Space Force leaders take ambitious look at future

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. William A. O’Brien
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

The inaugural Spacepower Conference, hosted by the Space Force Association in Orlando, Florida, Dec. 12-13, offered a glimpse into the future of the newest military branch and its vision for the next decade. Here are some key takeaways from the event:

Year of Progress, Era of Opportunity:

  • U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman hailed 2023 as a year of substantial progress, marking the Space Force’s transition from establishment to delivery of its foundational purpose.
  • Nine new units were activated, bolstering capabilities in electronic warfare, missile warning, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, command and control, cyber and space domain awareness.
  • The VICTOS NOX mission demonstrated tactically response space capabilities, showcasing the Space Force's ability to be agile and cost-effective.
  • The activation of U.S. Space Forces Europe and Africa and U.S. Space Forces-Space marked another step toward strengthening strategic partnerships and normalizing the presentation of space forces to the joint force.

Cyber and Intel: Cornerstones of Combat:

  • Space Operations Command leadership emphasized the crucial role of cyber and intelligence integration in every mission.
  • Embedded intelligence detachments and advanced analysis tools provide Guardians with real-time insights and decision-making advantages.
  • Cyber defense and offense capabilities safeguard space missions and deter adversaries.

Partnerships: Essential for Global Security:

  • Representatives from four Space Force component commands discussed the importance of international collaboration during the Spacepower Conference.
  • Building strong partnerships with allies is crucial for maintaining space domain dominance and deterring potential threats.
  • Sharing expertise and resources enables collective space readiness and ensures a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Vision for 2030 — Adaptability and Curiosity:

  • A panel of senior leaders projected a dynamic and uncertain future for the space domain.
  • To stay ahead, the Space Force must prioritize adaptability, speed and continuous innovation.
  • Collaboration with industry partners and allies will be critical for developing and deploying next-generation space capabilities.
  • Fostering curiosity and imagination will be essential for Guardians to anticipate and navigate the ever-evolving space landscape.

CMSSF Bentivegna: Building the Guardians of Tomorrow:

  • Character and Passion: Chief Master Sgt. of the Space Force John F. Bentivegna emphasized the importance of character and passion in potential civilian candidates looking to enlist into the Space Force, seeking individuals who embody a genuine enthusiasm for space and service.
  • Tailored Training: The Space Force provides comprehensive training in specialized areas like intelligence operations, cyber operations and space operations, ensuring Guardians are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their roles.
  • Amplifying the Guardian Spirit: Bentivegna highlighted the Guardian Spirit when referencing the service’s inaugural Guardian Arena; a competition where teams of Guardians competed in a physical fitness and problem-solving challenges. He called for fostering a strong sense of community and pride within the service, encouraging Guardians to embody the “Guardian Spirit” of collaboration, innovation and connection not solely at events like the Guardian Arena, but throughout their work centers and in their lives.
  • Sharing the Vision: He concluded by urging Guardians to share their experiences and the service's vision with stakeholders, including industry partners, communities, Congress and the American people.