General John E. Hyten, commander of Air Force Space Command, recently identified several key actions to be taken to ensure U.S. strength in space for the future. On Apr. 14 at the 2015 Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo., he discussed his command priorities, changes in store for space crews, and new initiatives to assure access to space.
“Winning today’s fight is my first priority,” said General Hyten. “When we have Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines deployed in harm’s way all around the world, we have to make sure our number one priority is get them everything they need, every minute of the day because everything that they do is critically dependent on space…we cannot fail in that mission.”
“We also have to figure out how to prepare for tomorrow’s fight if war should someday extend into space,” he said. “We have to move into the future.”
“Our crew force is the greatest in the world, but they are unbelievably young and inexperienced,” he said about the Airmen who operate the Air Force’s space systems. “It is that way because we designed our crew force to progress from crew duty to the day staff as they gain experience and expertise. But this means our most capable operators are not on crew.”
In a future contested environment, he said that the Nation needs its best people on duty, ready to “make real time decisions about what’s going on if something bad should happen. You have to have very experienced people on crew.”
General Hyten explained ways in which the space operator crew force is going to be changed.
He plans to normalize the space force presentation to U.S. Strategic Command and ensure that U.S. Strategic Command gets space force capabilities that they require.
“The way you present forces has to be structured so that when you actually ask for capability, you get that capability,” he said.
Source:: Air Force Space Command