Australian news, and some related international items

USA preparing for war in space

SPACECOM’s New Vision Targets ‘Space Superiority’

“We must have fully integrated offensive and defensive operations across all of our services, as well as our partners,” says Army Gen. James Dickinson, SPACECOM commander.

Breaking Defense, By   THERESAHITCHENSon January 28, 2021 “……… “The intended audience is both internal and external,” Army Gen. James Dickinson told me in an interview yesterday. “Internally, the objective is to set the stage for SPACECOM personnel to develop and sustain a warfighting mindset necessary for our mission challenges in this new warfighting domain.”………

Space Superiority and Warfighting

Dickinson’s eight-page manifesto, “Never A Day Without Space: Commander’s Vision” — provided to Breaking D — was briefed to SPACECOM today. It will be the “baseline” for future development of subordinate SPACECOM planning guidance, campaign plans, operational plans and other organizational documents required to running the 18-month-old Combatant Command, Dickinson explained.

The general’s stress on the need for both ‘offensive and defensive’ operations to achieve space superiority is not new, even if it makes some US security experts — including some Democrats in Congress — a bit queasy. It is one of the first things his predecessor, Air Force Gen. Jay Raymond who now heads the Space Force, made clear when SPACECOM was stood up in August 2019……..

Unified Command Plan and Missions

As Breaking D readers were first to learn, the revised UCP sent by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley to President Trump included a number of changes designed to delineate the role of SPACECOM — designated as a new geographic command with an area of responsibility (AOR) from 100 kilometers above the Earth to, well, infinity and beyond in theory —  vice the 10 other Combatant Commands. These include giving SPACECOM the lead in deciding who gets priority use of communications satellites during combat, and what targets missile warning and space surveillance sensors are tasked to monitor. Trump signed the revised 2020 UCP Jan. 13, a spokesperson for the Joint Staff confirmed……..

Dickison elaborated during his conversation with Mitchell Institute Dean Dave Deptula that SPACECOM now has three primary missions: “One, our enduring, no-fail mission to enable warfighting operations in other domains. Two, our future mission as global SATCOM manager and global sensor manager. And three, our current new mission set compelling us to fight and win in the space domain in order to protect and defend our interests there.

“Additionally, this warfighting domain is growing, and this AOR is by far the biggest and is getting bigger, each day,” he added………

The ‘protect and defend’ mission, which would include any offensive action in a conflict, is carried out by the Joint Task Force Space Defense, commanded by Brig.  Gen. Tom James. ………

Despite the new UCP, however, Dickinson was coy with me about how exactly the decisions about who supports whom when are actually made, and at what level of the US military hierarchy. “Command decisions reside with the Combatant Commander,” he said, although “many of those decisions may be made well above us depending on the situation.”

Some of this, he said, is because such details remain classified. However, a number of sources intimately familiar with these issues tell me that a big problem is that there simply hasn’t yet been any agreements codified on how those decisions will be made. The hope is that the impending Joint Warfighting Concept, in which space plays a central role, will go some ways toward clarifying those questions…………

January 31, 2021 - Posted by | General News

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