JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii --
As he engages throughout the Indo-Pacific area of operations, the commander of United States Space Forces Indo-Pacific highlights the strategic value of space operations and interoperability alongside Allies and partners in the region.
Most recently, Brig. Gen. Anthony Mastalir attended the Sydney Dialogue April 4 in Australia, communicating SPACEFOR-INDOPAC’s objective of maintaining the United States’ position as the world leader in space while working alongside the international community, ensuring the domain’s sustainability, safety, stability, and security.
Mastalir emphasized that a resilient, ready, and combat-credible Space Force is indispensable to deterrence and that space domain awareness is essential to success because it improves partnerships with commercial industry, academia and Allies and partners to ensure continued, sustainable use of space.
He said the need is more urgent in today’s contested and congested space domain where satellites are proliferating, adversaries are demonstrating aggressive behaviors, and additional threats are emerging.
Mastalir has made significant strides since taking command in November, leading SPACEFOR-INDOPAC as its Guardians have strengthened bilateral partnerships to deter the People’s Republic of China.
“The PRC has put up a lot of satellites within the last five to six years, many of which are intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance satellites designed to find, fix, track and target U.S. and Allied forces,” Mastalir said. “When you can demonstrate a level of integration across all the domains with the level of synchronization, timing, and tempo that we have in the Indo-Pacific region, that's an incredible deterrent. Just having the assets isn't enough; you really must string that all together to present a combat credible capability.”
During the recent Avalon Air Show in Melbourne, Mastalir engaged in extensive dialogue with many senior leaders from Allied and partner nations across the Indo-Pacific to set the stage for future combined space operations in the region.
“Many Indo-Pacific nations believe space is important and want to be part of it,” said Mastalir. “Our most capable Allies in the region have started conversations about how we're going to integrate at the next exercise to train and fight together to win. The response was overwhelming.”
Mastalir also discussed the value proposition of space components and being able to discuss in person with Allies and partners what it means to build a space organization within their nation.
Several key military leaders from U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s vast network of Allied and partner nations called attention to their desire to find new opportunities for collaboration.
“The mission is to uphold a free and open Indo-Pacific and maintaining stability and security in the region,” Mastalir said. “This requires a lot of work from all the services as well as close coordination with our Allies and partners. We've done some great work already as a component and we're continuing progress that was made in years prior as members of the Air Force.”
Mastalir also punctuated SPACEFOR-INDOPAC’s integral national security role at Schriever Wargame 2023, which explored critical space and cyberspace issues within a multi-domain environment across the spectrum of conflict. U.S. participants collaborated during the event alongside international partners from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
“No one synchronizes across all domains better than the United States,” Mastalir emphasized. “We continue to demonstrate that every day. Whether it's integrated operations from surface, subsurface air, or even space, the PRC sees this on a daily basis, and they see our ability to integrate across those domains.
Mastalir emphasized that having a Space Force component command in the Indo-Pacific was a game-changer.
“The level of integration right now between the U.S. Space Force and USINDOPACOM is higher than it's ever been,” he said. “Ensuring that when planning begins, space is seated at the table alongside all the services to comprise total joint force representation is invaluable.”