's

the way it should be. That's the way our nation is structured and I like that about our system of government. That's the way things are supposed to run and we do that.

It is a little bit awkward. It's kind of awkward, though, for a four-star general to walk into meetings sometimes and you see an entire room stand up. It's awkward. But you know what? It's the right way to do things, and we have to do it.

Second, Steve Kitay, for you to listen to Steve Kitay on space is a very smart choice on your part. He is a very brilliant, bright thinker. He does a very good job as a staffer.

If you're thinking about what a staffer should do on the Hill, the staffer needs to be informed. The staffer needs to reach out to make sure they're informed with the most current information, and then provide that kind of advice to the members. And that's what Steve Kitay does and that's what a number of staffers on the Hill that work space do. So a very good choice in working with Steve.

And last is the whole discussion of SATCOM, of commercial SATCOM and MILSATCOM. And what you talked about in terms of commercial SATCOM is just right. And what you talked about in terms of military SATCOM was just right. But there's an extension to that that we all have to think about.

And the extension is really just calling it SATCOM, because when you think about it as SATCOM, then you have an integrated approach to what you need and how you can move back and forth between military and commercial. It really is satellite communications. And every satellite, whether it's an allied satellite like SKYNET, whether it's a commercial satellite, a LEO satellite like Iridium or a GEO satellite like Eutelsat or Intelsat or Inmarsat or any of those satellites, they all have strengths and weaknesses.

Our wide-band satellites have strengths and weaknesses. Our narrow-band satellites in the Navy have strengths and weaknesses. Our protected SATCOM has mostly strength, but the weaknesses there are the terminals are so difficult to build and deploy.

But if you think about it as SATCOM in general, and figure out how to look at it as an enterprise, two things happen. If you're looking at an enterprise, then you can have somebody in charge of an enterprise that reaches out and figures out what is the right mix of commercial, the right mix of military, the right mix of protected versus wide-band versus narrow-band. How do I do that? And that's extremely important because in today's budget environment the stresses that we're going to be under are extremely difficult.

But the second piece, and from my perspective this is where I really have to focus right now, is that it allows you to fight SATCOM as an enterprise. And for ever since satellite communications came into being, we've not thought about fighting satellite communications. We think about satellite communications just like we do the rest of space. We think about it in terms of a sanctuary.

We think about it and we always have time. We don't really manage real time the users that are on various payloads. We distribute who operates the payloads.

DISA operates the payloads. The Army operates the payloads. The Air Force and the Navy, we all operate payloads and we don't do that in unison with one another.

Someday we have to figure out how to fight SATCOM as an issue because, to use a Navy analogy, if you're a carrier strike group and you're transiting across the Pacific and you come into a threatened SATCOM environment, you don't want to call four people to try and figure out how to fix it. That is going to be a challenge. Ideally, you'd want to call somebody in the Navy and say, fix it. But really, it's a joint problem.

It doesn't matter who you call, as long as you can call one person and they can fix it. But in order to fix it they have to have insight into the entire enterprise, where all the users are. Because if they're going to move that carrier strike group from one to another, they have to understand who's on the other and who they're going to kick off and where they're going to move those people and how they're going to fight those things.

And we're walking down that path now, but it's an operational challenge as well as an acquisition challenge. If we can get the acquisition challenge right, that will be a huge step forward and we'll save the country enormous amounts of money, and that's great. But if we can't operate it effectively, we haven't taken advantage of what we've done down on the acquisition side.

So it's essential that we integrate the acquisition and the operations piece of that, but I'm very appreciative of you walking down that path. That was a very good discussion. Thank you, sir.

And then I want to just briefly describe some of the changes that have taken place in space really over the last number of decades. Really I'm going to focus on 2006 here in a second, but when I come back in December I'm going to talk about the future and the challenges we have in the future, and we have some enormous challenges. But today, I just want to talk briefly about where we've been.

As I was introduced, I was the director of space forces in theater in 2006. That was actually a privilege and an honor, one of the great jobs I've had in my career. I know it was difficult on the family, but nonetheless that's what I trained my entire life to do, to figure out how to provide space so it makes a real time effect on the battlefield.

And I trained up for that position four different times. The first three times I didn't go. For whatever reason, somebody else was chosen to go into that position. But I trained up four times.

And every time I trained up, the amazing thing that happened was that I felt like I spent my entire time in that training effort, whether it was an exercise in the Pacific or an exercise in SOUTHCOM or an exercise in STRATCOM, I spent my entire time educating the war fighting leadership about space. So what I did, I would show up and nobody understood what space was doing and why it was so important. They didn't understand the fundamentals of GPS and how it worked, and that is about the most basic space system that we have.

They didn't understand SATCOM at all. In many ways, it was like you described. You had a cockpit, you had a system, everything worked, and that's what you wanted.

And in reality, that's really what you want our war fighters to do. Everything is going to work and I know it's going to work. And that's great, as long as you're not threatened. But if you get threatened, that becomes a significant problem.

But the most amazing thing to me when I walked into the CAOC on May the 5th 2006--I guess it was--when I walked into it I expected I was going to be in a training mode again for the leadership that was there. And the leadership was Major General Holland, Lieutenant General North and General John Abizaid. That was the leadership.

And I walked in and one of the best feelings of my entire career was the fact that the entire time I was there I never had to explain space, never once. What scared me a little bit was that many times General North was explaining it to me, and General North was a fighter pilot. General North is a fighter pilot's fighter pilot. He's one of the greatest fighter pilots that the nation has ever produced.

And I'll just tell you a quick vignette, and it's somewhat technical but General North was involved. So every day we'd go through the combat plans session where we looked at the entire air plan for the day: airplanes that are assigned to troops in contact: airplanes that are assigned to personnel rescue; the CAPS (ph) that we're flying; the RPA missions that we're flying. We'd go through all that and we'd make sure we have a good plan in the morning and then we'd go execute that plan. That's kind of every day. It starts at 7 o'clock. I mean, there's a lot of work getting up to 7 o'clock, but that's kind of the key combat timing. So 7' o'clock, we're in there.

And so in that briefing you get the intel briefing and then the weather guy stands up and the weather guy is usually this really bright lieutenant, sometimes a captain, but almost always a lieutenant. And that lieutenant stands up and he's got to brief the three-star, the two-star, I mean the entire senior staff is there. And it's always an intimidating thing, but he's the weather guy. He's got to brief the weather, right?

And so he briefs the weather and he gets to the end of the weather briefing and the last chart is space weather. Now some people in here are familiar with space weather. Space weather is really the solar environment and how it impacts satellites and those kinds of things.

And I fully understand what it means, but that lieutenant who's briefing the weather, he's a weather guy. He doesn't know what that means. So I'm sitting down with a lieutenant and trying to explain to him every day why he's got to brief this chart. And then every day I look around the room and when the space weather slide comes up everybody just--you know--just out.

(Laughter).

And so finally I tell the lieutenant, lieutenant nobody pays attention to that chart, just take it out. And so, he takes it out. And the next day, General North has been gone up-range in Iraq for a couple weeks and he comes back the next day and he goes to the briefing.

And he gets to the weather guy and the lieutenant stands up and he briefs that and he's done with the weather briefing and he doesn't brief the space weather chart and we go right into the ops plan. And General North goes and says, where the heck is my space weather chart?

(Laughter).

And the lieutenant now is in a panic because--it was a little bit stronger language than that--and the lieutenant goes, uh,uh,uh,uh. And so I jump in and say sir, I told him to take it out.

Why did you tell him to take it out? I said well sir, nobody was--I'm now like the lieutenant.

(Laughter).

And he says, let me tell you why I need that chart in here. I need that chart in here because I need to know whether my radios are going to work. I need to know if I'm going to have problems with drop out of the satellite systems. I need to know that stuff and the only way I know it is if I see the space weather chart. So I need to see that every day. I can't believe you're so stupid.

(Laughter).

And that was one of my learning experiences with General North. The amazing part and the great thing about that was the three-star aviator, the combined force air component commander, the leader of the air battle that was supporting every soldier, got it every which way. And all I was was a colonel in the CAOC that was doing the job that I was supposed to do, just like every other colonel in the CAOC. And ultimately, that's what you want.

Space is fundamental to everything we do in warfare. And the things I saw--you can't believe some of the things that people delivered into theater and expected them to work. And in many cases, they delivered GPS-enabled capabilities that were powered by a Garmin. GPS, ladies and gentlemen, I hope you realize, is a war fighting system. Garmin is for fast boats and golf carts. Garmin is for hikers and folks that want to find their way around Washington, D.C.

Garmins are not really warfighting systems, but we would bring those in. And the interesting thing about any commercial receiver is that they are very vulnerable to jamming. It's the same description the congressman was just using about SATCOM. Commercial systems are very vulnerable to jamming, and they would be jammed.

And we had to figure out ingenious and unique ways to try to figure out how to make those system work, because they come in and war fighters need them. There were artillery systems, airborne systems, interesting strategic systems that came into theater and they didn't work in certain environments. And we had to figure out how to make them work.

I deployed as the 50th Wing commander, which owns GPS, and my guys knew I was deployed and there was never going to be a problem with GPS. I guarantee that, and there wasn't in space. But I bet I spent a third of my time trying to figure out how to get GPS-enabled capabilities to work.

Because you know what happens when a GPS-enabled capability doesn't work and you're sitting there in the morning at 7 o'clock? General North looks at you and goes, space guy, go fix that dad gum GPS problem. It's not a GPS problem, but the interesting thing about a space person is because I understand how GPS works I can go out and work with the Army, work with the air mobility division, work with the Marine Corps in Fallujah, work with whoever, and get those things to work. Because ultimately, that's our job, to get it to work.

Space is fundamental to everything that we do. Space is now not just a contested domain, congressman, it's a threatened domain. And when you're threatened, you have to figure out how to fight through that threat.

That's what resilience is, the ability to fight through a threat. It's not survivability. Survivability is part of resilience, but it's the ability to fight through a threat.

And when you're flying an F-18 and your flying in a four-ship or you're flying whatever you are, you are a resilient war fighting system because you have the ability to fight through threats. It's not just because there's four of you, it's because you have a whole lot of capabilities on. We need those kinds of things in space.

And so when I come back in December, I will talk to you in detail about the future. But I just wanted to make sure I kind of ended the day talking about where we are today, because space is now looked at as a war fighting domain. And I love our Air Force mission statement, because at my core I'm an airman. I fly, fight and win in three war fighting domains: air, space and cyberspace.

I am blessed to be able to command an organization that has two of those three domains. And we take that very seriously in Colorado Springs, and we take that very seriously in the United States Air Force. So I thank you for your time.

I know we have some time for questions. I know the congressman wanted to have time, so we have about 15 minutes for questions. So thank you very much, everybody. The congressman will actually come back up and we'll take questions.

(Applause).

MS. AMY BUTLER: I wanted to see if you could talk to us about your view--General Hyten mentioned not a congested but a threatened space environment. Specifically, China has increased their capability to threaten space assets kinetically and perhaps with directed energy and other things.

REP. BRIDENSTINE: No, and I agree with everything the general said. It is a threat. And as warfighters what we do is we make sure that we are purchasing, that we are acquiring, weapons systems capable of defeating the threat. And I can tell you that the United States takes very seriously the threats that are out there.

And there are different ways that we can deal with this threat. Of course, a lot of those are going to be required to be discussed in a different realm. But I can tell you that as a member of Congress--and your Congress, I can tell you, not just me but your Congress--understands that this is a threat that has to be dealt with.

There are different ways of dealing with it. Disaggregation, of course, is one of them. But also we need to look at -possibly looking at different orbits and different ways that we do all of the missions that we do in space, whether it's imagery or communications or even weather. So there's different ways that we can do it, but we've got to make sure that we're doing it.

I can tell you we're looking at those threats and your United States government is appropriately responding to those. It doesn't happen overnight, as you know.

Do you want to answer that, general?

GEN. HYTEN: You know, if you give me the opportunity for a microphone, I'll take it. That was a very good answer. One of the things that we talk about I think that gets lost in space is that space, because we've grown up kind of as a separate issue, a lot of folks in and outside the space business don't understand that we're just part of the military fabric of the nation now, a very important part, a critical part, a part that has fundamentally changed warfare, but nonetheless we're part of that.

And so, when and if we're ever threatened, it is not just the responsibility of Space Command or Strategic Command really to respond to that, it's the responsibility of the nation to respond. And the nation will use every means at our disposal to respond to any kind of issue that comes up. It doesn't matter what domain it happens in.

We'll use the economic, the military, the diplomatic, all those pieces will come into place and on the military side it won't just be space, it'll be everything that we can bring to bear on the problem. So you never have to just think about a space problem with a space solution. And many times, the solution is in other domains or even other instruments of our national power.

REP. BRIDENSTINE: And I'll just add, as I mentioned earlier, when you think about disaggregation, the purchasing of data from the private sector is, I think, important as well. And I say that because I do believe that's a very quick way we can disaggregate. And at the same time, if we can leverage those capabilities where they're appropriate, then I think that's a good thing.

Situational awareness is critical as well. We have to know what those threats are. And that requires a space element in itself, which our government is working on very strong right now.

MR. : General, when you came into the space program there was a very robust training program for Air Force officers in space. It appears that that training regime--I'll be kind and say is far less robust. Are you concerned about that and what are the plans to train future space officers?

GEN. HYTEN: I would disagree a little bit. I think we have a very robust training program for space officers and our space enlisted force right now. But I would say it has changed and is incomplete.

One of the things that we used to do is that we used to really focus on the technical training of a space officer. We used to really focus on the technical expertise in space and kind of build that person so you had a very knowledgeable person generally in space when you started out. Certainly that was, in my early youth in the Air Force, that was kind of the structure. So you became a very technically oriented, technically savvy person as you started out. And then you kind of walked into weapons systems and then you just kind of figured out the weapons systems.

So now what we have is a very robust training program for officers and enlisted for specific weapons systems. And so if you walk into TACOPS right now you'll find officers and enlisted crew, the force average age today is probably 23 years old. It's operating GPS for the entire world, and they will be fully expert on GPS. They will know how to operate GPS right and left because we can't have a mistake on GPS.

But what we've lacked is we don't have that full breadth of knowledge now in the space business. And as we walk into a contested and threatened environment, it's essential that our airmen have that full breadth of knowledge of space. And so we're changing our introductory space training now to put more of that technical piece back in, to put more of that technical understanding back in.

One of the things we've changed is now if you're going to be an officer in the space career field you have to have the technical background to come into the space career field. Because in that initial training we're not going to teach you that technical side. So math is very important. Science is very important. You'll have technical people that are coming in.

So we're kind of changing it back a little bit, the initial training, to the way it was a long time ago, but we're not going to lose the strength that we have in our mission qualification training too, because both of those pieces are critical. And we kind of swapped one for the other. They're both very robust, but we really need to have both. And that's the way we're coming from and why we're changing the training program right now.

MR. JEREMY LEITER (Ph): Jeremy Leiter, I'm a defense fellow in Congressman Jeff Miller's office. My question has to do with the current and previous administrations putting on a full court press to sell off spectrum. How do you perceive some of those (gaps ?) potentially impacting future military or commercial systems?

GEN. HYTEN: Was that for me or the congressman?

REP. BRIDENSTINE: You can start, general.

(Laughter).

REP. BRIDENSTINE: I'm smart enough not to lay into this one right away.

GEN. HYTEN: Yes, sir. So the spectrum is a huge challenge. It's a huge challenge for the country as a whole because spectrum has become one of the most valuable commodities in the world today. I think everybody in the country understands the importance of trying to make as much spectrum available for the commercial businesses as we can.

But when you think about the spectrum that we use in the military and what we use them for, it's essential that our national security is protected and we defend the spectrum that we have to have in order to operate those things. One of the organizations that works for Air Force Space Command is called the Air Force Spectrum Management Office. And they're working hard to figure out how to move certain capabilities from our military spectrum, where they are today, into other elements of the military spectrum so we can make those pieces of the spectrum available for auction and available for commercial use.

But what you can't do is you just can't walk into a future and say okay, we're just going to allow the military spectrum to be used for commercial without going through that analysis. Because when you do that, critical military capabilities are basically jammed. And if they're jammed, they don't work. It's really that simple.

So that's why we have a spectrum management office. That's why the Department of Defense has an overarching spectrum management office. We're working those things up. We're trying to figure out how to move spectrum and make it available. We're working hard to do that. We're actually having success with that, but you have to do it in a very deliberate, structured way.

REP. BRIDENSTINE: It's a great answer.

(Laughter).

Blame it on the office. There's a spectrum management office. No, I'm kidding. That was good. I think--you know, when you think about using commercial spectrum for military purposes, that's why we need a protected tactical waveform. There are ways we can use commercial spectrum for military purposes without giving up military spectrum. And I think that's an important distinction.

I was also thinking about the question about the contested space, ma'am, that you were asking, my last question. She's now in the computer, she's not listening to me at all.

GEN. HYTEN: Amy, wake up.

MS. BUTLER: (Off mic).

REP. BRIDENSTINE: You're probably writing your article. Is that what you were doing?

(Laughter).

REP. BRIDENSTINE: Before she forgets, she's going to write it while she's at the meeting. That's good. But I was going to say, I think if there's another area--look it's okay.

(Laughter).

If there's another area where if you think about resiliency and situational awareness, which is what I was going to get at, I just read in "Space News" this week--and you can correct me if I'm wrong--we're going to launch three low earth orbit satellites at the equator, which is not normal. Usually they're in geostationary orbits. And we're going to launch those for the purpose of situational awareness. I think that's one other element of how we need to start thinking about different orbits. And certainly if we can continue doing that, thinking differently than our enemy, in different directions than our enemy is going, then I think that's a good thing.

So I might have gotten that entirely wrong. This is your area.

GEN. HYTEN: That is correct. That's an Air Force Space Command concept right now that we put together for how we're going to do space-based surveillance. Right now we have a single satellite in low earth orbit that is a very agile satellite that looks out at GEO and is very effective. Ball Aerospace and Boeing built that satellite. It's a very good satellite, but it was also a very expensive satellite.

And so when we think about what we really need from low earth orbit, the analysis that we've done in Space Command right now says that we can get by with three small simple satellites if we put them around the equator in a low earth orbit. And the good part about around the equator at low earth orbit is you can look straight out at GEO and you don't have to maneuver. And you can basically use that as a vacuum cleaner to kind of catalogue all the objects that are at GEO.

That's kind of a fundamental piece of situational awareness that you have to have. And we believe that's going to be a more efficient way, but we have not shared those ideas through the Congress yet, or all the way through the Department of Defense. But I believe those kind of constructs are the kinds of constructs that we'll need to pursue, because it will be affordable and it will add resilience into the effort.

MR. HUESSY: A question over here from "Aviation Week and Space News."

MR. : A question for the congressman about comm reform and (budget chances for ?) some of these concepts that you're talking about?

REP. BRIDENSTINE: I think there's a broad agreement inside the Armed Services Committee that the OCO budget is going to continue to dwindle. Of course, given what's happening right now maybe that's not the case. But as it dwindles, the reality is everybody understands COMSATCOM is not going away. In fact, it's probably going to grow.

And OCO budgets are going down. Overseas Contingency Operations budgets are going down. And at the same time, COMSATCOM is only going to grow. And if that's the situation we're in, we've got to figure out how to purchase it in a more efficient way. Certainly we're using the capital working model right now to try to see if it can work. There are challenges with that.

But I think we need to start--we're probably not going to get it all done in one year. But we need to start incrementally figuring out ways where we can get where we need to go as a nation, because the longer we wait the

worse the crisis is going to be. And I think there's broad agreement on both sides of the aisle among everybody on the Armed Services Committee that that's a direction we need to go. So I think that's what's driving it, ultimately, the national security of our country.

MR. : Congressman, I really appreciate your being here as a guy who advocates for space programs on Capitol Hill. It's refreshing to have you here. It's not just the breakfast, you've been out to space facilities. I know you and I have met and talked about space programs. I've talked to your staff. You're kind of a rare breed. My question is, how do we get more members interested, get them more knowledgeable, get them to participate in the space discussion?

REP. BRIDENSTINE: That's a good question. And I can tell you, the reason I got so interested so quickly is because I ended up on the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, and I'm on the Science, Space and Technology Committee. And so it just seems--Armed Services Strategic Forces--it seems like I'm always dealing with space. And, of course,

I've dealt with gadgets that require space extensively as a military member.

I fully believe that our United States Congress needs more members that have served in the military and relied on these gadgets, people who have used terminals and maybe had challenges using those terminals because we don't have the right assets overhead or maybe we need to deploy something somewhere but we can't get it done. I did counter drug operations in Central and South America. Satellite capacity down there is horrible, and I'm not going to lie to you. We need capacity in areas that we haven't thought about before.

And so this is why generally Republican members of Congress don't go into primaries and support other people that are running for a Republican nomination. But if I see a military guy who understands these issues--or gal--I jump in and I will help them because I think it's important. I think we're down to 18 percent now of the United States Congress that has military service. And I think it's the lowest level since before World War II if not even before that.

I'm an advocate of having more military folks in Congress. My experiences in the military were one of the reasons I decided to run for Congress. And people that have that experience and knowledge, I think, would be willing to jump into these issues and participate in a robust way.

MR. HUESSY: Thank you.

(Applause)

I want to thank again Congressman Bridenstine and, of course, General Teague and General Hyten, and thank our members of the United States Air Force and military that are here today, and wish the United States Air Force a happy birthday, which was yesterday. And just a reminder, General Kowalski, who is the Vice Commander of the United States Strategic Command, is my speaker on September 25th, where he will be talking about the issues facing STRATCOM.

And on October 3rd is the next space event. And then we'll have Tom D'Agostino, the former administrator of NNSA over at the Department of Energy, will be talking to us in mid-October. And then in November we'll have a space series.

General Hyten, I want to thank you again on behalf of the Mitchell Institute and AFA and ROA and NDIA, which also are supporters of this event, for coming and talking to us not only today, but promising to come here and see us in December. Again, thank you, Congressman. Thank you, General Teague.

Thanks to all of our sponsors and friends and colleagues. I wish you all a good day. Thank you very much.

(Applause).

Commander, Air Force Space Command General John E. Hyten
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Author:Hyten, John E.
Publication:Air Force Speeches
Date:Sep 19, 2014
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