Space assets critical to winning war on terrorism

  • Published
  • By Capt. Johnny Rea
  • Air Force Space Command Public Affairs
Space-based assets are proving critical to winning the war on terrorism, according to the commander of Air Force Space Command.

“You cannot go to war and win without space,” Gen. Lance W. Lord said during a live appearance on “Fox and Friends” here Nov. 11.

The command comprises about 40,000 space professionals who provide combat forces and capabilities to North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Strategic Command, supporting various operations worldwide.

Space allows precision attack on the battlefield, the general said, and has transformed the way American forces fight modern wars.

Precision-guided munitions using Global Positioning System satellites limit the exposure and vulnerability of forces while minimizing collateral damage and maximizing combat effectiveness, he said.

“We take the ‘search’ out of search and rescue,” General Lord said during his television appearance.

He said the command’s Airmen are currently supporting warfighters on the ground in Fallujah, Iraq.

“We provide the navigation and the timing so that (the warfighters) can know exactly where they are -- and what the target coordinates are -- and (are) able to hit those with precision using space-based capabilities.”

The general reiterated the importance of space during a speech at a luncheon later the same day.

“Our nation depends upon our space capabilities for precision attack, speed and unmatched maneuverability on today’s battlefield,” he said. “We are well on our way to becoming a full spectrum combat command in the future.”

He said space superiority is a prerequisite for success, describing three elements necessary to achieve and sustain space superiority.

“Space situation awareness provides a robust understanding of what’s going on in the medium of space,” he said.

Defensive counterspace is not a program or a goal, but rather a mindset, he said. “We must work diligently to protect our advantage in space. Our nation depends on it.”

Finally, the general said the United States must develop the ability to counter enemy systems through reversible effects.

“We have made some tremendous progress with our existing capabilities, and we can all be proud of the contributions made by our military space systems,” General Lord said. “We are making a difference -- where it counts the most -- on the battlefield.”