U.S. Space Forces Indo-Pacific News

Space necessities: Partnering to win

  • Published
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

During the first Space Force Association’s Spacepower Conference held Dec. 12-13 in Orlando, representatives from four U.S. Space Force component commands discussed how USSF components interact with their counterparts in allied countries.

The panel, moderated by Deanna Ryals, Space Systems Command International Affairs director, included Lt. Gen. Douglas Schiess, U.S. Space Forces - Space commander, Brig. Gen. Anthony Mastalir, U.S. Space Forces Indo-Pacific commander, Col. Max Lantz, U.S. Space Forces – Europe and Africa commander, and Lt. Col. Tony Puleo, U.S. Space Forces – Central Command chief of Resources and Requirements.

“Our collective mission in space requires a multifaceted understanding of the USSF's and our allies’ needs and capabilities – and where both meet, overlap and synergize,” Ryals said during her introductory remarks. “The ability to leverage allies and partnerships for integrated deterrence is an asymmetrical advantage our adversaries don’t have.”

During the past year, the Space Force has been activating USSF service components to combatant commands to integrate at the component level and provide every combatant commander an organic space planning and employment expertise that can collaborate with allies and partners and provide space command and control focused on the warfighting needs of the joint force commander.

This organizational change provides clarity to command relationships, roles and responsibilities to better prepare the Space Force to respond to threats around the world.

“We know that there are rising threats from other national players around the world,” Schiess said. “As the space domain becomes more competitive, we need to continue to meet and work with our allies so that our adversaries wake up every day and say, ‘today is not the day.’”

The stand up of space component commands to geographic combatant commands also gives Space Forces the opportunity to be deliberate in building new partnerships.

“In our AOR [area of responsibility], many of our partners want to be space-faring nations, and we want SPACECENT to be the organization helping them do that,” Puleo said. “We want to avoid a gap because we know who will fill it. Engagement is one of our primary goals.”

Although space component commands only started standing up about a year ago, there is a long history of space support to these theaters.

“We just leveled up,” Lantz said. “The U.S. has been very successful for decades on strategic space capabilities and now we’re signaling to our adversaries that we are investing in operational space capability into the theaters.”

Throughout the discussion, the panel members all emphasized the importance of space in the face of increased global threats.

“Managing competition and preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific requires close attention every single day,” Mastalir said. “The sense of urgency to make sure that we’re ready and that space is ready is at an all-time high.”

Space readiness is not something that the U.S. can do alone. It is a combined effort that includes our allied nations, commercial partners and joint force.

“By continuing to increase our joint integration within the operations centers with our partners and allies, we will have the advantage that we need to maintain a peaceful footprint in space operations,” Schiess said. “It’s not just how we work together; it’s how we work with our commercial partners and how we work with our joint partners.