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National space symposium 2016 keynote address.

MODERATOR: Well, thank you all. Once again, I have the great pleasure of introducing General John Hyten, Commander of Air Force Space Command here at Peterson Air Force Base. He's responsible, as most of you know, for organizing, equipping, training, and maintaining mission-ready space and cyberspace forces and capabilities for North American Air Space Command, U.S. Strategic Command, and other combatant commands around the world. As many of you also know, General Hyten attended Harvard University on an Air Force ROTC scholarship, graduating in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in engineering and applied sciences and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. Since obviously General Hyten is no longer a second lieutenant, his career obviously includes a number of highly successful assignments and a variety of space acquisition and operations positions. As General Hyten also knows, today with the internet there are no secrets and nothing ever disappears--and if you do some research, you'll find that then Lieutenant Colonel John Hyten was a U.S. Air Force National Defense Fellow in the program of arms control and disarmament and international security at the University of Illinois in the 1998-1999 timeframe. His prescient paper for that year was titled "A Sea of Peace or a Theater of War", dealing with the inevitable conflict in space, and in it he quotes President John F. Kennedy: "Space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or evil depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a positon of preeminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a terrifying theater of war." It is a bit ironic, but not surprising, given his talents, that General Hyten today finds himself at the center of that still ongoing debate.

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming a man who has become the face of national security space, General John Hyten.

GENERAL HYTEN: Good afternoon, everybody. It's always wonderful to be at the Broadmoor. Number one, it's close to home so we don't have to travel very far to get here, but number two, it's just a special place and the Space Symposium is a special time because we get to see friends and mentors and people that we've worked with all our lives and we get to get together and talk and try to figure out how to deal with the problems of the world. It is a little bit exhausting; it used to be a whole lot more fun when I was a lieutenant colonel or colonel to roam these halls; now it seems like I'm a dog on a leash wherever I go--pull him here, pull him there, talk to this person, talk to that person. But it really is a productive week.

We're gonna talk about a few things today. First of all, I want to thank the Space Foundation--thanks for giving me the opportunity. Thanks for giving me the coveted right-after-lunch speaking slot where I also get to be the opening act for Jeff Bezos and Deputy Secretary Bob Work. So I'll paraphrase Yogi Berra--so there's a group of people in this hall; half of you are sleeping after lunch, half of you want me to get off stage so you can hear Jeff Bezos, and the other half of you can't wait to hear what I say.

So to that third half, I've got some interesting things I want to tell you, but we just came from the Space Warfighter Luncheon and General Buck was the speaker and he talked about a number of very interesting things, but I wanted to start today with a film because it's a film of us doing what we do--and a lot of people don't realize really what we do at Air Force Space Command and what General Buck does as the Commander of the Joint Functional Component Commander for Space. So if you would, pay attention to the screen and we'll run a fairly quick film.

GENERAL HYTEN: So that can never happen--it just flat out can't ever happen because those soldiers that are on top of that hill in the middle of the Middle East can never be left alone; that means we have to do what we have to do. So if you think about the first part of the video, I'll make a couple of points. Point number one, if you choose to go to war with the United States of America or our allies, it's probably not going to turn out very well for you. Point number two is war is a horrible thing. It really is--it involves violence and death. But if you're going to go to war, you'd better be really good at it...and we are. Point number three is when you look at the first part of that video, all in total, it's just amazing the things that we can do; just amazing how all of those pieces come together--all those pieces all seamlessly happening one after the other. The integration of all domains--land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace-working together to deliver effect on the battlefield. And if any one of those things goes away, we drop back. In that video, you saw the 2nd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever. Three or four times a week, as often as once a day they'll be called by the Combined Air Operations Center in the Middle East and asked to do a mission called 'tactical operations'. Now everybody in here that has a bass boat, a golf cart, a car with GPS in it knows that GPS gives you really good accuracy, but three or four times a week that accuracy will not be deemed good enough by the folks in the theater and they will ask for special operations, so we will actually go and tweak the constellation right before it comes across the target area to give very specific accuracy to whatever weapon it is we are having to drop on them, and over 90% of the weapons we drop right now are GPS-guided--actually, almost all of the weapons the United States drops are GPS-guided; some of our allies drop other weapons. But it's just amazing when you think about it. The 16th Space Operations Squadron is there to monitor the communication links all the time. You saw commercial satellite communications, military satellite communications all interweaved. You saw communications connecting the RPA--the remotely piloted aircraft--all the way back to the United States and into the theater; all that happened seamlessly. Those soldiers that are on top of that hill looking down at that high value target just asked for the information to be there and they expect it to be there all the time--and it's like the lights in this room that went down and then up; the switch is always on--and the switch is on and the right things happen. We can never allow that to change.

Now believe it or not, what you saw in the video was not good enough. It's not. I'll talk about some of those issues as we get further into the presentation, but if you can pull up the first slide. The first slide is to focus our discussion today, and our discussion today will focus first on Airmen. In this case, these are some of the finest warriors we have in the Air Force; they're called 'pararescue jumpers'--PJs. They're the ones that if an Airman goes down, if there's some service man or woman, U.S. or ally, that's in harm's way, that is caught away from their vehicle, whatever it is, PJs will drop in out of the helicopter and pull them out and get them out, and their motto is 'That others may live'. They're some of the bravest people that you'll ever meet in your entire life. But we have done some amazing things in our community to make sure that they're never alone either, and what we've basically done is that we have a mission in the Air Force called 'Search and Rescue' and our job is to take the search out of Search and Rescue and just allow them to focus on the rescue part. And the way we do that is by the various systems that a pilot carries with him, the various communication connectivity, and a number of overhead capabilities. I can tell you I've been in the CAOC in the Middle East when an event happens and I can tell you without any doubt that we knew exactly where the Airman was on the ground before the enemy does--and it's the enemy's territory. So we take the search out of Search and Rescue and allow them to do their job, but when they hit the ground, they're focused on defeating whatever that threat is and getting the Airmen out safe. They have to defend themselves, they have to defend the Airmen on the ground--they have to do whatever it takes to get folks out. So they have a threat focus to everything they do and they prepare for it every day. In space, we have to start preparing for the same kind of threat; not the same physical threat that they fear in their lives, but the same kind of attitude that they bring to their challenges every day, we have to bring the same challenges together when we come to work. Next chart.

So this chart, entitled 'Multi-domain Operations', has become a very important discussion topic in our Air Force over the last year. A year ago, we didn't have the term 'multi-domain operations'. A year ago in January, we had the first Command and Control Summit at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada and we got together as all of the four stars in the Air Force as well as the NAF commanders and we started having a discussion about how we do operations in the future, how we do command and control, how we do the various kinds of things that we need to do in the future--and the term of the day, if you remember--it's not that long ago--was 'cross-domain operations'. And I reached the point of unbelievable frustration because I said, "I'm so tired of cross-domain operations" because what cross-domain operations mean to me as a space guy that goes into theater is "Hey, go ask the space guy if he can do something" or "Go ask the cyber guy if he can do something." That's not what we're talking about. Multi-domain operations is, simply put, I don't care where the effect comes from; I don't care what domain we use; I don't care where it is; I don't care what platform--I'm going to go use that and create the effect I need on the battlefield and create it right now; I don't care where the effect comes from. That's multidomain operations and that's fundamentally different than what we do today.

So a year ago if I was drawing this chart, I'd probably put Captain Kristen Wolf, the F-22 pilot and her F-22--I would put that in the middle of the chart, then I would have drawn all the lines to all the space capabilities that support her and I would have drawn all of the lines to all the cyber capabilities that support her and she would have been the center of the chart, or the center of the universe, when it comes to the Air Force. But we've actually done a study over the last year called 'Air Superiority 2030' looking at how we do air superiority because that was the first mission of the United States Air Force. How do we do air superiority in 2030? And the interesting thing that we learned is that it's not all about the Airmen because the first thing we have to do to gain air superiority is make sure that we can fly where we need to fly. That means if you have to take down an enemy integrated air defense system and in order to take down an enemy integrated air defense system, you actually have to do a lot more than send an F-22 in. There's all the domains that have to play at the same time. Things have to happen simultaneously--they have to work. That's multi-domain operations. So we're starting to try to figure out in the Air Force now 'How do we do multi- idomain operation experience?' So if you think back to the first part of the video, really it's amazing and impressive that we have that capability today. What is wrong in that video? Everything works, right? The communications are seamless; everything's up; the effect is created at the end. What is wrong with the picture? What's wrong is almost every order in that video is by voice. The request for support from the CAOC is by voice; the request for support from 2 SOPS is by voice. The target is passed via voice; the coordinates are passed via voice. All the orders that go back to the Army are passed via voice. Where's the data coming through? So when you think about multi-domain operations--and Deputy Secretary Work will be here shortly; I'm sure somewhere he'll talk about the third offset; part of the third offset is how you integrate the human machine in a better way. How do you pass information machine-to-machine and have the human in the right place at the right time to make the right decision that the human has to make in that whole kill chain of find, fix, track, target, engage, assess. And so as we sit here right now, all of our operational command and control centers basically do the one thing they do really well. The Air Operations Center does air really well; the Space Operations Center does space very well; the Cyber Operations Center still neophyte, but it does cyber very well--but they actually share voice communications, but they don't share data. And in the not- too-distant future, when we can share data back and forth between those ops centers, that's when we'll achieve multi- domain operations because then we'll have the human machine and all its pieces coming together and that's when we'll achieve the vision of multi-domain operations.

So we talked a lot about multi-domain operations. What you saw on the screen is really basically the final stage of the second offset where we figured out how to integrate all those pieces, but they're still operating in stovepipes. Now we have to tear down the stovepipes and figure out to do business differently. So next chart.

So a lot of people think that I'm a warfighter--I'm not; I'm with the organize, train, and equip command. The warfighter is Lieutenant General David Buck down here in the front row. He works for the Commander of Strategic Command. That's the operational chain; that's where we do operations. My job in Air Force Space Command is to lead the 36,000 men and women--organize, train, and equip forces so I can present forces to General Buck and I can present forces to Admiral Haney so he can actually do the missions he needs to do. That's the way it works. So when we look at organize, train, and equip a resilient enterprise--because right now we don't have a resilient enterprise, so that's a fundamental precept on this chart; we have to move to that resilient enterprise--we have to first organize. And so as we look at how we're organized, we saw a fundamental hole. Next chart.

The JICSpOC--the Joint Interagency Combined Space Operations Center. It's hard to believe that it's been actually a year ago this week, at the Space Symposium last year, that Deputy Secretary Bob Work came here, he met with a few of us and said "I really like what you're doing in space, but you're not ready to operate in an environment where a conflict extends into space and I want you to figure out how to do that." Well, fortunately we've actually been thinking about that problem for a long time; we just needed a little impetus to make things happen, and so we put together a JICSpOC separate from the JSpOC. Why did we put it separate from the JSpOC? It's really quite simple: The JSpOC, if you noticed on the video--because the JSpOC actually is the command and control function for everything in space that you saw in the video plus, as Congressman Bridenstine talked about earlier, they're involved in everything that we do in space traffic management. The JSpOC is busy every minute, every day, 24x7, and they don't have time to sit back and experiment, so we needed a separate place. Schriever Air Force Base here in Colorado is the perfect place because it actually has connectivity to everywhere it needs connectivity on the national security space side-connectivity to the National Reconnaissance Office, connectivity to all the defense space assets that we have, connectivity to Vandenberg--all the connectivity is there.

So then we went and we got the Intelligence Community involved and we've done three experiments so far--three experiments, about three weeks apiece, and in that experiment we've learned a lot of things, but two things that we've learned that are kind of related are, number one, the Intelligence Community is the key to everything because if we don't have indications of warning--and General Buck talked about it at lunch--if we don't have indications of warning, you can't react to the threat. If you don't know where the threat is and where it's coming from, or if the threat even exists or you don't understand the environment, you can't do anything. And we have lost the ability in the United States to build that picture. It's not that we don't have it; it's not that we don't have the talent--but it was never in the right place. So if you look at the patches on the right side of that chart, the Director of National Intelligence, the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency--they all sent their best and brightest and we put them together with the joint folks with Strategic Command, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force--we put everybody in a room and we gave them scenarios and said "How would you operate?" "How would you do it?" And we're learning unbelievably fast. So the most important thing about the JICSpOC right now is not actually what we're learning, but it's the tight partnership we have with the entire national space community where we all realize--and the Secretary of Defense to the Director of National Intelligence are committed to figuring out 'How do we make this happen?' So there'll be a lot of changes coming along; there'll be a relationship between the JSpOC and the JICSpOC that still has to be defined. A lot of those things still have to be worked out, but we're gonna work them out based on real data, real understanding, and a tight partnership with the entire community. Next chart.

Train. General Buck talked about it previously, but when we looked at how we train our space operators, we did not train them to deal with a contested threat environment. We did not. Next chart.

So we need to train a Space Mission Force. We need our space operators focused on what to do in case of a threat. For the space operators who are in this room that have worked this for a long time, the last line of every checklist that we ever operated on has the same thing. Somewhere towards the end, it says "If you get in trouble, safe the satellite and call an engineer." That's what it says. Why is that? Because we've been operating in a benign environment. If you operate in a benign environment and something happens to your satellite, then the last thing you want to do is risk the satellite, so basically put it in safe mode and get an engineer who understands the details of how to do that and just step back and take hands off. If you go to an environment where you're facing a threat and you have soldiers on top of a hill someplace in the Middle East, you can't just say "Safe the satellite and call an engineer." You have to figure out how are we gonna operate through that threat environment? And that means we have to train our Airmen to operate through the threat environment. So the interesting thing about this picture is that if you look at the faces on this picture--and they're going through high-end training now with the Space Aggressors; that's kind of where they were when they took this picture--and you think about the pictures that you saw earlier on, the faces look very similar...because when you're dealing with a threat, your focus is on 'What is the threat and how do I do--what do I do next?' How do I operate through it?' It's what we do as a United States military; it's no different. And when we think about the threat that way, we operate correctly. So the analogy that I use is a fighter pilot analogy, and I usually pick a fighter pilot out of the audience--I won't do that today--but the reason I pick a fighter pilot is I ask the fighter pilot a question. So--and I try to pick the oldest fighter pilot because they all have the same, either F-4 or F-15 or F-16--it starts somewhere in there. I said "So sir, when you started off as a lieutenant and you first got qualified--you soloed and you got qualified and you went [inaudible], what was your aircraft?" It was the F4. "So you went in the F-4--did your boss tell you that your measure of success is how fast you complete this tour of duty and get out of the F-4?" And he said "No, no." I said "In fact, if I asked you today if you had a choice in life, would you still be in the F-4 or the F-15 or the F-16?" They said "Oh yeah. That's where I want to be. I want to be in the cockpit." So why have we told our Airmen for so long that their measure of success is to get off the crew, off of the weapons, and onto the day staff? That's the wrong answer. It's really that simple--and so we have to change the way we train our Airmen. And like General Buck said, on the first of February this year, the 50th Space Wing, the day staff went away. There's still a staff--it's a small staff--because you need a staff to operate certain things, but the day staff as an entity went away and now there's two crews all the time in every weapons system at the 50th. One crew is in the fight 24x7 doing the things that you saw in the video; the other crew is in advanced training against a heightened threat. How do you defend? In four months, they'll go back on crew--and in a couple of years, you'll have very experienced operators.

And we went through a couple of interesting culture things. First, at Schriever when we rolled it out, people were very excited--and then the realization of "Oh my gosh, this is hard work." And so there was a little bit of a panic. How am I gonna get there? What am I gonna do? And then they started doing it, and as they started doing it, they realized "This is what I need to be doing. This is what I'm excited about. This is why I joined the United States Air Force. I'm gonna walk into this world and I'm gonna do it and I'm gonna do it right." And it's fascinating to watch it work. I'm excited to see the 21st walk into it and the 460th walk into it--but this, in a couple of years, will be our command. Next.

And equip. Admiral Haney has told me he's not happy with the way we equip him because we don't give him the ability--or the capabilities he needs in order to operate in a contested environment. So next chart.

We came up with something called a 'Threat-Focused Space Enterprise Vision'. The SEV--Space Enterprise Vision for short. It all came about last summer when we were going through and working with the Pentagon on the report on an analysis of alternatives on how we do protected SATCOM in the United States Air Force-part of the communication vision. And then I saw the initial briefings come out for the final report and I'll just say in that briefing, the following line occurred: The threat can be deferred to a future study and the bottom line was keep doing what we've been doing. And after I got done screwing myself out of the ceiling, I paused and I thought for about a day 'Why--how could we possibly get that kind of information back?' And then I realized that part of the problem is actually in the mirror. Part of the problem is ourselves because every time we bring something forward into the Pentagon, we bring it in in the context of the mission that you see on the left side of the chart. We bring it in in the context of how do we do navigation at the timing? How do we do missile warning? How do we do communications? And when you just look at it and all you think about then is the service that you provide, the service you provide--you can't deny when looking at that video that the service we provide today is amazing. It's incredible. It's awesome. It has changed warfare forever. You can't deny that. And so if you just look at it inside that cylinder, doing the same thing makes perfect sense. But if you take a step back and you look at the threat, the threat that exists today--I can't show you pictures in this room, but I can show you pictures in the right room--the threats exist today in space, on the ground, around the world; it's something we have to deal with today. You put it with that and you look at it as an enterprise, you come up with wholly different answers. Some of the answers are, you know, all these different ground systems we have--and there are over a dozen different ground systems that we have, none of which talk to each other. That's not a very good way to build situational awareness of what's going on across your enterprise. It's also not very efficient because we end up spending a billion dollars for each one of those ground systems. So the ground systems become an enabler not just for efficiency, but for effectiveness in a contested environment. Launch becomes a critical element of the future because the things that we have to do, the things that we want to do in the future require more ready access to space and right now if the launch continues at the cost levels they are, we can't do a lot of the things that we need to do in the future, so launch in a new logistics structure becomes an enabler for how you want to do business, and launch has got to come down from being a launch under $100 million. And then other things appear that should appear obvious to every other uniformed member in this room; that it's not about the single satellite, it's about the force package that you build around that satellite to defend the satellite, and that force package extends into the other domains because if war, God forbid, does extend into space someday--and I agree with General Buck; I hope it never does--but if it does, the first response, more likely than not, is not going to be in space. The first response could be in cyberspace or in the air or terrestrial. It could be in a number of different places, but if you don't share that common information among the various domains, you can't get there from here. That becomes part of the Space Enterprise Vision.

We'll talk about the Space Enterprise Vision in detail tomorrow in a classified session because we need to share this with industry and we will. We're gonna roll it out at an SCI level so you can understand the various pieces and then we'll be coming out to the individual companies that're going to be involved in building this enterprise vision as we get through so we can share with you the details because we're only going to have about an hour to talk about it in the classified session and we need days to talk about this because it is fundamentally different. It's fundamentally different because if you think back to that original video ... next chart ...

We have to do business a different way. And one of the interesting things that we're doing--and you're going to wonder why I put the picture of a prototype Space Fence radar and funny looking Doug Loverro in his hat cutting the ribbon at a prototype center in Jersey, and that's a $914 million fixed price contract. Why would I put that on a chart called 'Agile Acquisition'? Because when you think about it, what we're doing is we built a prototype and we spent a lot of money building a prototype, but we made sure the prototype worked, and we made sure the prototype worked in a competitive environment so we could drive down the cost and then that prototype actually is doing operations today, not feeding into the [inaudible], not feeding into the current system, but it's working today, and because it's working today we're confident that the new system is going to work as well, so we've retired risk; we put it in the right contextual environment and we're getting benefit out of it--and that's the way we need to do business across the board because it's really not about the Space Fence; it's about what General Buck talked about today at lunch and that is--next chart ...

How do you do advanced Battle Management Command and Control? And the way we've been acquiring command and control is wrong. It's absolutely wrong. General Buck described it well when he said, "You know, if you write down requirements, it takes you a year or two to develop the requirements and then it takes you five years to deliver the capability. Seven years have now gone by and the world has fundamentally changed out from under you and what you need in command and control is fundamentally different." So we're going to actually apply the lessons learned from the Space Fence. We're gonna build prototypes; we're gonna use Air Force Research Lab and build prototypes and then we'll build a system engineering project and transition that to programs of record, but not until we understand how the prototype works in a real operational environment because BMC2 is the key piece of this puzzle. Next chart.

So it's all about the threat. It's all about the enterprise. Look at the faces again; those are some of the best and brightest we have in our nation and we've been given the greatest gift by the American people--that's their sons and daughters. And our job is to make sure they're never, ever alone on the battlefield. It can never happen. So thank you very much for your time.

General John E. Hyten

32nd Annual National Space Symposium, Colorado Springs-12 Apr 2016
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Date:Apr 12, 2016
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