Anti Access and Fifth Generation Space

Much like air-breathing capabilities have adapted to defenses and technology, so too must space capabilities, said Gen. William Shelton, head of Air Force Space Command, on Tuesday. This is especially the case as space assets are increasingly enablers for a defense strategy that relies on access and power projection, he told reporters at AFA’s 2013 Air and Space Conference. AFSPC has space and cyber experts involved in the AirSea Battle office and its initiatives, said Shelton. There has been a great deal of dialogue about the reliance of air and naval assets on space and cyber, and how to protect the space and cyber capabilities. “If you’re critically dependent on space and cyber capability, and suddenly it’s not there, what’s next? What’s plan B?” asked Shelton. “We are working very hard to construct what plan B would look like.” AFSPC planners are examining concepts addressing survivability, such as hardening and dispersal of space assets, he said. AFSPC has a few years to study the issue, but by Fiscal 2017, it will have to make some fundamental decisions on what capabilities to invest in and pursue.