U.S. Space Forces Indo-Pacific News

US Space Forces Indo-Pacific Commander speaks at Aerospace Corporation Center panel

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  • Pacific Air Forces

Brig. Gen. Anthony J. Mastalir, commander, United States Space Forces - Indo-Pacific, participated in a Space Partnership & Competition in the Pacific conference at the Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy in El Segundo, California, March 18.

The Center for Space Policy and Strategy is dedicated to shaping the future of space by providing nonpartisan research and strategic analysis to decisionmakers, and to informing broader public discussions of space policy.

The day-long event explored space partnerships and competition in the Pacific. During the conference, Mastalir participated on a panel that discussed space capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region. The panel was hosted by Jamie Morin, Vice President, Defense Strategic Space and Executive Director of the Center for Space Policy and Strategy, The Aerospace Corporation; Jamie Dronen, Principal Director of International Partnerships, Civil Systems Group, The Aerospace Corporation; and Sam Wilson, Systems Director, Center for Space Policy and Strategy, The Aerospace Corporation. Joining Mastalir on the panel was Barbara Golf, Executive Agent for Space Domain Awareness (SDA), U.S. Space Force; Dr. Lincoln Hines, Assistant Professor, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology; and Marty Whelan, Senior Vice President, Defense Systems Group, The Aerospace Corporation.

Mastalir opened his remarks highlighting the need for U.S. Space Force forces in the Indo-Pacific to enable joint warfighters stationed in the region for international stability.

“You have a situation where stability is threatened, you have a situation where the rules based international order is being threatened and being threatened on a daily basis,” said Mastalir. “When you look at the actions of the PRC, of North Korea, of Russia, all three bad actors in our [area of responsibility], you can understand how a nation with the capability and intent to overturn the rules based international order would be a concern. So, its really important that we were able to present the combatant command with a (Space Force) component in 2022 when were able to activate.”

On the panel Mastalir highlighted U.S. Space Force operations in the Pacific region while exploring how Space Force components interact with their counterparts in allied countries. The panel also provided examples of recent and planned coalition operations that benefit all participants.

 "Space superiority is not just preserving your own ability to maneuver in space, it's also protecting the Joint Force from a space-enabled attack,” said Mastalir. "We have the most complete, sophisticated, capable space architecture enabling joint warfighters around the world."

The panel went on to discuss the importance of allies and partners. With more than 120 exercises every year across the Indo-Pacific, we are able to build each country’s space capabilities through working side-by-side.

 “With the growing number of space actors in the Indo-Pacific region, understanding how space capabilities drive cooperation and competition in this region is becoming increasingly important,” Mastalir pointed out during a discussion about using international military and commercial space capabilities to develop a space architecture with treaty partners. “We don't have a space architecture because it's cool … we have a space architecture to project power, and to preserve stability.”

This was the first time Mastalir has spoken at this particular conference however, it’s not the first time he’s spoken about the importance of space capabilities in the Indo-Pacific. During the Air and Space Forces Association’s Warfare Symposium in Aurora, Colorado in February, Mastalir underpinned the value space superiority yields in a conflict.

He shed light on why the rules-based international order is essential to ensuring peace and stability and spotlighted how a free and open Indo-Pacific is not possible without the Space Force's efforts.

“Space superiority not only ensures the combined force has access to space capabilities, but also gives us the ability to deny the adversary the use of space capabilities to protect the combined force from space-enabled attack,” he said in Colorado.

To view the full Space Partnership & Competition in the Pacific conference panel, visit the link: youtube.com/watch?v=1hfUgOs8f3Q