Space Force

May 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
An F-16 Viper takes off at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, in March 2020. F-16 Vipers from the 20th Fighter Wing have played a primary role in demonstrating agile combat capabilities in joint all-domain command and control (JADC2) experiments. Leaders from the Joint All-Domain Strategist course visited Nellis in March to learn firshand from the military’s JADC2 efforts.  U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez

To prepare, operate and fight in joint warfare against near-peer adversaries across all domains will take adroit leaders who provide effective decisions in near or real time. The Air Command and Staff College, or ACSC, has set a course to do just that: prepare leaders to thrive and fight with joint operations in a contested environment on a global scale using joint all-domain command and control, or JADC2. Leaders in the class learn to plan and execute multidomain operations against possible threats on land, sea, air, space and cyberspace to lead through the challenges of the expected future operational environment in 2030 and beyond.

April 6, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Maj. Gen. Leah Lauderback, USAF, sees the U.S. Space Force’s membership into the intelligence community as a key step for the year-old service.

Similar to other members of the intelligence community, the U.S. Space Force is responsible for advancing intelligence-related mission objectives for U.S. national security. The service is performing space-related intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to provide key information and data to the community. Being part of the intelligence community is an important step for the year-old service, said Maj. Gen. Leah Lauderback, USAF, director, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), U.S. Space Force, speaking last Friday at a virtual Mitchell Institute event.

April 8, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The U.S. Space Force can employ a rapid “training refresh cycle,” with virtual tools and simulation in between real operations, says Lt. Gen. Chance Saltzman, USSF, deputy chief of Space Operations, speaking at an Aerospace Corp. event on April 8.

As the year-old U.S. Space Force increasingly supports the U.S. combatant commands with space-based capabilities and associated warfighters, the service needs to ramp up its training.

The service’s guardians increasingly face a contested environment in space and must advance their ability and science of conducting space operations, said Lt. Gen. Chance Saltzman, USSF, deputy chief of Space Operations.

“Being in a contested domain radically changes the skills, the experience and the training that our operators are going to have to bring to the fight,” the general said, speaking at an Aerospace Corp. event yesterday.

March 30, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, is training leaders for joint all-domain warfare through its rigorous year-long Joint All-Domain Strategist course. Students from the 2017-2018 course pose with their instructors. The course is growing in stature, given the need for such warfighting abilities. Credit: Air University Public Affairs Photo by Airman 1st Class Charles Welty.

To prepare, operate and fight in joint warfare against near-peer adversaries across all domains will take adroit leaders who provide effective decisions in near or real time. The Air Command and Staff College, or ACSC, has set a course to do just that: prepare leaders to thrive and fight with joint operations in a contested environment on a global scale using joint all-domain command and control, or JADC2. Leaders in the class learn to plan and execute multidomain operations against possible threats on land, sea, air, space and cyberspace to lead through the challenges of the expected future operational environment in 2030 and beyond.

March 26, 2021
 

L3 Harris Technologies Inc., Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been awarded a $9,043,264 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the National Space Test and Training Range (NSTTR) under the Combat Mission Systems Support contract FA8819-19-C-0002. NSTTR will create the data operations and supporting infrastructure for on-orbit test and evaluation operations. Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona, and is expected to be completed March 22, 2022. Fiscal 2021 Space Force research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $5,500,000 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is the contracting activity. 

March 12, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
An F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group takes off June 18, 2019, from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. The First Air Force, based at Tyndall will now be providing command and control in support of the U.S. Space Command. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie

The Office of the Secretary of the Air Force announced a reorganization plan today that will add duties to the First Air Force. In addition to its current role, the Numbered Air Force (NAF) also will be the air component to the U.S. Space Force Command.

Under Air Combat Command, the First Air Force, based at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, is responsible for protecting the continental United States, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by providing air component support to the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command. Now the NAF will also be providing command and control over the Air Force efforts supporting U.S. Space Command.

March 8, 2021
 

The Perduco Group Inc., Beavercreek, Ohio, has been awarded a ceiling $500,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity Small Business Innovation Research Phase III contract for tradespace analysis support. This contract provides for filling critical analysis gaps in acquisitions and increase the rigor of Space Force and Air Force, Army, Navy, and other Department of Defense entities in resourcing decisions towards them.

January 21, 2021
 

Range Generation Next LLC, Sterling, Virginia, has been awarded a $14,600,345 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P000327) to contract FA8806-15-C-0001 for a telemetry end-to-end processing system. This modification supports an increase in launch and test range requirements.  Work will primarily be performed at Eastern Range, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida; Cape Canaveral Air Station, Florida; and Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and is expected to be completed May 11, 2023. Fiscal 2020 Air Force space procurement funds in the full amount are being obligated at the time of award. Space and Missile Systems Center, Peterson AFB, Colorado, is the contracting activity.

January 8, 2021
Posted by: George I. Seffers
The director of national intelligence announced today that the U.S. Space Force has been designated a part of the intelligence community. Credit: NicoElNino/Shutterstock

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond announced today the designation of the intelligence element of the U.S. Space Force as a member of the intelligence community (IC). 

“This accession reaffirms our commitment to securing outer space as a safe and free domain for America’s interests,” said Ratcliffe. “American power in space is stronger and more unified than ever before. Today we welcome Space Force to the intelligence community and look forward to the power and ingenuity of a space security team unrivaled by any nation.”

The Space Force element is the first new organization to join the IC since 2006. 

December 2, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Lockheed Martin's SBIRS GEO-5 satellite is tested in a vacuum chamber at the company's Sunnyvale, California, production facility in April. The U.S. Space Force has ruled that the satellite is now ready for launching in 2021. Credit: Lockheed Martin

The fifth Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellite, known as SBIRS GEO-5, is ready for launch in 2021. The U.S. Space Force deemed complete the high priority program satellite, which will provide worldwide missile warning capability to the U.S. military. The service’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) Production Corps at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, and industry partner Lockheed Martin Space, in Sunnyvale, California, prepared the important warning system in record time.

September 22, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
With industry partners, including the United Launch Alliance, or ULA, the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) launches the fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite (AEHF-5) at Cape Canaveral on an Atlas-V rocket in August 2019. Going forward the SMC will evolve into the Space Systems Command and will be seeking more horizontally focused solutions that can "plug and play" into a whole range of capabilities. Credit: SMC Public Affairs, Walter Talens

To outpace its adversaries in space, the U.S. Space Force intends on being a digital service. With a smaller force of about 16,000 total warfighters, civilians and contractors, the Space Force will have to rely on industry to bring the technologies needed to be a digitally advanced, said Lt. Gen. Chance Saltzman, USSF, deputy chief, Space Operations, Cyber, and Nuclear, Space Force. 

September 22, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The U.S. Space Force will grow to about 16,000 warfighters, civilians and contractors. Top military leaders, including, Gen. John Raymond (l), commander of United States Space Command and Air Force Space Command; Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett (c); and previous Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein, sign memorandums to authorize the service last December. Credit: Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs, Photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert Barnett

The new fiscal year brings a more solidified U.S. Space Force. Beginning October 1, the service will stand up its three field commands: the Space Systems Command, the Space Operations Command and a Space Training and Readiness Command, reports Lt. Gen. B. Chance Saltzman, USSF, deputy chief, Space Operations, Cyber, and Nuclear, U.S. Space Force.

Gen. Saltzman spoke virtually to AFCEA International’s Northern Virginia or NOVA Chapter on September 18, 2020. “Our goal is to be able to increase the decision cycle as fast as possible so that we can provide operations, decisions and warfighting capabilities at an operationally relevant speed,” Gen. Saltzman emphasized.

September 15, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. John "Jay" Raymond, USSF, the chief of Space Operations, is emphasizing the digital nature of the new Space Force.

With space a contested domain, the U.S. military’s newest service, the Space Force, must be bold and faster in its operations, reports Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, USSF, chief of Space of Operations, U.S. Space Force.

The leader, who is responsible for organizing, training and equipping the service’s space force as well as providing space-based capabilities, is spearheading a digital-based vision for the service. Part of this new force design is making sure that electronic- and computing-based capabilities underpin its structure.

September 2, 2020
 

Geospark Analytics Inc.,* Herndon, Virginia, has been awarded a $95,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a five year ordering period for the Phase Three commercialization of their Small Business Innovation Research Phase One technology of Hyperion Artificial Intelligence. The enterprise-level contract provides near real time situational awareness capabilities to the entire U.S. federal government, enabling users to make better decisions faster. This is accomplished by identifying and forecasting emerging events on a global scale to mitigate risk, recognize threats, greatly enhance indications and warnings and provide predictive analytics capabilities.

August 26, 2020
Posted by: Kimberly Underwood
The Space and Missile Systems Center’s (SMC's) Wideband Global Satellite-10 (WGS-10) is encapsulated in the Delta IV rocket for its launch in March 2019 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. SMC just completed a test of a key anti-jamming technology that it plans to add to satellites WGS 1 through WGS 10. Credit: Van Ha, SMC Public Affairs.

On August 26, the U.S. Space Force announced that its Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) had successfully completed a key test of an anti-jamming capability designed for its Wideband Global Satellite (WGS) Communication platform.

The new solution, known as MAJE, or Mitigation and Anti-Jam Enhancement, includes both software and hardware upgrades for the Global SATCOM Configuration Control Element (GSCCE) ground system, which is operated by the U.S. Army.

“MAJE will double the anti-jam SATCOM capabilities for six Geographic Combatant Commands,” added Col. John Dukes, USAF, SMC’s Geosynchronous Polar Orbit Division senior materiel leader.

August 17, 2020
 

Net-centric Design Professionals LLC, Boulder, Colorado, has been awarded a $28,613,576 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Tools, Applications and Processing Laboratory and Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) Battlespace Awareness Center (OBAC) support services. This contract provides for an unrestricted research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) innovation environment for enhancing and/or developing new operational capabilities, while also providing an environment accessible to other Department of Defense, civil and commercial users to find new innovative uses of remote sensing data.

August 3, 2020
 

Lockheed Martin Corp., Sunnyvale, California, has been awarded an $8,093,513 fixed-price-incentive-firm modification (P00095) to contract FA8808-12-C-0010 for the delivery of two Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) space vehicles. The contract modification is to modify the On-Orbit Test Process of Space Vehicle 6 under the basic contract. Work will be performed in Sunnyvale, California, and is expected to be completed by December 2020. Fiscal 2018 and 2019 Space procurement funds in the amount of $8,093,513 are being obligated at the time of award. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $2,074,959,632. The Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is the contracting activity.

July 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The successful launch of the GPS III Space Vehicle 03 and the recovery of the Falcon 9 rocket booster represents another step in innovation. Credit: SpaceX

With industry partners, the Space and Missile Systems Center of the U.S. Space Force launched the GPS III Space Vehicle 03, or SV03, on June 30 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The launch sets the third GPS III satellite into space to join the SV01 and SV02 satellites, which were declared operational in January and April.

The GPS III system is the space portion of the Space Force’s effort to modernize the entire GPS capability, offered Tonya Ladwig, acting vice president, Navigation Systems, Lockheed Martin Space.

June 16, 2020
 

Braxton Technologies LLC, Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been awarded a $19,910,587 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification (P00014) to contract FA8806-19-C-0003 for support to the Schriever Air Force Base Infrastructure - Minimal Viable Product (MVP) effort. This modification provides for cross-domain solutions, design, integration and rapid delivery team services. Work will be performed in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and is expected to be completed April 30, 2021. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $14,465,154 are being obligated at the time of award. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $80,366,105. Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is

June 2, 2020
 

Range Generation Next LLC, Sterling, Virginia, has been awarded a $13,941,843 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P000297) to contract FA8806-15-C-0001 for cyber hardened infrastructure support. This modification supports an increase in launch and test range requirements. The primary locations of performance are the Eastern Range, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida; and the Western Range, Vandenberg AFB, California. Work is expected to be completed Feb. 14, 2022. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $13,941,843 are being obligated at the time of award. The total cumulative face value is $1,210,861,882. Space and Missile Systems Center, Peterson AFB, Colorado, is the contracting activity.

May 22, 2020
 

LinQuest Corp., Los Angeles, California, has been awarded an $11,008,552 firm-fixed-price modification (P00047) to contract FA8819-15-F-0001 for the Space and Missile Systems Center technical support follow-on task order bridge extension. This modification provides continued technical support services for the Special Programs Directorate, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. Work will be performed at Los Angeles AFB, California, and is expected to be completed May 31, 2021. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $856,651; and fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $3,000,000 are obligated at the time of award. The U.S.

May 20, 2020
 

ManTech SRS Technologies Inc., Herndon, Virginia, has been awarded a $20,916,894 cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price modification (P00056) to contract FA8811-10-C-0002 for systems engineering and integration services. Work will be performed at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California; Vandenberg AFB, California; and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Work is expected to be completed September 22, 2020. Fiscal year 2020 procurement funds in the amount of $17,673,379; FY 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $1,503,797; and FY 2020 research development test and evaluation funds in the amount of $729,723 are being obligated at the time of award. Total cumulative face value of the contract modification and option

May 19, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Credit: Shutterstock/Pogorelova Olga

The Space Force has announced that the planned satellite hacking challenge known as Space Security Challenge 2020: Hack-A-Sat would proceed as planned, but in a virtual format due to the pandemic. The Department of the Air Force and the Defense Digital Service's (DDS's) event includes an online qualification event May 22-24, followed by a final August 7-9. During the final, participants will attempt to reverse-engineer representative ground-based and on-orbit satellite system components to overcome planted “flags” or software code.

May 6, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Col. Laurel Walsh, 50th Operations Group commander (l), and Airman 1st Class Michael McCowan, satellite systems operator and mission planner, 2nd Space Operations Squadron, give the final command to decommission Satellite Vehicle Number-36 at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado in January. As part of steps to create a modern, agile U.S. Space Force, the new service is creating a data management governance council. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Amanda Lovelace

The U.S. Space Force is pursuing a comprehensive data strategy, designed to harness data for strategic advantage. This next-generation data management effort is meant to be more of a precise engineering discipline—rather than an ad hoc organizational effort—and as such, includes the establishment of an associated governing body.

May 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
U.S. Space Force’s Advanced Extremely High Frequency-6 (AEHF-6) communications system atop the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket is moved to the launchpad at the Kennedy Space Center in preparation for its March 11, 2020, launch, the first for the new service. The Space Force will employ next-generation data management across all of its systems to make sure information, especially from satellite systems, is a powerful tool for the service.  United Launch Alliance

Unlike the other services, the military’s newest service, the U.S. Space Force, is starting with a chief data officer in place on day one of its existence. With an executive in place to guide how the service will administer its information, and with support from its top leadership, the service aims to have its data aid its strategic advantage.

April 20, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. John "Jay" Raymond, USAF, chief, Space Operations, U.S. Space Force, testifies in March before the House Armed Services Committee in Washington, D.C. In a virtual town hall meeting on April 16, the general explained that the service will rely on the commercial satellite industry more than the military has in the past.    Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Wayne Clark

The four-month-old U.S. Space Force is setting its priorities for the future, and part of that is a plan to leverage key partnerships with allies, the intelligence community and the commercial space industry. And while partnerships with the commercial space industry in regard to launch services have been quite visible, the Space Force is set to work more frequently with the producers of small communications satellite systems, said Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, USAF, chief of operations, U.S. Space Force.

April 17, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. Raymond speaks at the Pentagon on March 27, 2020. The general, speaking at a virtual town hall on April 16, explains how the new service will pull together its personnel for its Force. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Wayne Clark

The U.S. Space Force is beginning to take shape. The new service is in the process of sorting out who moves to the Space Force and who will stay in the U.S. Air Force. The four-month-old service also will begin taking applicants to join its ranks from the other military services starting May 1, Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, USAF, chief of operations, U.S. Space Force, said in a virtual town hall on April 16. Any individual that wants to come over to the service has to get prior approval from its current service, he noted.

April 9, 2020
 

LinQuest Corp., Los Angeles, California, has been awarded a $14,287,826 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for support to the U.S. Space Command, a unified combatant command for space. This contract provides for non-personal services to accomplish the necessary functions to continue the development of the U.S. Space Command as directed by the President of the United States. Work will be performed at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado; and Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, and is expected to be completed by April 21, 2021. The award is the result of a sole-source acquisition, and fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $3,000,000 are being obligated at the time of award. Headquarters U.S.

April 2, 2020
 

Monkton Inc., Vienna, Virginia, has been awarded a $500,000,000 hybrid firm-fixed-price, cost-reimbursable, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the commercialization of mobile strategy. This contract provides for the technology and support necessary to enable the Department of Defense to rapidly design, develop and deploy mission enabling solutions to uniformed active duty members, reservist and civil servants that operate at the tactical edge. Work will be performed in Tysons, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by October 1, 2025. This award is the result of a Small Business Innovation Research (SIBR) Program and is a Phase III award directly born from Monkton Inc.'s SBIR Phase I award. Fiscal 2020 operations and

February 13, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Space and Missile Systems Center’s fifth Advanced Extreme High Frequency satellite, AEHF-5, in the faring of United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V vehicle, launches last August at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The center has moved control of the satellite to the new Space Operations Command. Credit: SMC

The Space and Missile Systems Center has transferred its fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite to the new Space Operations Command. Both the center, known as SMC, and the command, known as SpOC, fall under the new U.S. Space Force. Operators from SpOC at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, will now retain control authority for the key military satellite communications capability, the center reported on February 12.

February 7, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
“Defensive cyber operations will be our number one priority,” says Brig. Gen. Joseph Matos, USMC, J-6, U.S. Space Command, speaking of the command’s vital role in defending U.S. space-based assets and operations.

Last August 30, the U.S. Space Command become the 11th unified combatant command of the U.S. Department of Defense. In that role, the command will be conducting defensive, and when necessary, offensive cyber capabilities to protect key space-based assets and guard its part of the military’s network, called the DODIN.

December 20, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, USA, speak with Maj. Gen. Brian Winski, USA, commanding general, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) & Fort Campbell, near Bastogne, Belgium, on December 16 as part of the events for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. The leaders announced today the official creation of the U.S. Space Force, the newest branch of the military in 70 years. DOD photo by Lisa Ferdinando

For the first time in 70 years, the U.S. military will be adding another service to its organization, the Space Force. The move becomes official with the signing of the S. 1790, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020 by the president later today, announced Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley, USA. The top two military leaders briefed the press at the Pentagon and broadcasted the event online December 20.

October 17, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
An Atlas V rocket carrying a Space-Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellite for an Air Force mission lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, in January. DOD is proposing the creation of the U.S. Space Force to protect the space domain. Credit: United Launch Alliance

To build the Space Force, the proposed sixth service of the U.S. military, the Defense Department will initially pull from all the services, not just the Air Force, according to Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy Steve Kitay. It will truly be a joint warfighting service, he stressed.