James: We Have Eyes On You

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said space is no longer a “peaceful sanctuary” and USAF must change the way it thinks about the domain. “Space is integral to every aspect of our nation’s defense,” said James during her keynote address at a Center for American Progress event in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Vital and expensive US satellites are being “threatened by the proliferation of man-made space debris and those deliberately seeking to counter our advantages or capabilities in space.” That means the Air Force must begin preparing now for the possibility of a war in space. It also must continue working to improve space situational awareness. The first two Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP) satellites, launched into orbit in July 2014, will provide USAF with “unprecedented” knowledge of the “activity of other satellites in geosynchronous and geostationary orbit,” said James. She said both are progressing “very, very well” with on-orbit testing. “This program is going to be one of our key neighborhood watch programs in the future. The message is we have eyes on you and we see what’s going on in these very important orbits where our very important satellites operate.”