U.S. Space Forces Indo-Pacific News

CSO kicks off inaugural SFA Spacepower Conference, reflects on Space Force’s fourth year

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

U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman opened the Space Force Association’s inaugural Spacepower Conference where he reflected on the service’s fourth year and commended Guardians for their accomplishments, Dec. 12.

"Looking back, 2023 wasn’t just a productive year – it was the start of another chapter of our service’s story," Saltzman said. "The Space Force is clearly moving beyond the establishment phase. Our Guardians are now delivering on the investment from the American people to ensure our nation remains the preeminent spacepower.”

Saltzman commended attendees for Amplifying the Guardian Spirit while executing their missions.

“Guardians are problem solvers. They are transforming the Space Force from the service we brought together from the various space missions across Department of Defense, into the modern, flexible, and innovative service needed for this new era of great power competition. The Space Force continued to bolster its warfighting capabilities in the face of increased global threats. Our Guardians rose to the challenge, stood up nine new units – units focused on protecting the domain and supporting the joint force.” U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman

The nine new units, brought online in 2023, include Space Delta 15 and the three squadrons that activated under it: 15th Command and Control Squadron, 15th Intelligence Service Reconnaissance Squadron, and 15th Cyber Squadron; the 75th and 76th Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance squadrons under Space Delta 7; the 23rd Electronic Warfare Squadron under Space Delta 3; the 645th Cyberspace Squadron under Space Delta 6; and the 5th Space Warning Squadron reactivated under Space Delta 4.

The Space Force stood up these new units to improve electronic warfare capabilities, consolidate missile warning missions, and improve protection of the space domain, demonstrating its commitment to deterrence in the era of great power competition.

“Our Guardians have not just stood up new units,” Saltzman said. “They've also built new partnerships and missions in the process.”

One of the Space Force’s biggest successes of 2023 was the Victus Nox mission, which aimed to reduce timelines throughout every aspect of a space mission – from acquisition through on-orbit operations. The satellite launched for Victus Nox was not only built and tested in less than 12 months, but Guardians were able to take it from storage to operating in orbit in five days.

“The ability to rapidly respond to activity in the space domain is something we only dreamed about years ago,” Saltzman said. “And now, our Guardians have proven that can be a reality. And it is a cost-imposing capability that our adversaries will now need to prepare for.”

The Space Force also expanded globally with the activation of the U.S. Space Forces Europe and Africa field component command, Dec. 8. SPACEFOREUR-AF is the latest space component to be established following in the footsteps of U.S. Space Forces – Space, activated Dec. 6, and components to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. Central Command.

“While this was the official beginning of the support relationship, Guardians have a long history supporting those theaters,” Saltzman said.

Saltzman closed by emphasizing the importance of involving Guardians to foster a culture of feedback and ownership, including during the creation of the Space Force's mission statement. He reiterated the importance of the Guardian Spirit within the Space Force, citing it as a key factor in their ability to compete with great power competition.

“We can grow, we can encourage,” Saltzman said. “Being ready for great power competition also means having a competitive mindset. We refuse to fall behind. We refuse to be second place. We refuse to be anything less than the best.”