Navy Helicopters and Air Force Pararescue Forces Conduct Astronaut Recovery Exercise

Air Force pararescue forces from the 48th rescue squadron remove a mock-astronaut from a SpaceX Dragon capsule during a validation exercise. The exercise was meant to validate the joint-capability of Navy helicopter squadrons and Air Force Guardian Angel Pararescue forces in their shared mission to recover astronauts at sea. (Credit: U.S. Space Command/Sean Castellano)

PETERSON SPACE FORCE BASE, Colo.  (U.S. Space Command PR) –  U.S. Space Command held an exercise Aug. 1-5 at Patrick Space Force Base, Fl., in preparation for the upcoming launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5, targeted for no earlier than September 29, 2022.

As the Department of Defense’s Human Space Flight Support Manager, USSPACECOM coordinates global DoD support for the rescue and recovery of human exploration events for NASA’s Artemis and Commercial Crew Program missions.

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U.S. Air Force Completes USSPACECOM Draft Environmental Assessment

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Department of the Air Force has completed the draft environmental assessment of the preferred alternative and other five reasonable alternatives for U.S. Space Command headquarters as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The draft document was made available July 13 for a 30-day public comment period in accordance with the NEPA process.
 
The final environmental assessment will take into account comments received for the DAF to consider before making a final basing decision for the command’s headquarters. As recommended by the Department of Defense Inspector General and directed by the Secretary of Defense, the DAF will also review concerns regarding full operational capability for U.S. Space Command headquarters, as well as review the DAF’s analysis criteria for “childcare,” “housing affordability,” and “access to military/veteran support” to verify that identification of the preferred alternative was supported.

Once the NEPA process is complete, the Secretary of the Air Force will select a location for U.S. Space Command headquarters.

The draft environmental assessment, along with information about how to submit a comment, is available online here.

216 SPCS Enables CFSCC Mission, Assures Access to Space Through Spectrum Warfare

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Esmeralda Sanchez Avila, 216th Space Control Squadron (SPCS) radio frequency transmission specialist, looks over an the large multi-band antenna (LMA) June 22, 2022, at Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. Sanchez Avila has been with the 216 SPCS since 2018 and maintains the weapons systems through preventative maintenance inspections, antenna mobility checks, system cleanliness, and all the pieces of the LMA are working properly. (Credit: U.S. Space Force/Tech. Sgt. Luke Kitterman)

By Tech. Sgt. Luke Kitterman
Combined Force Space Component Command

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. – One element of warfare that is not always in the limelight but easily touches all warfighting domains is the electromagnetic spectrum. At Vandenberg Space Force Base, there resides an Air National Guard squadron that works regularly with the Combined Force Space Component Command (CFSCC) in its mission to deliver combat relevant space capabilities to combatant commanders.

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NSSA Release Report on “United States Space Command: Progress and Opportunities”

ARLINGTON, Va., June 22, 2022 (NSSA PR) — The National Security Space Association (NSSA) today released a report entitled “United States Space Command:  Progress and Opportunities”. Produced by the Association’s Moorman Center for Space Studies, the report notes the importance of the USSPACECOM mission to U.S. national security and economic well-being, describes recent progress of the Command in reaching an “initial operational capability” (IOC), and highlights key challenges and opportunities facing the Command.

The report notes that, for the Command to reach its full potential, expanded cooperation with and support from other Department of Defense organizations and the Congress is required in the following areas:

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USSPACECOM Deepens Cooperation in Space with UK, Sweden

PETERSON SPACE FORCE BASE, Colo. (USSPACECOM PR) —  U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) deepened cooperation in space with the United Kingdom and Sweden last week during Space Symposium 37 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

During the symposium, Air Vice Marshall Paul Godfrey, U.K. Space Command commander and USSPACECOM commander, U.S. Army Gen. James Dickinson, signed an Enhanced Space Cooperation memorandum of understanding (MOU) to further the exchange of information, identify potential collaborative studies, projects or activities, and harmonize military space requirements. The agreement will improve coordination and interoperability between the U.S. and U.K. to sustain freedom of action in space, optimize resources, enhance mission resilience, and deter conflict.
 
Additionally, USSPACECOM and the Swedish Air Force signed a Space Situational Awareness sharing agreement. Maj. Gen. Carl-Johan Edstrom, Swedish Air Force commander, and U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Michael Bernacchi, USSPACECOM director of Strategy, Plans and Policy Directorate, signed the SSA sharing agreement. This is the 30th SSA agreement with a partner nation, and the 149th overall, to include agreements with commercial and academia partners.
 
“We want to welcome the Swedish Air Force to USSPACECOM’s Space Situational Awareness sharing program,” said Bernacchi. “We are excited to have you as part of a larger effort to support spaceflight planning and enhance the safety, stability, security and sustainability of space operations. The rules-based international order depends on responsible space behaviors to keep space safe and free to use for all nations.”

USSPACECOM’s Space Situational Awareness sharing program is part of a larger effort to support spaceflight planning and enhance the safety, stability, security and sustainability of space operations.

L3Harris Awarded $117 Million Space Object-Tracking Modernization Contract

  • Supports US Space Force efforts to protect satellites
  • Maintains and upgrades space domain awareness and command and control systems
  • Third-year option continues work first awarded in 2020

MELBOURNE, Fla., April 06, 2022 (L3Harris Technologies PR) — L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) has been awarded $117 million for option-year three of a U.S. Space Force and U.S. Space Command contract to continue maintaining and modernizing infrastructure to track objects in space. The Maintenance Of Space Situational Awareness Integrated Capabilities (MOSSAIC) program has an estimated contract value of $1.2 billion over 10 years.

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Space Situational Assessment 2021: The Growing Menace of Space Debris

Credit: ISRO

BENGALULU, India (ISRO PR) — Growing collision threats of space objects including orbital debris with the operational space assets have become a perennial problem for the safe and sustainable use of outer space.  These threats restrict the unhindered access to space and prompt all space actors to take appropriate measures to mitigate them.

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USSPACECOM: Russian Direct-ascent Anti-satellite Missile Test Creates Significant, Long-lasting Space Debris

PETERSON SPACE FORCE BASE, Colo.  (U.S. Space Command PR) –  Russia tested a direct-ascent anti-satellite (DA-ASAT) missile on Nov. 15, 2021, Moscow Standard Time, that struck a Russian satellite [COSMOS 1408] and created a debris field in low-Earth orbit. The test so far has generated more than 1,500 pieces of trackable orbital debris and will likely generate hundreds of thousands of pieces of smaller orbital debris.

“Russia has demonstrated a deliberate disregard for the security, safety, stability, and long-term sustainability of the space domain for all nations,” said U.S. Army Gen. James Dickinson, U.S. Space Command commander. “The debris created by Russia’s DA-ASAT will continue to pose a threat to activities in outer space for years to come, putting satellites and space missions at risk, as well as forcing more collision avoidance maneuvers. Space activities underpin our way of life and this kind of behavior is simply irresponsible.”

USSPACECOM’s initial assessment is that the debris will remain in orbit for years and potentially for decades, posing a significant risk to the crew on the International Space Station and other human spaceflight activities, as well as multiple countries’ satellites. USSPACECOM continues to monitor the trajectory of the debris and will work to ensure all space-faring nations have the information necessary to safeguard their on-orbit activities if impacted by the debris cloud, a service the United States provides to the world, to include Russia and China.

“Russia is developing and deploying capabilities to actively deny access to and use of  space by the United States and its allies and partners,” Dickinson added. “Russia’s tests of direct-ascent anti-satellite weapons clearly demonstrate that Russia continues to pursue counterspace weapon systems that undermine strategic stability and pose a threat to all nations.”

Colorado Congressional Delegation Asks Air Force Secretary to Suspend Move of US Space Command to Alabama

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The eight-member Colorado Congressional delegation has asked U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall to suspend all activities related to the move of the U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) from Colorado Springs to the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala. pending the completion of two on-going reviews.

“This move undermines our ability to respond to the threats in space and is disruptive to the current mission. Additionally, significant evidence exists that the former president’s political considerations influenced the final decision to relocate USSPACECOM to Redstone Arsenal. As such, we urge you to formally suspend any actions to relocate the USSPACECOM headquarters until the Department of Defense Inspector General (DoD IG) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) have completed their respective investigations into the basing decision and you complete your review,” the delegation said in a Sept. 30 letter to Kendall.

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USSPACECOM Signs 100th Commercial Agreement to Share Space Data, Service

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.  –  U.S. Space Command signed the 100th Commercial Space Situational Awareness Data Sharing Agreement in the history of the command with Libre Space Foundation, a non-profit entity, to initiate the two-way flow of SSA services and information.

The memorandum, signed July 1 by U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Michael Bernacchi, USSPACECOM director of Plans, Strategy and Policy, will enhance the nation’s awareness within the space domain and increase the safety of global spaceflight operations.

“Our space systems underpin a wide range of services, providing vital national, military, civil, scientific and economic benefits to the global community,” said U.S. Army Gen. James Dickinson, commander of USSPACECOM. “Space situational awareness, which requires these types of cooperative agreements in order to achieve efficiency and effectiveness, is one of many approaches used to ensure all responsible space-faring nations continue benefitting from this critical domain.”

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SMC Stands Up New Space Safari Program Office for Rapid Response to Urgent Needs

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (SMC PR) — Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, Commander, Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), recently announced the establishment of the Space Safari Program Office within SMC’s Special Programs Directorate.  Space Safari responds to high-priority, urgent space needs by rapidly acquiring, integrating and executing missions in support of USSPACECOM requirements and other combatant commander needs. These missions are not typically a part of an enduring program of record, but respond to high priority needs to deploy space systems quickly to respond to emerging threats.  

As a high-speed integrator for specialized space missions, Space Safari operates with a unique mission focus, rapidly connecting space vehicles, specialized payloads, launch campaigns and ground systems, all while coordinating with the operational community and end-users.  Similar to the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Big Safari office, Space Safari uses mature technology and existing production lines to quickly repurpose and integrate space assets from multiple organizations.

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U.S., Israel Expand Cooperation to the Space Domain

ARLINGTON, Va. (U.S. Space Force PR) — The U.S. Space Force hosted its first Space Engagement Talks (SET) with the Israeli Air Force during separate virtual sessions April 19-20.

The talks brought together two nations with a shared interest in ensuring access to and peaceful use of outer space.

“Dating back to 1948, America was the first country in the world to recognize modern Israel as a nation,” said Lt. Gen. William Liquori, deputy chief of space operations, Strategy, Plans, Programs, Requirements and Analysis. “Since then, our two countries have shared a mutual commitment to peace and security. As we have done for more than 70 years, we will continue to work together to meet the emerging challenges in the space domain.”

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USSPACECOM to Welcome New Command Senior Enlisted Leader

Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sgt. Scott H. Stalker (Credit: US Space Command)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., Aug. 27, 2020 (US Space Command PR) — U.S. Marine Corps Master  Gunnery Sgt. Scott H. Stalker is set to assume responsibility of U.S. Space Command from U.S. Space Force Chief Master Sgt. Roger A. Towberman during an Aug. 28 ceremony.

The Department of Defense’s 11th combatant command is getting a new command senior enlisted leader eight days after U.S. Army Gen. James H. Dickinson assumed command from USSF Gen. John W. Raymond.

Stalker, a native of Lebanon, New Hampshire, previously served as the CSEL for U.S. Cyber Command and National Security Agency.

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Raymond and Space Force Enter New, Ambitious Phase as U.S. Space Command Changes Leaders

Gen. John “Jay” Raymond. Chief of Space Operations, U.S. Space Force, Commander, U.S. Space Command, provides remarks at the USSPACECOM Change of Command. Gen. Raymond relinquished command of USSPACECOM to GEN James Dickinson. GEN Dickinson now leads the next generation of space warfighters. Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, CO. August 20th, 2020. (Credit: Lewis Carlyle)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) — In a ceremony that was both crisp and solemn, Army Gen. James H. Dickinson took the reins Aug. 20 of U.S. Space Command, and in the process further cemented space’s ever-enlarging importance in national defense and in countless familiar acts of everyday life.

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Coalition Partners, U.S. and UK, Agree to Share Technical Foundation for Space Operations

WASHINGTON, (AFNS) — The U.S. Space Force reached an important milestone by recently signing an agreement to allow sharing of the Standardized Astrodynamics Algorithm Library with the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The U.K. was the first international partner to join U.S. Space Command’s Operation OLYMPIC DEFENDER and is the first to receive access to the SAAL, though USSF is currently working with other partner nations to expand that list. 

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