Goldfein Sets Out Framework for Space

Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said the Air Force, “is eager to be named the lead service for space,” and he wants to “expand the joint presence in our formations,” meaning a greater role for USAF space personnel throughout US military commands. Speaking at an AFA Mitchell Institute event on Friday, he called for a “family of systems approach” across the Defense Department in terms of “how we intend to operate in space.” Crucial to this development will be integrating space with other operational systems. “We cannot allow space to have its own unique lexicon,” he insisted. “Space is a joint warfighting domain. There is no such thing as war in space—it’s just war, and it can extend into space.” Goldfein also said, “We need to have a discussion on a strategic level” about how guidance on the space domain is offered to the joint chiefs and the commander in chief. And, “We have to have an honest discussion about acquisition.” On this last point, Goldfein made reference to Congressman Mike Rogers’ (R-Ala.) call to reform the space acquisition process. Rogers, who serves as chair of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee, has said there are currently “60 different stakeholders who are involved in decision making about space programs,” and Goldfein agreed that this complex reality impedes the articulation of “a coherent acquisition strategy.”