Space is on the Frontlines

The airman from the 21st Space Wing who died in Syria on March 28, SSgt. Austin Bieren, could have been deployed “anywhere in the world,” the head of US Strategic Command said. “Space is crucial to that mission,” STRATCOM chief Gen. John Hyten said at the Military Reporters and Editors conference Friday in Arlington, Va. “I can’t tell you how important the effects he was creating on the battlefield are.” Hyten said he learned this lesson as the “director of space forces in 2006” when he found himself “in Iraq and Afghanistan and all through the Middle East.” At the time, there was a “joint space support team in Fallujah run by a Marine lieutenant colonel with an Air Force captain and a bunch of soldiers?” whose mission was to “bring space capabilities at the time and tempo of the battle to the Marines in Fallujah.” Today, the STRATCOM boss said, the Air Force has “space people deployed in the Army divisions” wherever the US military operates around the world.