SecAF, deputy SecDef meet with space leaders, joint warfighters

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Kristen Shimkus, Air Force Space Command Public Affairs

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett and David Norquist, deputy secretary of defense, completed their first official trips to Peterson Air Force Base to learn about military space operations from U.S. Space Command and Air Force Space Command leaders and space operators, Nov. 1.

This was the first time Norquist and Barrett toured the National Space Defense Center and the 1st Space Operations Squadron at Schriever AFB in their positions.

“It was our privilege to host Secretary Norquist and Secretary Barrett,” said Gen. Jay Raymond, USSPACECOM and AFSPC commander. “We appreciate the opportunity to showcase our space warfighters and their critical contributions to our joint missions.”

USSPACECOM and AFSPC leaders provided command mission briefings and conducted roundtable discussions with Barrett and more than a dozen military space leaders, some of whom gave mission and training updates.

As part of the training updates, Brig. Gen. Deanna Burt, AFSPC Operations and Communications director, highlighted landmark changes to space professional development. AFSPC will now train its space operators in one of four major warfighting functions: orbital warfare, space electronic warfare, space battle management and space access and sustainment.

“The Air Force is transforming the way we develop our space combat tacticians,” Burt said. “We are laying the foundation for a trained, ready crew force who are prepared to operate, protect and defend and, if necessary, fight and win in space.”

Barrett also received briefings from Maj. Gen. Bill Liquori, AFSPC Strategic Requirements, Architectures and Analysis director, on the future developments and challenges facing the space mission, and from Maj. Gen. Kimberly Crider, AFSPC mobilization assistant to the commander, on the importance of the AFSPC’s new enterprise data strategy.

After a visit to North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, Norquist later joined Barrett at Schriever AFB, where they conducted a table-top exercise highlighting the fact that space has become a warfighting domain. They then toured the NSDC operations floor and the 1st Space Operations Squadron, where they had the opportunity to interact with several space warfighters.

“Space professionals are deterring potential adversaries in space and defending the U.S. and allies,” Barrett said. “The re-establishment of U.S. Space Command was the right step. We look forward to a Space Force singularly focused on organizing, training and equipping those professionals.”