by Senior Airman J.G. Buzanowski
Air Force Print News
3/28/2006 - WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Space is an integral part of the Air Force mission.
Whether someone is flying an airlifter, sending an e-mail or surveying a new runway, chances are space-based weather forecasting, navigation or communications systems helped make it possible.
In fact, the Air Force is boldly developing new systems that will revolutionize how warfighters worldwide conduct operations, said Dr. Ronald Sega, undersecretary of the Air Force.
One of his responsibilities is to oversee the Air Force’s space operations, something he is uniquely familiar with, having spent six years working for National Aeronautics and Space Administration and, after becoming an astronaut, two successful missions into space.
Dr. Sega said integrating new space systems into the Air Force’s array of space-based tools is one of his main priorities.
“We’re moving forward with a lot of space acquisitions,” the undersecretary said. “Space is important today for the Air Force and its allies and it will be increasingly so in the future.”
The Air Force has long ensured the United States is fully engaged in maintaining space dominance. Over the last few years Air Force Space Command has had 44 successful launches in a row, a record in U.S. history.
The Air Force also offers laser communication capabilities for combatants in the field.
“High-speed communication is important for joint operations,” Dr. Sega said. “Having satellites enables our folks to get their missions done.”
To put space systems in orbit faster, the Air Force is applying lessons learned from the development processes used on past projects.
“A principal focus is to reduce the time it takes to bring on a capability so we can get that asset to the folks who need it,” Dr. Sega said.
One of those new systems is an updated Global Positioning System. It will give GPS users even more accuracy when using their location-finding devices.
“Our new acquisitions will provide the advanced communications needs our people need,” Dr. Sega said. “We’re ever improving our capabilities in space. It’s essential for the defense of the nation and fighting the war on terror.”