Space Force Shake Up: New Plan for Great Power Competition and Private Sector Collaboration

Table of Contents

Insider Brief 

  • Gen. Chance Saltzman shared the U.S. Space Force’s new strategy at the Air & Space Forces Association Symposium, in line with 24 key decisions by the Department of the Air Force.
  • The plan focuses on teaming up with private space companies, aiming to integrate commercial satellite services, boost readiness for Great Power Competition, and set up a “Space Futures Command” to lead in space exploration

At the Air & Space Forces Association Warfare Symposium on February 13, Chief of Space Operations General Chance Saltzman revealed the U.S. Space Force’s strategic reoptimization plan to meet modern national security challenges. This plan, announced alongside 24 key decisions by the Department of the Air Force, outlines crucial shifts across the Space Force and Air Force to enhance readiness for Great Power Competition. These 24 key decisions are categorised by four pillars in the Department of the Air Force’s effort to re-optimize for Great Power Competition: Develop People, Generate Readiness, Project Power and Develop Capabilities

To best develop the Space Force, Saltzman emphasised the necessity of aligning with evolving defence objectives, highlighting the importance of actionable guidance and collaboration with industry stakeholders. The Space Force’s partnership plan with private space companies is nearing completion, with actionable aims to integrate commercial satellite services into military operations. This initiative hopes to harness private sector innovation, modernise existing systems, and enhance national security capabilities.

The establishment of a “Space Futures Command” underscores the Space Force’s commitment to strategic competition, particularly with China. Saltzman emphasised the pivotal role of industry collaboration in shaping future operational concepts and identifying emerging technologies. Leveraging industry expertise in war games and exercises will enhance the Space Force’s agility and readiness to evolving threats.

As the Space Force navigates this transformative phase, Saltzman stressed the importance of forging strong partnerships with commercial space companies. By engaging with industry early in the process, the Space Force aims to leverage external perspectives and innovative solutions to address complex challenges. This collaborative approach not only enhances national security but also fosters a dynamic ecosystem of technological innovation in space.

The United States Space Force’s multi-faceted strategy underscores its commitment to maintaining a competitive edge in space technology, exploration, and strategic competition.  As General Saltzman ended his speech, “Today, the risk of moving too slow is far greater than any risk associated with rapid change. We must evolve, we must take risks, we must solve problems – and we will – because I know our Guardians, and they have proven they have the confidence and the skills to deliver. Now is the time to prepare so that we will be ready to meet any threat – anytime, anywhere – to Secure our Nation’s Interests In, From, and To Space”. 

By recalibrating its approach and fostering collaboration with private sector partners, the Space Force aims to drive innovation, enhance readiness, and ensure the American nation’s leadership in the evolving space domain. 

Feature Image Credit: United States Space Force

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