HomeNewsArticle Display

Shanahan, Wilson, Goldfein offer views for ensuring U.S. superiority in space

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson emphasized the importance of the U.S. maintaining its dominance in space during a speech April 9, 2019, at the 35th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo. “America is the best in the world at space, and our adversaries know it,” she said. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael Mathews)

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson emphasized the importance of the U.S. maintaining its dominance in space during a speech April 9, 2019, at the 35th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo. “America is the best in the world at space, and our adversaries know it,” she said. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael Mathews)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein emphasized the importance of allies and partners during a speech April 9, 2019, at the 35th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo. “We prefer the power of collaboration over coercion” to maintain space dominance, Goldfein said. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael Mathews)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein emphasized the importance of allies and partners during a speech April 9, 2019, at the 35th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo. “We prefer the power of collaboration over coercion” to maintain space dominance, Goldfein said. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael Mathews)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AFNS) --

The top echelon of the United States’ civilian and military leadership offered unflinching assurances April 9, that America’s superiority in space will endure even as competition – and the stakes – for primacy intensify.

In remarks to more than 1,500 government, military, industry and international leaders at the 35th Space Symposium, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan set a tone on at least one dominant point that was followed in quick succession in speeches by Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein.

“The threat is clear,” Shanahan said. “We’re in an era of great power competition, and the next major conflict may be won or lost in space.”

Because of actions by Russia, China and other nations, “space is no longer a sanctuary – it is now a warfighting domain,” Shanahan said. “This is not a future or theoretical threat; this is today’s threat. We are not going to sit back and watch – we are going to act.”

Wilson and Goldfein echoed and amplified those themes while also offering details for how the Air Force is meeting the new dynamic in space.

“America is the best in the world at space, and our adversaries know it,” Wilson said. Rather than becoming complacent, Wilson said the Air Force’s comprehensive approach is grounded in “a clear-eyed assessment of the world as it is.”

Wilson also highlighted how the Air Force is driving the change to field tomorrow’s capabilities faster and smarter by using authorities given to the service by Congress. That includes flattening the Space and Missile System Center organization and using the “speed as demonstrated” approach as employed by the Space Enterprise Consortium.

For Wilson that “clear eyed” assessment also extended to the upcoming debate in Congress and within the administration that will produce the critical details on the Space Force, a new 6th branch of the military.

“Different missions will require different solutions. One size does not fit all,” she said.

She and Goldfein highlighted changes the Air Force has already instituted that include revamping the acquisition process to make it faster and more nimble. As part of that effort, Wilson announced that a “Pitch Day” event devoted specifically to space will be held this Fall in Los Angeles. It follows one in March in New York in which 51 contracts, valued at $8.75 million, were awarded in a single day. Most were completed in 15 minutes, the fastest being awarded in less than three minutes.

“To further develop the force, we are graduating our first class of Schriever Scholars and expanding education on space to include junior officer, enlisted and international students,” Goldfein noted on the advent of new training efforts focusing on space.

Both emphasized the need to collaborate with allies and industry. “We prefer the power of collaboration over coercion,” Goldfein said to draw the comparison.

A sufficient budget, delivered on time also helps Wilson said in thanking Congress for its action on the current fiscal year budget. Space is a prominent fixture in the White House budget proposed for fiscal 2020. That budget calls for a 17 percent increase on space, pushing the total to $14 billion.

Such speed and innovation is crucial, Wilson and Goldfein said, since the United States is no longer alone.

“China is militarizing commercial space technologies and incorporating counter-space technologies into warfighting strategies,” she said. “Russia is developing ground-launched missiles, directed-energy weapons and sophisticated satellites to advance their counter-space capabilities.

“We must be able to leverage innovation in the commercial space industry to stay at the forefront of technology and ensure our access to space,” she said.

Goldfein touched on similar concepts but presented them through the lens of a warfighter.

“The ultimate objective is to make the prospect of conflict so painful for an adversary that they should prefer dealing with the secretary of state rather than the secretary of defense,” Goldfein said.

Engage

Twitter
Who doesn't love a little bit of range time? Maintaining our culture of readiness with the @USArmy and our… https://t.co/J54FE1TPXp
Twitter
We train like we fight! ⚔️ Airmen from the 179th Security Forces Squadron practice fire & maneuver ops at the… https://t.co/b40GK1VRtV
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: What an honor & privilege to host a virtual discussion with two #TuskegeeAirmen & @usairforce cadets today. I’m grateful…
Twitter
Looking right into Lightning ⚡ An F-35 Lightning II approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker over @CENTCOM. The F-35 Light… https://t.co/Kwa3JoSx19
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Had a great opportunity today to speak with @usairforce leaders in ISR, Cyber and IW at their Virtual Summit. These #Airm
Twitter
Reflecting on the Fortress 🏰 The reflection of a B-52 Stratofortress can be seen in SSgt Brandon Toth's lenses as… https://t.co/lh6jhq18Th
Twitter
Falcons get thirsty too. ⛽ F-16 Fighting Falcons fly over the @CENTCOM area of responsibility. The F-16 is a comp… https://t.co/EBSfhjHhjh
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Mark your calendar for the 2020 Exceptional Family Member Program virtual Summit happening Oct 21 at 9 a.m. CDT. on the Dep…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Thank you #Switzerland for longstanding cooperation & partnership in technical excellence. The @USAirForce values Switze…
Twitter
RT @NORADCommand: North American Aerospace Defense Command F-22 fighter aircraft, supported by E-3 airborne warning and control system and…
Twitter
RT @AFEnergy: DYK our engine sustainment initiatives can reduce fuel use by 2-3% AND increase engine performance? #EnergyAbleMissionCapab
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: Great coverage of the upcoming @AFRSO Advanced Manufacturing Olympics set for next week in @Forbes. Don't miss this exciting o…
Twitter
Keeping us a #ReadyAF by strengthening partnerships w/our allies! 💪 #AimHigh https://t.co/wmMDgLeTd3
Twitter
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center is executing $87 million in critical airfield construction at one of the most i… https://t.co/bRhCVY7X6R
Twitter
Got power? ⚡ This year's energy resilience theme is "Energy Able, Mission Capable." #EnergyAwarenessMonth Follo… https://t.co/yRhhSDQLcT
Twitter
Suicide prevention training is now available for Air Force families as a way to educate spouses, partners, adult fa… https://t.co/68Trsq4AvC
Twitter
Modernizing the force. @NellisAFB was one of the first five @DeptofDefense bases named to host new 5G technology,… https://t.co/aOpGtX2wZq
Twitter
Airmen from Will Rogers Air National Guard Base and @Team_Tinker participated in a Tactical Combat Casualty Care fo… https://t.co/9xKP1H3e3D
Twitter
“Resiliency is readiness & readiness breeds culture.” - @CMSAF_Official Connection to others is a basic human need… https://t.co/s6ktJj7jyX
Twitter
Training to be the best on the worst day. #ReadyAF https://t.co/KGwHLG0oVK
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,295,066
Follow Us