Our Vision makes it possible for aerospace power to become the preeminent force in attaining the Joint Vision 2010 overarching warfighting precept -- Full Spectrum Dominance.

The AFSPC Vision looks 25 years into the future and may be summed up in one sentence: “A globally integrated aerospace force providing continuous deterrence and prompt engagement for America and its allies ... through control and exploitation of space and information” (Figure 2-1).  This Vision statement recognizes the importance of aerospace power in accomplishing the national objectives assigned to the US military.  We envision Aerospace Forces capable of changing the course of events in near-real-time.  It is a force in which space is a key, integral and enabling part.

Figure 2-1: AFSPC Vision statement focuses integration and development efforts

Just as the changes in society over the centuries have led to new centers of gravity, so too is the case with the space medium. Space capabilities have become essential for military operations, commerce and everyday life. Under a constant deluge of evolving technologies, traditional military, civil and commercial capabilities in space are rapidly converging. As an example, our Global Positioning System (GPS) has been integrated into military, civil and commercial applications ranging from precision weapons to rental cars. Satellite communication is experiencing explosive growth. This growth is dominated by the commercial sector. Further, this growth is placing huge demands on spacelift, satellite operations and space situational awareness to effectively deploy, manage and protect these capabilities.

These and other changes emphasize the criticality of freedom of operations within the region of space. Given the tremendous economic and military importance of space, we must be prepared to protect and defend US national space interests and investments.

In addition to protecting and defending this emerging center of gravity, advancing technology is also opening the doors to remarkable changes in military strategies and operations. Through the years, as better intelligence and strike capabilities evolved, military operations compressed the timetable for halting an enemy’s operations in a war from years to months to weeks. New space-related capabilities are on the threshold of compressing that scale even further by allowing combatant commanders the ability to make decisions based upon unprecedented information superiority.  With the ever-increasing ability to compress operational time scales, military commanders and National Command Authorities (NCA) will be offered much greater flexibility in terms of potential courses of action to pursue. Aggression could be averted altogether as better intelligence and situational awareness offer more informed decision-making support for diplomatic negotiations, and as prompt, selective and possibly non-lethal strikes render adversarial forces virtually ineffective at the very beginning of a crisis. If a crisis does unfold, fully integrated joint operations that execute seamless aerospace-land-sea capabilities will be the norm.

AFSPC is the primary space force provider for all joint endeavors. Unlocking the potential of space to enable success of the seamless aerospace-land-sea forces mandates we successfully and completely implement our Vision.

The remainder of this chapter provides an overview of Joint and Air Force Visions, showing how space plays an integral part. It then breaks down the AFSPC Vision to describe how each specific mission area will evolve to achieve the 25-year AFSPC Vision “end state,” with emphasis on the value added to the combatant commander.

2.1     Supported Visions

Our Vision has its roots in a number of other Visions.  As an Air Force Major Command (MAJCOM), we can trace the lineage of our Vision directly from the National Security Strategy (NSS) and Defense Planning Guidance (DPG) to the Chairman’s Joint Vision 2010 to the Air Force Vision of Global Engagement.  These documents provide the “Sight Picture” for Joint Forces and the USAF.  Since AFSPC is also a force provider for a number of unified commands, our Vision supports the USSPACECOM Vision for 2020, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Vision 2010 and the United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) Vision.  Our Vision is built on the premise that none of these other Visions are achievable without leveraging space to the fullest.  Figure 2-2 depicts the linkage between these Visions.

Figure 2-2: AFSPC’s Vision enables Air Force and Joint Visions

2.1.1     Joint Vision 2010

Joint Vision 2010 describes a US military that is able to gain Full Spectrum Dominance through the implementation of the four operational concepts -- Dominant Maneuver, Precision Engagement, Full-Dimensional Protection and Focused Logistics. Information superiority and technological innovation enable these operational concepts. As noted in the Air Force’s Global Engagement, achieving Full Spectrum Dominance is heavily dependent on the inherent strengths of aerospace power. We recognize that the space portion of aerospace power contributes and shares fully in these inherent strengths, but is currently underdeveloped. This recognition drives the AFSPC Vision. Accordingly, this Vision formed the overall guidance for our SMP. We plan to update our Vision prior to the 2000-2001 IPP cycle in concert with anticipated updates in the Joint and Air Force Visions.

2.1.2     Air Force Vision

The Air Force Vision Global Engagement makes the bold claim that the strategic instrument of choice in the 21st century will be air and space power. The AFSPC Vision provides the conceptual framework for guiding the integration of our space forces into an Aerospace Force. Global Engagement lists six core competencies of air and space forces that summarize Air Force contributions towards achieving superior military capabilities. At present, space forces are primarily enablers of these core competencies. Upon implementation of this Vision, we will become direct providers.

The Air Force core competencies are:

·         Information Superiority

·         Air and Space Superiority

·         Precision Engagement

·         Agile Combat Support

·         Rapid Global Mobility

·         Global Attack

2.1.3     USSPACECOM Vision

Dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect US interests and investment. Integrating Space Forces into warfighting capabilities across the full spectrum of conflict.

- US Space Command Vision for 2020

In implementing this Vision, the USSPACECOM LRP introduces four operational concepts. The first, Control of Space, is the ability to ensure uninterrupted access to space for US forces and our allies, freedom of operations within the space medium and an ability to deny others the use of space, if required. Global Engagement is the combination of global surveillance of the Earth, worldwide missile defense and the ability to apply force from space. Full Force Integration seamlessly joins space-derived information and space forces with information and forces from the land, sea and air. Finally, Global Partnerships augment the military’s space capabilities by leveraging civil, commercial and international space capabilities.

2.1.4     NORAD Vision

Partners in Protecting Our Homelands: Deter, Detect and Defend Against Air and Space Threats to North America.

- NORAD Vision 2010

The NORAD Vision 2010 identifies five operational concepts, the achievement of which will provide NORAD the capabilities required to protect our homelands against aerospace threats in 2010 and beyond.

Precision Tracking is required to detect and track any air or space threat to North America from its origin. Precision Engagement provides NORAD the capability to precisely engage threats throughout the full range of our surveillance coverage to ensure off-shore threat engagement well before air and space weapons threaten Canadian or American citizens. Integrated Battle Management consists of a system of systems providing seamless battle management to fuse information from our NORAD regions and adjacent CINCs and commanders. Focused Logistics fuses information, logistics and transportation technologies to support rapid crisis response by tracking and shifting assets to deliver tailored logistics packages and sustainment when and where they are needed. Information Superiority is the ability to collect, process and disseminate an uninterrupted flow of information while exploiting or denying an adversary's ability to do the same.

2.1.5     USSTRATCOM Vision

Deter major military attack on the United States and its allies; and if deterrence fails, employ forces.

- US Strategic Command Vision

To achieve the USSTRATCOM Vision, not only is proper stewardship of our strategic forces paramount; but the complete integration of space and missile capabilities into a global Aerospace Force is vital. This integration is crucial to deterring all major military attacks and employing forces if deterrence fails.

2.2     AFSPC Vision End State

The explosive growth in the importance of space services and in the economic investment on the national and international scene will fuel dramatic advances in aerospace power.  Added to this growth is the reality of flat defense budgets driving an increased reliance on space-based capabilities as force multipliers.  Therefore, implementation of our Vision -- “A globally integrated aerospace force providing continuous deterrence and prompt engagement for America and its allies ... through control and exploitation of space and information” -- will be the engine that drives a change from airpower as the preeminent force of choice today to aerospace power as the force of choice for tomorrow.  Given this overall Vision, we defined some of the probable capabilities needed for the mission and mission support areas by the end of the planning horizon.  The sum of these capabilities provides the overall end state for the SMP.  This end state is characterized in the sections below for each of the AFSPC mission areas.

2.2.1     Force Enhancement Vision End State

As the premier gatherer, transmitter and disseminator of information, AFSPC’s Force Enhancement capabilities will be the linchpin for providing high-speed information flows that link US and allied forces around the globe. The result is exceptional situational awareness with information superiority -- key to the accelerated decision-making that will be fundamental to success in the 21st century battlespace.

Today, space forces and the information they provide are a preeminent force multiplier, enhancing nearly every mission accomplished by the US military. Presently, we are perceived as predominantly information conduits, gathering and disseminating information for our joint forces. As our space capabilities become more integrated into the normal toolkit for the unified CINCs, our role will change from just being conduits for information to an active role in integrated aerospace decision-making. Our Force Enhancement role will only grow as we push our potential as far as technology will allow.

In the increasingly lethal and complex battlespace of the future, our combatant commanders will demand more accurate and relevant information delivered at the right time to the right warrior to help ensure success. To do so, we must capitalize on the basic advantages provided by space-based capabilities. Since space is the ultimate high ground, space-based systems provide depth of coverage unparalleled by airborne or terrestrial systems. Constellations of satellites will provide the global information and seamless connectivity demanded by our peacekeepers, peacemakers and warfighters and will often be the first capabilities “on the scene.” For example, space-based systems will provide the initial and follow-on Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities for theater CINCs; space-based capabilities will be later enhanced with airborne surveillance capabilities. Likewise, global SATCOM networks may provide the only communications in a theater where terrestrial communications are not available or accessible. Furthermore, space-based positioning and timing systems will aid in providing the accurate geospatial information key to meeting tomorrow’s complex information needs and mastering the battlefield and staging areas supporting combatant commanders.

It would be easy to describe future Force Enhancement systems as simply “cheaper, better, faster.” This is an oversimplification. We envision tailorable, integrated information systems able to expand and contract as the unified CINCs needs dictate. The ability to rapidly retask space assets will be key to enabling the integrated battlespace picture needed for immediate combatant commander support.

As an example, S&TW systems will progress beyond merely providing indications of ballistic missile launches. In the future, we will be able to find, fix, track, target, engage and assess all targets of interest including nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons production, processing and storage sites; aircraft and cruise missiles in flight; and hard and deeply buried targets. The S&TW data generated will then be inserted into an integrated, joint, C2 architecture that provides unified CINCs with a highly responsive sensor-to-decisionmaker-to-shooter capability. Advanced S&TW, combined with an accelerated decision-making cycle and linked to precision guided weapons, will allow unprecedented operations tempo at reduced risk.

To help ensure availability of our space-based assets and to optimize their capabilities, we must have better knowledge of the environment in which they operate. Therefore, we will continue to integrate more space environmental factors into our decision making with more timely and accurate information. As we do so, we will begin to see the critical value of having accurate space environmental information readily available. As an example, accurate forecasts of possible disruptions to our communications satellites will permit rerouting to ensure communications during critical theater operations. Also, better knowledge of the space environment and accurate forecasts of disruptions would allow notifications to theater CINCs when information from space-based Force Enhancement systems is suspect or inaccurate. Additionally, AFSPC will lead the effort to provide Department of Defense (DoD) terrestrial weather measurements from space.

To ensure information superiority, we must do more than provide the information needed for global, real-time situational awareness. We must develop a full spectrum of capabilities to gain, exploit, defend or attack information and information systems. We will increase our understanding of the infosphere and develop the defensive counter information capabilities needed to protect our information. We will also bring to our theater CINCs offensive IO capabilities that can be seamlessly integrated into their targeting decision making. This area is only now beginning to be considered a legitimate warfighting tool of choice.

We will continue to work with other agencies, organizations and Services to develop the Force Enhancement capabilities required in the future. For example, to provide the S&TW capabilities described above, AFSPC has been working with the Aerospace Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center and other key Air Force organizations to build and update the Air Force’s integrated air and space ISR MAP.

While implementation of the Force Enhancement Vision end state, depicted in Figure 2-3, will provide significant increases in joint warfighting capabilities, not all improvements need to be accomplished using military systems. The commercial world holds a great deal of promise for providing a large percentage of our Force Enhancement needs, both everyday and during crises, at reduced costs -- potentially freeing up military resources for uniquely military mission areas. But, we must recognize there are risks to too much dependency upon commercial systems.

Figure 2-3: Force Enhancement capabilities evolve to real-time
global situational awareness for warfighting

2.2.2     Space Support Vision End State

To improve our support to today’s combatant commander and enable the vision end states of the other mission areas (Force Enhancement, Space Control and Force Applications), we must achieve our own vision end state of on-demand space transportation and space asset operations. Additionally, Space Support advocates for the future capabilities and technologies that possess cross-mission area applicability to ensure the efficient and cost-effective development and leveraging of pervasive space capabilities and technologies. Figure 2-4 depicts the capabilities that provide the Air Force on-demand space transportation and space asset operations.

Figure 2-4: Space Support capabilities evolve to on-demand
space transportation
and space asset operations

For the launch operations sub-mission area, we will strive for robust and responsive spacelift in support of routine and time-sensitive military operations. In addition to launching payloads into space, there are several activities Space Support can perform in or through space. First, we will develop the capabilities to reposition, recover and service on-orbit assets. Second, once we have the capability to perform on-demand launch in support of military operations, it is not a stretch to seriously consider the use of launch vehicles (reusable, military or commercial) to rapidly transport cargo from one terrestrial location to another.

Satellite operations include the tasks of Telemetry, Tracking and Commanding (TT&C); mission data retrieval; and Launch, Early Orbit and Anomaly resolution (LEO&A) support. On-demand operations execution of any US government on-orbit space asset to support the full spectrum of world-wide military operations will enable these tasks to provide the CINC with the timely capability to communicate with an on-orbit asset when and where he needs to do so. Additionally, increased ground and on-orbit space asset autonomy will provide the CINC with the confidence that if an unforeseen event occurs, the autonomous nature of the infrastructure will “weather out the storm” without loss of capability.

Finally, though not formal sub-missions, Space Support is responsible for advocating for improved MS&A and FDE capabilities. By the end of the planning horizon, space-related MS&A capabilities will be institutionalized and will more accurately represent the contributions of space-related capabilities to the battlefield allowing for viable space-to-air, land or sea force mix trades. Additionally, we will develop the test infrastructure for evaluating space assets prior to declaring them operational. The resulting “space range” will be used to evaluate existing and emerging space strategy, doctrine, or tactics.

3.3.4     Space Control Vision End State

Space products and services are already intricately woven into the fabric of our nation’s economy and political and military infrastructure. For the US, the space medium has become a region of vital national interest. Though we are the world’s most advanced space-faring nation, the increasing globalization of the world economy makes it considerably easier for any nation to exploit space products and services. As stated in Global Engagement, “The threat to Americans and American forces from the use of space by adversaries is rising while our dependence on space assets is also increasing.”

With such a clear threat to a critical center of gravity, our ability to control the use of space will be crucial to US national interests. As such, gaining and maintaining space superiority (our ability to exploit space while selectively denying it to our adversaries) will become as important tomorrow as gaining air superiority is today.

The first priority is to improve our space surveillance capability to achieve real time space situational awareness. Then, we will concentrate on protecting US and Allied space assets. Inherent in our ability to protect these space assets is the need to exercise against a space-capable Red Force. This is closely followed by a full spectrum of offensive space capabilities to deny an adversary’s access to and use of space. Finally, with the growing ballistic and cruise missile threat against our nation’s homeland, we must be ready to develop and deploy, in accordance with NCA direction, a space-based missile defense capability.

Figure 2-5 depicts the Space Control capabilities that will enable the Air Force to enjoy full-spectrum dominance of space.

Figure 2-5: Space Control capabilities evolve to full control and exploitation of space

2.2.4     Force Applications Vision End State

Aerospace power is unique in its ability to attack rapidly anywhere on the globe at any time. It was the speed and range of strategic airpower that, more than anything else, prompted the creation of a separate US Air Force after World War II. Space power has the same, if not greater, potential for global force projection. Implementing this Vision will guide the advancement of technology and policy to allow theory to become reality.

Presently, our only option for prompt, global strike is nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). AFSPC’s future conventional Force Applications options include: Continental United States (CONUS)-based conventionally armed ballistic missiles, on-orbit systems able to attack terrestrial targets and reusable space operations vehicles with global range. The latter has the triple advantage of ballistic missile-like response times, bomber-like flexibility for in-flight recall and/or retargeting, and CONUS basing. Attaining the Vision end state produces a low risk, low collateral damage force application capability that nearly instantaneously imposes our will on an adversary. We will be able to control the tempo of operations, accelerating and decelerating attacks against all targets at the Joint Force Commander’s (JFC) choosing, while reducing the exposure of our troops and materiel to danger. Near-real-time intelligence data, combined with a global response time of minutes, could change the nature of conventional military deterrence. Such capability will enable US forces to halt enemy attacks well before momentum and intended means are realized. This strategy significantly reduces US and Allied forces at risk.

In addition, we will continue to provide the backbone of our nation’s strategic deterrence in a safe and secure manner.

Figure 2-6 depicts the evolution of our Force Applications capabilities to enable timely, flexible and precise global engagement.

Figure 2-6: Force Applications capabilities evolve to
timely, flexible and precise Global Engagement

3.3.4     Mission Support Vision End State

Our ability to develop and maintain 21st century aerospace warriors and infrastructure is just as crucial to success of this Vision as employing new technologies and advanced concepts. Since the Mission Support areas cut across all other mission areas, improvements in Mission Support effectiveness and efficiency affect the entire space force, making other Vision end states more achievable. Although infrastructure support for current space and missile capabilities is adequate, it must evolve to efficiently and effectively support new space missions in the future, as well as the changing nature of space operations. Figure 2-7 summarizes the evolution of our Mission Support capabilities to support a fully integrated Aerospace Force.

Figure 2-7: Mission Support capabilities form the foundation for a
fully integrated Aerospace Force

Communications and Information (C&I) architectures will be interoperable with multi-level security to support the theater CINCs, including multi-service and coalition forces, using a consolidated, plug-and-play infrastructure. Dissemination and understanding of information will be greatly enhanced through multi-level security, virtually unlimited bandwidth, natural language interfaces, holographic displays, global knowledge banks and artificial intelligence. C2 and planning systems will incorporate artificial intelligence and simulation to enhance decision making and user training. Warfighter user equipment will evolve to intelligent information appliances providing integrated voice, video and data, and artificial intelligence assistance.

Civil Engineering will continue to provide planning, programming, budgeting and advocacy for the facilities, infrastructure and basing needed to support our portion of the integrated Aerospace Force. This will include continued environmental leadership and compliance with the requirements of the day. Adequate and affordable housing will be available for all personnel and their families. Contingency-trained civil engineering (Prime BEEF) personnel will be fully trained and available to support required deployments worldwide. Moreover, these deployed personnel and units will be fully capable of supporting bare base operations as well as the complete range of base development, operations, maintenance and sustainment functions.

Logistics capabilities will evolve to support all land and space-based systems associated with the mission area capabilities. Supported systems will include nuclear and conventional ICBMs, space systems, satellite operations and space launch systems. Standardized Air Force processes and a seamless information system will be used for all AFSPC logistics support vital for a fully-integrated Aerospace Force. Space logistics technology will enable on-orbit asset servicing and sustainment. Finally, Logistics will be the business advisor for AFSPC contracted activities, including commercial launch operations and other competitively sourced activities.

Security Forces will continue to protect our warfighting assets. Protection measures will be based on a comprehensive understanding of vulnerability for all installations. Measures will be tailored to the situation using a security architecture consisting of people, procedures, and physical, electronic and cyber technology. A vital element of protection will be a high level of force protection and anti-terrorism training for all our personnel. Thus, all airmen will be trained as force protectors.

STEDE capabilities of the future will provide a virtual, global, synthetic battlespace in which space forces, fully integrated with other US and Allied forces, will not only train but rehearse missions. This capability will provide predictive confidence in our ability to support national defense. Moreover, the synthetic battlespace will permit individual and crew training of our space forces in addition to linking US units to each other and Allied forces for integrated live and simulated operations. Education and career programs will continue to provide academic and experiential space background needed by decision makers at all command levels.

Medical’s overarching strategy is to operate a comprehensive community healthcare system; provide and arrange timely quality healthcare; develop health maintenance and occupational illness prevention programs; support contingencies and deploy mobility forces when needed; and provide medical support for missile and space operations programs. Focus will be on four main areas: retaining our personnel, keeping our people healthy, improving the quality of medical data and improving the use of data to better manage the population and increase patient enrollment incrementally through specific targeted marketing. The following medical core competencies have been identified that directly support the mission goals: selection and support of space and missile operators, space and missile man-machine interface, occupational safety and health for space and missile forces, medical support of DoD manned space operations, environmental health in missile operations, environmental engineering support of space launch, prevention oriented healthcare, medical information management and customer satisfaction.

2.2.6   AFSPC Vision End State Summary

As noted in Joint Vision 2010, the American people expect the US military to not only win our nation’s wars, but to do so in a way that minimizes the cost in blood and treasure. Our Vision provides a picture of a space force, integrated into an Aerospace Force, that allows our military to meet the expectations of our citizens. In the warfighting world of today, attaining Full Spectrum Dominance in a high threat environment requires achieving massed effects using dispersed forces. This is attainable only with the capability to gain, exploit, defend and attack information and information systems. Space-based systems will be primary contributors for achieving this capability.

As the environment becomes even more lethal, especially with the proliferation of inexpensive missiles armed with weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and commercially available space-based intelligence information, implementation of the AFSPC Vision provides a way of gaining and maintaining control of the battlespace at lower risk to our forces. Full Spectrum Dominance does not necessarily require that each force control its particular medium. In reality, as shown in several conflicts, one force can control many mediums. For example, gaining and maintaining air superiority has proven to be a prerequisite to gaining and maintaining surface superiority. In the future, gaining, maintaining and exploiting space superiority may prove to be the principal fulcrum for successfully leveraging Full Spectrum Dominance in our nation’s conflicts.

As Figure 2-8 shows, the future will see space forces and their supporting infrastructure contributing to every aspect of warfighting. Our ability to control and exploit space ensures our forces are protected from ballistic missile attacks while providing the information connectivity essential to high-tempo operations. Applying force from space, when integrated with the already war-winning global reach and power of our Air Force, will vastly shorten the time needed to carry out our assigned mission to unheard of periods – hours, minutes and seconds. Finally, our space-based information gathering, transmission and dissemination capabilities will provide our theater CINCs with the global, real-time, situational awareness key to the high operations tempo of the 21st century.

Figure 2-8: Future AFSPC capabilities will enable a globally integrated Aerospace Force capable of providing continuous deterrence and prompt engagement


Executive Summary    Table Of Contents   

      Chapter 1      Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5    Chapter 6    Chapter 7     Chapter 8    Chapter 9

Appendix A    Appendix B    Appendix C     Appendix D    Appendix E    Appendix F