No “Power Grab” For Space

The Air Force wants a more seamless inter-service space enterprise and is offering the other services training and facilities to build their own expertise, with the Air Force as the natural leader and coordinator, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told defense reporters Tuesday. Amplifying comments he made to AFA’s Mitchell Institute last week, where he said he wants the service to be “the lead service for space,” Goldfein said he’s not setting up a “grab” for more resources or mission. In his previous role as the Air Component Commander at US Central Command—working for then-CENTCOM chief Gen. James Mattis—Goldfein said Mattis told him to be the “space coordinating authority” for the command with the other services in the theater, translating their space needs to Air Force Space Command. Now, as Chief of Staff, he wants to take that status “to the next level” and serve as the space coordinating authority for the joint force. To “normalize” space means the services should train and operate in space together. “I already have a training pipeline” and a “preponderance of the training venues” established, “so let’s have a dialogue about how we can optimize that,” Goldfein said of his sister services. Asked if he also thinks USAF should take over the training and equipment of everyone in the space enterprise, from all the services, Goldfein replied, “I’m offering that.” Goldfein said launching a power grab was “inappropriate” and “not the way I think.” His objective, he said, is to eliminate seams between the services and broaden space expertise.