Resetting Space Operations

The Air Force is working to “reset” its thinking in three areas of space operations, said Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh during his address at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., last week. The first is the discussion of space as a warfighting domain. Although Welsh said the Air Force does not want to fight a kinetic war in space, it can’t ignore the fact that others are posturing to do so. Second, he said, USAF’s “vision of space superiority as a mission is evolving.” Space situational awareness, though still important, is no longer sufficient by itself. “Now you have to be able to survive in space,” said Welsh. “Resiliency is critical. The way you put that together with space situational awareness will determine if you are able to provide either locational or situational superiority in space in the future.” Finally, “We have to make sure the Air Force continues to be the lead operational voice in discussions about the space domain in the nation, because nobody knows this domain better than the United States Air Force does,” Welsh added. (See also War in Space.)