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Space Force to Remain 'Lean, Agile, Fast'

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Space Force Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond, chief of space operations, spoke today about the Space Force at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics conference.

A man in a military uniform looks at the camera.
Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond
Space Force Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond, chief of space operations, speaks about the Space Force at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics conference, Nov. 18, 2020.
Photo By: DOD Video Still
VIRIN: 201118-O-ZZ999-001C

"We anticipate adversaries will try to degrade or destroy our space capabilities, denying the advantages that they provide," he said, mentioning Russia and China, which have cyber jammers, lasers and missiles that can take out satellites.

To better compete, the command places a premium on speed. "We know a conflict that begins or extends into space over vast distances at tremendous speeds." he said, noting that anti-satellite missiles can reach low-Earth orbit in a matter of minutes, moving at speeds of over 17,500 mph. 

Raymond also mentioned that big organizations move slowly, and the Space Force and Space Command have to stay "lean, agile and fast." 

A rocket blasts off.
Florida Launch
A Falcon 9 Starlink L-14 rocket successfully launches from SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Oct. 24, 2020. It was the fifteenth batch of satellites to be launched as part of the Starlink broadband network, which is scheduled to provide internet access across the world.
Photo By: Space Force Airman Thomas Sjoberg
VIRIN: 201024-X-QO603-1249

And, the Space Force has also shortened the decision-making process by removing unnecessary layers of bureaucracy and shortening the acquisition process, he added.

For instance, this year, the service brought in 50 software coders and then secured over 6,000 licenses to be used for defense software innovation.

What is Raymond's next goal? "Our vision for a digital service should be out soon. Beyond our workforce, we aim to build a digital headquarters that designs and executes digital operations because we know there's power in data, information and software," he said.

An airman works with satellite gear.
Satellite System
Air Force Airman 1st Class Logan McDuffie, 27th Special Operations Communications Squadron tactical local access network team member, adjusts the satellite dish network that is attached to the TACLAN at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Nov. 3, 2020. This is the first time the current TACLAN system has been used in an operational environment.
Photo By: Air Force Senior Airman Vernon R. Walter III
VIRIN: 201103-F-LD788-1175C
A service member adjusts a satellite communications device.
Satellite Setup
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Nicole Pam Penwarden, a communications specialist with Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team, Combat Logistics Battalion 24, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, sets up a satellite communication antenna for a humanitarian assistance exercise during Realistic Urban Training at Atlantic Airfield, N.C., Oct. 10, 2020.
Photo By: Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Mark E Morrow Jr.
VIRIN: 201010-M-GJ479-0029

Raymond said another goal is to improve partnerships with the other services, the intelligence community, allies, partners and the commercial sector. Historically, DOD space organizations have not had the number of partnerships as other domains such as land, air and sea, he said, adding "This has to change."

He added, "This is an exciting and critical period for our country in space. As a spacefaring nation, we are strongest when the domain is secure and stable, accessible to enterprising Americans for scientific and economic reasons."

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