Getting it right in space.
Speech to the 19th National Space Symposium, Colorado Springs, Colo., April 9, 2003
Elliot (Pulham, president and chief executive officer of the Space Foundation), thank you for that gracious introduction. I'm honored to follow my good friend Jaime (Oaxaca, former chairman and director emeritus of the Space Foundation) and see him singled out for his service to the foundation. Congratulations for all you have done to earn this appropriate recognition.
Elliot, I'd like to extend my congratulations to you and the men and women of the Space Foundation for celebrating your 20th anniversary last month (on March 24, 2003). The Space Foundation wonderfully has served the space community--in uniform and in the aerospace industry--for two decades as champions of the high frontier. You've been a great promoter of the contributions space delivers to civil society and warfighting. More significant, you've been a vigorous advocate of the education and training young Americans need to continue our national progress in growing the next generation of space warriors. I salute you and your entire team, and wish you another 20 years of success in this important endeavor.
I understand there will be over 4,000 participants at this year's symposium. This is further testament to the outstanding work the Foundation has done over the past 20 years. The best part for the layman has got to be the opportunity to see the space industry up close and personal--including Jaime!
This symposium features a Who's Who of space leadership and the space industry. Anytime you can collect an impressive group such as this to discuss our past, present and, most important, our future in space, we have succeeded. While there are many great leaders here worthy of mention, today I want to mention two of them in particular, and single them out for their exemplary leadership and diligence in charting the course for our future in space.
One of the responsibilities we relish in the Air Force is our role as the Department of Defense's executive agent for space. I am proud of the work we have accomplished over the past two years since the secretary of defense charged us with this important role. There is a lot of work left to be done; for the notion of space continues to evolve. But I can assure you that, without Pete Teets, the Undersecretary of the Air Force and Director of the National Reconnaissance Office, we would be nowhere near as far down the path as we are today. He has diligently charted a course for the Air Force in space. With a pragmatic sense of executive leadership, most assuredly a product of his many years in the aerospace industry, he is building a strategy we can follow for decades to come. In the near term, he has articulated a set of priorities that will further guide us in our space endeavors. This is a man who spent an entire career as a manager, a decision maker and a leader. He understands the challenges many of you in this room experience on a daily basis. This has made him an even more valuable asset to the Department of Defense and the intelligence community. Pete, thanks for your great leadership of the National Security Space team.
Next week marks the one-year anniversary of General Lance Lord assuming command of Air Force Space Command, now the longest existing CONUS major command in the Air Force, which seems a bit anomalous. Lance has done a superb job of providing the vision and leadership for our space operations and acquisition community. Under his leadership, and in partnership with Pete Teets and our industry suppliers, he's gotten the EELV (evolved expendable launch vehicle) program off the ground--literally. He continued the professional operation of a variety of satellite constellations, delivering essential capability to warfighters and civil consumers. And he has made great progress in producing the Space Professional Development Strategy, a model for all the services to continue our growth of space professionals.
Congratulations Lance for a job well done. I've watched you and Pete work together over the past year; I couldn't be more proud of what you've done for the Air Force and our nation. At a time when Americans needed its armed forces most, you both were there, and you both delivered. Thank you. Please join me in saluting these two great Americans.
The work of these two leaders, together with all those charged with executing the National Security Space mission, is clear today, particularly in Operation Enduring Freedom and, most recently, in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I enjoy hearing my colleagues in the Army, Navy and Marine Corps talking about space. Today, they readily recognize that the contributions of air and space are absolutely vital to their success on the ground and at sea.
I'm also proud of how our team of air and space professionals has come together for this conflict. General (Michael T.) Buzz Moseley has fully integrated joint and coalition forces to form a flexible team, all commanded from single combined air operations center in southwest Asia. Daily, the air picture in the CAOC shows a dense presence of air and space power over the entire country of Iraq. Our diverse and parallel campaigns--strategic attack, interdiction, close air support, SEAD (suppression of enemy air defenses), scud hunting, and information operations--have and will continue to enable maneuver, maritime and Special Operations forces to operate under an umbrella of air dominance throughout the theater.
Our ground forces have moved more swiftly and further than virtually at any time in our history, and our air-ground coordination is similar to the historic cooperation demonstrated by Generals Arnold and Patton in their breakout of Normandy, and Patton's race across France in 1944--a goal of (Air Force Chief of Staff General) John Jumper and me for the last two years. And General Pete Quesada of the 9th Air Force in 1944 would be proud indeed of how Generals Moseley and McKiernan (Lieutenant General David D. McKiernan, Third U.S. Army/U.S. Army Forces Central Command and the Coalition Forces Land Component Commander) have worked together.
To date, the Iraqi Air Force has not flown a single sortie against coalition forces or the Iraqi people. This is air and space dominance at the max! It is what we pledged to deliver to our combatant commanders and to our nation, and, our airmen have performed magnificently--not just the Air Force, but the entire Coalition Air Forces.
Success in our campaign can be communicated both by what has and has not happened:
* The Iraqi oil fields have not been destroyed;
* There has not been a humanitarian crisis nor a mass exodus of refugees;
* Iraq has not fired missiles at Israel or Jordan, and
* Chemical weapons have not been used thus far.
At the same time,
* Coalition forces have basically destroyed the divisions of Saddam Hussein and have secured the Baghdad airport.
* Increasing numbers of Iraqi troops are abandoning their posts, either surrendering en masse or simply going home.
* A tremendous amount of food is being delivered to the Iraqi people, including thousands of tons of wheat from the United States.
* And, four space-guided bombs just may have clone-in Saddam and his sons.
U.S. and Coalition forces are performing superbly, and we are proud and grateful for their service. Much of this superb performance is a result of the many space professionals representing all four services serving throughout the region.
For example, Army space support team members are embedded with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force and are providing expertise in Global Positioning System operations, counter GPS-jamming techniques, and digital terrain data exploitation.
The in-theater Joint Tactical Ground Station, manned by both Army and Navy personnel, is providing continuous 24/7 tactical ballistic missile early warning to our forces. This system, linked directly into the theater missile defense architecture by DSCS III wideband satellite communication links, is vital in providing our forces protection from enemy theater ballistic missiles.
Space is also an integral part of the Navy-Marine combat system, providing navigation, battlespace characterization, and surveillance for early warning, targeting and battle damage assessment. Through embedded receivers and automated tracking and display units, command ships and shooters, aircraft and special forces, as well as conventional ground units use space products--and use them transparently.
The Navy has launched hundreds of Tomahawks (land attack missile), all of which are extraordinarily dependent on space to accomplish their mission. Of the seven "moving parts" of the operation--intelligence preparation of the battle area, target location and identification, strike command and control, weather, TLAM launch, navigation and battle damage assessment--only one, the actual launching of the TLAM itself, is conventional. The rest depend directly on space.
Warfare is evolving and space is transforming the way we fight. The Army and Marine ground troops out there will tell you, "If the enemy is in range, so are you." But, because of the capabilities we have as a result of space, the enemy is always in range!
Yet, despite this dominance, the demands of our current national security environment have forced us to ask first-principle questions about the direction we are taking, and how we will organize, train and equip our joint forces for the future. This discussion is just as relevant to those who operate in space, as it is to those who operate in the air and on the land and sea.
With respect to our space modernization programs, this has led us to ask:
* Which programs currently under development are most appropriate or capable to help us respond to and defeat the variety of threats we face today, and will face in the years to come?
* Is space the most appropriate medium to field these new capabilities, or can we achieve the same effect from airbreathing systems? Which makes more sense?
* How do we modernize our legacy space systems and launch infrastructure when some technologies desired have yet to be proven?
Just as our airplanes are aging, so too are our space platforms:
* The launch and support infrastructure from our space-lift ranges were designed and built in the 1950s.
* The Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, the Air Force Satellite Control Network, the Spacetrack Radar System used to track space objects, and the Defense Satellite Communication System--all used today to support critical warfighting functions--began in the 1960s.
* Our primary system used for tactical and strategic launch warning and attack assessment--the Defense Support Program--is also 1960s technology.
* The venerable Minuteman III ICBM system, the cornerstone of our present and future strategic deterrent capability, recently turned 30 years old as well.
* And some of our GPS system that we are so dependent upon is approaching 14 years old, twice the design life for these satellites.
There isn't enough money in the budget to replace everything we want nor, in some respects, to replace everything we need. One of the challenges of the way we do business in the department is we do not have a capital budget process. We don't reinvest our depreciation rates. We currently have an increasingly aging space infrastructure, and if we intend to keep these capabilities, we need to remain committed to investing wisely in our future.
We are now facing the prospect of replacing the Defense Support Program, modernizing our intercontinental ballistic missile program, fielding two new launch systems, modernizing the GPS constellation, while we are simultaneously developing a Transformational Communications Architecture, and a capability to perform ground tracking and cueing in space. These are worthy and necessary endeavors. Yet, we must continue to strike a balance between what is desired, what is doable, and what is operationally the best way to deliver a capability.
What we desire is a portfolio of capabilities that captures the strengths of the variety of systems our force brings to the fight, whether that capability is delivered from air-breathing systems or from space. We must avoid the all-too-common tendency to promote a platform or a medium versus what General Jumper and I consider the principal focus of our modernization efforts--capabilities.
In the future, our acquisition decisions must be supported by a predefined capability, and must fit in an operational concept. By doing so, we will remain in a position to use our investment dollars to the best benefit of our combatant commanders.
The advantages that space systems deliver to warfighters now are unquestioned. Yet, the questions of program priorities occupy the time of many of those involved in operating and modernizing our space infrastructure. And while it may not be apparent to some how we should proceed in making these decisions--in rationing scarce dollars, in deciding which technologies to pursue and which to shelve or delay--we believe we have a set of core competencies that not only will guide our decision-making in Air Force space activities, but will guarantee future success across the entire Air Force.
We are the best air and space force in the world because of our focus on developing professional airmen, bringing technology to bear in combat, and integrating our people and our systems together in new and innovative ways. These core competencies have enabled the Air Force to consistently deliver excellence throughout its history. They form the foundation upon which we organize, train and equip, and are the cornerstones of our strength as a military service.
Pete Teets understands this, and has built a set of National Security Space Priorities for 2003 that reflects his deep appreciation of the value our core competencies have on mission success. He's shared these priorities during his travels around the Air Force, and shared them with the Congress during his recent testimony. These priorities not only serve to shape our space budget, they fit perfectly in the broader framework of using core competencies to guide our force development.
Developing Professional Airmen
Our combat capability resides in our people. While technology, organization and strategy contribute to combat effectiveness, our most essential ingredient of success remains the professionally trained airman. This is why we choose to invest so much in training and development, and that is why General Lord is charged with developing a team of space professionals.
Develop a Team of Space Professionals
As I mentioned, I know that Pete Teets and General Lord consider developing the space workforce a high priority item at Air Force Space Command. General Lord is putting the finishing touches right now on his space professional strategy, and I'm confident we will see some excellent ideas, plans and resources brought to bear on this issue.
In addition to defining a space career path and strengthening professional development, we are taking a number of steps within the Air Force to attract and retain top talent. We introduced a critical skills retention bonus for scientists and engineers. We are establishing new opportunities for advanced education, including courses for space professionals and advanced space education at the Naval Postgraduate School and the Air Force Institute of Technology. And, we are establishing a System Engineering Institute at AFIT.
We recognize these efforts are not and must not be limited to just Air Force personnel. We will need space professionals in all services and agencies--and in our civilian and industry workforce. The Army is growing a cadre of space officers, and they make it a point to remind people how dreadful it would be to have "a day without space." The Navy is taking a similar approach to growing space professionals, both on active duty, in the reserve and in their civilian force. These are great efforts, and clearly support our most fundamental competency of developing airman.
Transition Technology to Warfighting
Another fundamental trait of our continued success is our unique ability to transform technology into the most superior information and weapon systems in the world. Advances in GPS-guided munitions, low observable technologies, space-based systems, manipulation of information and small, smart weapons have revolutionized the way in which we conduct war. Our priorities support this competency perfectly.
Get Space Acquisition Programs Back on Track
Of our eight priorities, one of the most critical ones is getting space acquisition programs back on track. Frankly, several of our space acquisition programs are broken. For example, we are trying to come out from under the SBIRS High mess, and we are committed to preventing that from happening again. Pete is leading the charge to produce an independent Space Cost Assessment Team; he's meeting quarterly with industry presidents and CEOs to discuss program status; and he's bringing the intelligence, interagency and defense communities together to pursue innovative capabilities.
In the broader sense, our goal is to create an acquisition process that is both credible and agile. We have made progress in this direction with our new space acquisition policy. This new process recognizes the inherent differences of space systems from other acquisition programs, and focuses us on managing risk early on. It places great importance on system engineering at the outset. We expect there will be some continuing risk in our programs, but we now give our managers the responsibility and resources to better manage their programs.
Pursue Operationally Responsive Assured Access to Space
Last year was a pivotal year for space launch--both of our Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles (EELV), the Atlas and Delta families, had their first successful launches. While I am encouraged by their success, each of our launch providers is suffering due to the current weakness in the commercial launch marketplace. Since maintaining two launch systems is critical to assuring access to space for our national security programs, we will continue to support our EELV strategy for operationally-responsive assured access.
I'm proud of our launch successes to date. Last year, we launched 18 missions with a 100 percent success rate, and as of yesterday with the Titan IV launch with the last MILSTAR on board we are five for five in our 12 National Security Space launches scheduled for this year.
Pursue Innovative Capabilities for National Intelligence and Defense Priorities
We must, as Pete Teets often notes, continue to focus on developing breakthrough technologies that produce new sources and methods for collecting intelligence. Our goal is total, one-way awareness--the ability to see and know everything we can about our enemies while simultaneously denying them both the ability to do the same, and the knowledge that such capabilities are being used against them.
To achieve this goal, we look to strengthening our ties between our space operators and a variety of research labs--the Air Force and Navy Research Labs, NASA, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the NRO lab and others--with the goal of achieving technology advances that will preserve our asymmetric advantage in information superiority.
In addition to the push for new sources and methods, our Transformational Communications Architecture and Space Based Radar program are two creative, technology-pushing initiatives we have underway. Both offer great promise to leverage new technologies that remove SATCOM bandwidth and access as constraints on the warfighter, as well as improving the portfolio of manned, unmanned and space capabilities we will employ in the future.
Focus Space Science and Technology Resources and Programs
If we are to truly transform our warfighting and intelligence operations, we must continue to invest in science and technology. But sometimes apportioning scarce resources to S&T development can be difficult. We know that effective development requires stable, long-term investment to produce incentives to suppliers and efficiencies in production. And we recognize that much of what we have accomplished in National Security Space to date stems from past S&T investment. Thus, we will continue to make this a priority in the future.
A third fundamental trait of our continued success as a service is our ability to integrate a variety of systems and people in combat. Nowhere is that requirement more visible or more necessary than in the space community.
Ensure Mission Success, Enhance Space Control, Fully Integrate Space
Our focus on this core competency supports our remaining three National Security Space priorities--ensuring mission success in space operations, enhancing our space control capabilities, and fully integrating warfighting and national intelligence space capabilities.
Our space assets now are more important to warfighters, more important to the intelligence community, and more important to our ability to win in conflict than they ever have been before. They provide critical surveillance and reconnaissance information, especially over areas of high risk for airborne platforms. They provide weather and earth-observation data, global communications, missile warning, and precision navigation to troops on the ground, ships at sea, aircraft in flight, and weapons en route to their targets. We have made great progress over the decades in expanding the range of those exploiting these space capabilities from a small set of strategic users to multiple government agencies and virtually the entire warfighting force.
We need to keep these capabilities on-line and operating at peak performance because of their great value to our joint operations. But we also need to do more. We need to increase our worldwide situational awareness, improve machine-to-machine data transfer, and integrate our ground, space, and intelligence assets to create information that is instructive and predictive to the warfighters.
Finally, there is little doubt that our potential adversaries have taken note of the significant advantages we gain from space, and will in the future threaten our space supremacy by developing systems to defeat them. The "proverbial" first shot of space warfare has already been fired with the advent of jammers designed to defeat the capabilities our airmen derive from space. I'm sure you enjoyed it as much as I did when we learned that our airmen took out the Iraqi GPS jammers--with GPS-guided weapons.
War in space has begun, and just as the 20th century warfighter learned to adapt to the three dimensional battlefield, so must the space warfighter. The problem sets are becoming much more complex than defeating radar with stealth or electronic jamming. The space warrior must understand the complexities of conflict in this new medium as if he or she were playing three-dimensional chess. To do so, we must continue to improve our space situational awareness, develop attack warning, as well as appropriate self-defense capabilities, and the doctrine, strategies and capabilities needed to conduct offensive counterspace operations.
These National Security Space priorities and their linkage to our Air Force competencies are part of the reason we are so successful in joint combat operations. Warfare is evolving and space is transforming the way we fight.
This year we celebrate the Centennial of Powered Flight. In the first 100 years of powered flight, airmen have redefined the way we fight our wars; revolutionized travel and commerce; pioneered the development of ground-breaking technologies; and helped shape a world in which our nation's safety and prosperity would be accompanied by breathtaking scientific and technical prowess. Powered flight is, and will continue to be, one of humankind's most significant accomplishments. We owe these achievements to people like the Wright Brothers, Jack Northrop, the Lockheed brothers, Donald Douglas, Hap Arnold, the brave heroes of Challenger and Columbia, and the thousands of airmen of this first century of flight who dreamt of what air and space could contribute to mankind.
For their sake and for the generations who will follow, we will continue our incredible journey in air and space, and we will continue to explore the heavens.
Winston Churchill once noted, "The great thing is to get the true picture, whatever it is."
I'm proud to say, the contributions of the National Security Space and intelligence communities give the warfighter, our national decision-makers, and all Americans a clearer picture of the world today than they've ever had in the history of mankind. With this knowledge, our space community enables us to defend our interests and preserve our time-honored values of freedom and equality, wherever and whenever they are challenged around the globe.
Elliot, thanks again for inviting me to speak today. I am proud to be a part of our National Security Space team. Thank you.
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|Title Annotation:||Air Force secretary James G. Roche|
|Publication:||Air Force Speeches|
|Date:||Apr 9, 2003|
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