Today’s AFSPC space mission capabilities significantly contribute to the combatant commander and are the starting point along the path for achieving the warfighting Aerospace Force envisioned for the future.

Current capabilities establish the starting point from which we will evolve to achieve our Vision.  In some instances, these capabilities will simply experience improvements to keep pace with combatant commander and mission support changes.  In others, we will make a complete shift in emphasis to greater reliance on non-Air Force assets for mission performance.  In still others, we will develop totally new capabilities.  This SMP does not envision deleting missions.  Each mission performed today is needed throughout the 25-year planning horizon.  Differences may occur in how we accomplish our missions (e.g., via commercial assets vice military assets), but the needs remain.  Therefore, we must describe our current forces and capabilities before addressing how we will evolve towards our Vision.  This chapter describes the current capabilities and their military utility for each mission area.  This chapter also presents AFSPC’s Needs for each of the mission areas identified during the Mission Needs Analysis (MNA) phase of the IPP.

3.1     Force Enhancement

The Force Enhancement mission area focuses on providing capabilities to enable or support air, land, sea and space military operations.  It is the means by which AFSPC helps achieve information superiority.  Our space-related Force Enhancement capabilities provide the US military with a means of gathering and disseminating highly accurate information to provide our joint warfighting forces with situational awareness, effective C2 and maximum force effectiveness.

Our current Force Enhancement capabilities are depicted in Figure 3-1 for the six sub-missions of space-based Navigation, Satellite Communications, Environmental Monitoring, Surveillance and Threat Warning, Command and Control, and Information Operations.

3.1.2     Navigation

Space-based navigation systems provide three-dimensional position data and a timing standard to military, civil and commercial users worldwide, 24 hours a day. Precision positioning and timing provide targeting and geolocation information critical to coordinated and accurate force application by any platform in any medium. Today’s space-based navigation systems provide nearly worldwide coverage out to low earth orbit (LEO).

AFSPC’s current positioning and timing capabilities center on the GPS which is comprised of a nominal 24-satellite constellation, a Control Segment that includes a Master Control Station at Schriever AFB CO and a User Segment consisting of a variety of GPS receivers.

Though current GPS capabilities are very effective in meeting most of today’s warfighting needs, there are some known shortfalls, and demands are growing rapidly. As operations move into global regions previously not addressed by our military, 100% global navigation support is needed under a variety of operating conditions (e.g., through foliage and land structures, in jamming environments, etc.).

Demands for military operations to further lessen collateral damage around targets and to increase the effectiveness of intercepting airborne threats dictate increased accuracy. A huge increase in the use of complex communications networks also drives the need for improved timing data.

With the heavy reliance on GPS for all military operations, it has become paramount that our forces have assured access to precise navigation information in a challenged environment. Selective denial is also important to ensure future adversaries cannot use our systems against us. Finally, our reliance on GPS and the precision required of future operations raises the need for warning of signal degradation or failure. The GPS network must continue to evolve to meet these growing demands.

Figure 3-1: Today’s Force Enhancement capabilities provide
vital situational awareness and C2 support to
theater CINCs

3.1.2     Satellite Communications

Current DoD communications satellites provide military forces with near-global, high-capacity voice, data and video communications links. These systems provide the essential conduits to supply combatant commanders with the information vital to the full range of successful military operations to include global power projection. Our SATCOM network provides the near-global coverage and flexibility unavailable through terrestrial-based communications networks.

The present SATCOM architecture includes both military-unique systems and DoD use of commercial services. SATCOM assets encompass the satellite payload, payload control facilities, platform control facilities and terminal capabilities required for Ultra High Frequency (UHF), Super High Frequency (SHF) and Extremely High Frequency (EHF) communications. Each frequency band has operational advantages while the aggregate combination of frequency bands provides a robust, complementary SATCOM architecture for combatant commander applications.

Mobile communications allow military commanders and battle managers to remain in contact with deployed forces and are vital to effective military operations. The Navy’s UHF Follow-On (UFO) is the DoD’s primary system for UHF SATCOM which best supports mobile communications. UFO also carries the current Phase 2 of the Global Broadcast System (GBS) providing high-capacity broadcast communications. AFSPC was responsible for UFO spacecraft control until it transferred to the Navy in 1999.

Robust, high-capacity communications provide the bulk of our military communications. Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) satellites provide SHF communications for both dedicated and common user elements throughout peacetime and conflict. AFSPC is responsible for DSCS spacecraft control while the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is responsible for network and payload control.

Many users, including our NCA, require secure, dedicated communications links to our forces around the globe. Our current Milstar satellites provide highly robust, protected and secure EHF communications to tactical and strategic forces and the NCA. AFSPC provides for Milstar spacecraft control and communications management.

Though our existing SATCOM architecture provides adequate communication support to our joint forces, the demand for SATCOM will continue to grow and will exceed the capacity of our current SATCOM network. Additionally, UFO, DSCS and Milstar satellites all reside in geosynchronous orbits and are unable to provide communications to military forces at latitudes greater than about 65o N or below 65o S. Our current polar SATCOM capability consists of non-protected UHF services and limited protected EHF packages on classified host satellites.

3.1.3     Environmental Monitoring

The EM sub-mission has two primary tasks: 1) provide terrestrial and tropospheric environmental data from space and 2) collect and provide space environmental information to specify and forecast the impact of the space environment on military activities.

Data from terrestrial and tropospheric sensors are used to support military planning and employment across all conflicts. Examples are mission planning forecasts, target forecasts for air tasking orders, tropical storm location and forecasting, forecasting for reconnaissance and surveillance systems, sea surface conditions for maritime operations and aviation conditions supporting global power projection.

To meet global and theater weather forecasting needs, the DoD weather satellite architecture is comprised of a combination of military, civil and international satellite systems. AFSPC provides a limited, but vital, piece of this architecture with the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). Civil augmentation is also provided by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite as well as foreign geostationary satellites.

The DMSP satellites were operated by the 6th Satellite Operations Squadron until May 1998. As the first part of a presidential-directed convergence of Department of Commerce and DoD polar-orbiting environmental satellite programs, responsibility for operating and maintaining the DMSP constellation was transferred to NOAA, with DoD backup performed by 6th Space Operations Squadron (Air Force Reserves) at Schriever AFB CO.

The DMSP constellation provides global coverage, but a key limitation is that revisit times range from three to nine hours. This results in an inability to assess the changes of significant weather features critical for accurate short range forecasts, such as needed for precision guided munitions sorties. The constellation is also unable to collect measurements for key DoD user requirements, such as low level winds over ground surfaces for forecasting the dispersion of NBC weapon effluents. Additionally, the data dissemination architecture results in data taking up to two hours to reach national centers for exploitation in forecast products.

The second major task for EM is to provide space weather information. The information is used to assess the space environment impacts on DoD systems. Key products include forecasts for degradation of communications capabilities, especially high frequency radio communications and SATCOM. Products also support ground and space–based surveillance and reconnaissance systems. Environmental anomaly evaluations on space platforms are produced for system operators to assess natural versus man-made malfunctions. These assessments will be increasingly useful as adversary threats increase through the planning horizon.

Currently, a combination of ground- and space-based sensors feed space environment data to the 55th Space Weather Squadron, Schriever AFB CO, where warnings, forecasts and analyses are prepared to support DoD operations. The space-based architecture includes DMSP augmented by civil, other DoD and international space-based systems to provide a baseline of space environment measurements. In addition to satellite systems, AFSPC operates ground-based systems, such as the Solar Electro-Optical Network and an ionospheric measurement network, to augment the space-based measurements.

A limitation of the current network includes a lack of key parameter measurements needed to support all DoD requirements. For example, ionospheric disturbances which blank out SATCOM in low latitudes cannot be measured. In addition to the lack of core measurements, many existing measurements lack sufficient refresh and have excessive dissemination times, impacting the utility of the data to support real time operations. Data to forecast the onset of spacecraft charging events that degrade system capabilities is often not available until hours after the onset of the charging storm. Most current forecasting models of these types of phenomena only provide proxies for the information actually needed for user applications.

3.1.4    Surveillance and Threat Warning

S&TW sub-mission capabilities enable worldwide situational awareness of terrestrial activities and threats affecting US and Allied interests and provide attack assessment and warning to command authorities and deployed forces. Space-based S&TW capabilities provide surveillance and warning of high-interest threats, to include key fixed, moving and relocatable targets, as well as ballistic missiles.

Today’s S&TW capabilities consist of satellites and ground stations for warning of missile and aircraft attacks. Space-based capabilities are provided by geosynchronous Defense Support Program (DSP) satellites used for detecting missile launches, space launches and nuclear detonations. Ground-based radars provide launch verification and warhead tracking. The current ground-based radars include the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS), Precision Acquisition Vehicle Entry Phased-Array Warning System (PAVE PAWS) and the Perimeter Acquisition Radar Characterization System (PARCS).

DSP was designed as a Cold War system to detect ICBM and Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile attacks on the US. Because missiles and WMD are proliferating among nations and non-nation states, follow-on capabilities are needed to detect, track and identify theater-ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and other objects in all mediums worldwide.

The difficulties of intercepting these threats, once airborne, are great, warranting an ability to negate before launch. Hence, greatly improved surveillance and warning capabilities are needed to more accurately determine launch positions to guide counter-attacks; predict points of impact to minimize operations disruption; and discriminate among fixed, relocatable, mobile and moving targets for pre-launch neutralization. The need for high reliability of these S&TW activities further warrants the use of multi-phenomenology rather than reliance on single phenomena such as infrared.

3.1.5     Command and Control

The C2 sub-mission enables situational awareness and provides the ability to command and control air, space and missile forces at all levels of command. The C2 sub-mission focuses on getting the right information to the right forces in time to be effective.

The C2 infrastructure allows for the exercise of authority and direction over assigned forces including the processing, analysis, use and dissemination of information to shape and dominate the battlespace.

The NORAD and USSPACECOM Command Center is the C2 node to accomplish worldwide warning of space and missile threats. The center also provides information on air threats. The NORAD and USSPACECOM Command Center and its related operations centers in Cheyenne Mountain CO have undergone communications and computer systems upgrades since the late 1980’s to improve missile warning, space control and air defense C2 operations. AFSPACE (14th Air Force) at Vandenberg AFB CA is the Air Force warfighting component supporting the USSPACECOM mission.

The AFSPACE Aerospace Operations Center (AOC) monitors, plans and executes space force missions to control and exploit space for USCINCSPACE and theater components worldwide. The AFSPACE AOC represents an in-place space counterpart to the theater Air Operations Center and provides reachback space operations support to theater operations by fusing intelligence, combat planning, combat operations and Battle Staff functions.

The 20th Air Force (20 AF) at F.E. Warren AFB WY is the Air Force ICBM Task Force 214 to USSTRATCOM. The 20 AF Missile Operations Center provides the capability to command, control and monitor all ICBM forces. It supports USCINCSTRAT operational control of all alert ICBM forces and provides C2 of non-alert ICBM forces for AFSPC.

To give our unified CINCs the information superiority needed for full spectrum dominance, data from land, sea, air and space must be integrated, easily understood and accessible. Today’s air, space and missile C2 infrastructure consists of stovepiped networks. There is no single, multi-faceted point of contact for combatant commander space requirements. CINCs must extract what space and missile information they can and combine it with information from sources on land, sea and air. To enable full spectrum dominance, this integration must be automated.

3.1.5     Information Operations (IO)

IO comprise those actions taken to gain, exploit, defend, or attack information and information systems. IO is conducted throughout all phases of an operation and across the range of military operations.

IO is divided into two different categories - Information-in-Warfare and Information Warfare. Information-in-Warfare includes operations to gain and exploit information. Current capabilities are provided by the other Force Enhancement sub-mission areas addressed above. Information Warfare, on the other hand, is IO conducted to defend friendly information and information systems or attack an adversary’s information and information systems. Information Warfare consists of the function of counter information and its two subsets:

§         Defensive Counter-Information (DCI)

includes actions that protect information, information systems and IO from any potential adversary.

§         Offensive Counter-Information (OCI)

includes actions taken to control the information environment. OCI operations are designed to limit, degrade, disrupt, or destroy adversary information capabilities.

To protect our most critical information links to and from satellites, we currently employ techniques such as encryption, frequency hopping, spot beams and hardening. Physical protection measures for our ground sites and computer network security also provide some protection. However, we are becoming ever more reliant on space-based capabilities for military operations with an increased reliance on commercial space services that don’t require the same level of protection as dedicated military systems. These trends, coupled with increasing threats to our information systems, highlight our need for improved DCI capabilities which extend across other AFSPC mission areas.

The Air Force currently has limited capabilities to attack enemy information systems. Offensive operations include psychological warfare, electronic warfare, military deception, physical attack of an information system or integrated support system, or an information attack. As a command, however, AFSPC has little to no capability to attack enemy information systems. We must develop an OCI capability, especially as potential adversaries gain increased access to space-based services. Future OCI capabilities, as well and current and future DCI capabilities, will extend across other AFSPC mission areas (e.g., Space Control and Force Applications).

3.1.5     Force Enhancement Needs

The preceding paragraphs highlighted the current capabilities and limitations of AFSPC’s Force Enhancement mission area. The limitations, along with anticipated future needs, were identified during MNA. Figure 3-2 lists these Force Enhancement Needs. Detailed information on these Needs may be found in the Force Enhancement MAP.

Figure 3-2: Force Enhancement Needs

3.2     Space Support

The Space Support mission area advocates for and provides the capabilities to launch assets to space; reposition, recover and service assets on-orbit; and operate the space assets as required.  Space Support consists of two sub-mission areas: Launch Operations and Satellite Operations.  In addition, the Space Support mission area is the champion for AFSPC’s MS&A and FDE planning activities.  Current Space Support systems and capabilities are depicted in Figure 3-3.

Figure 3-3: Today’s Space Support systems launch and control DoD space assets

Though today’s capabilities for conducting launch and satellite operations are, for the most part, provided through military-unique systems, an evolution from dedicated military systems to commercial and/or common government systems is underway. Specialized, expendable military launch vehicles; non-interoperable, non-standard satellite operations capabilities; and high operations and maintenance (O&M) costs characterize today’s launch and satellite operations capabilities. Improving these capabilities to meet growing demands while reducing costs can free investment dollars to evolve other space and missile capabilities.

3.3.4     Launch Operations

Launch operations encompasses the traditional spacelift mission of delivering payloads to orbit, plus emerging missions such as on-orbit servicing, recovery and repositioning. AFSPC’s current capabilities for launch operations include launch vehicles, ranges and infrastructure (e.g., space launch complexes, launch vehicle and payload processing facilities, etc.) for placing payloads in their required orbits. AFSPC does not currently have on-orbit servicing or recovery capabilities.

AFSPC’s current fleet of launch systems is composed of a mix of medium and heavy lift expendable boosters. The Delta II, Atlas II and Titan II provide AFSPC’s medium lift capability, whereas the Titan IV provides heavy lift. In addition, AFSPC can access other sources to augment its launch requirements, though this practice is the exception and not the norm. If required, AFSPC can turn to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for use of the Space Transportation System and to private industry for use of small launch vehicles.

Collectively, these launch systems adequately meet our current peacetime demands for sustaining constellations. However, complex, non-standard launch vehicle-to-payload interface designs and lengthy processing timelines lead to costly operations for both payload and launch vehicle. Future operations demand a reduction in preparation and integration timelines from months to hours and a substantial reduction in O&M costs.

The Space Launch Range System (SLRS) consists of two ranges, the Eastern Range at Cape Canaveral AS FL and the Western Range at Vandenberg AFB CA. The favorable geographic location of both spacelift ranges ensures that launches occur away from major population centers. The Eastern Range and Western Range support the pre-launch, launch and tracking of DoD, Civil and Commercial launch vehicles. In addition, the ranges support Space Shuttle landings, ballistic missile testing, and various guided weapons and aeronautical-related test and evaluation activities.

Though today’s peacetime launch demands can be satisfied with this infrastructure, there are many signs of strain. Numerous components are either obsolete or are on the verge of obsolescence. Non-standard logistics for many one-of-a-kind pieces of range hardware reduce operability and result in higher O&M costs. Total infrastructure capabilities and its associated operability are a limiting factor in the monthly launch throughput at each range. Additionally, the current launch infrastructure is unable to support any new launch systems that come on-line that can be ready for launch within hours instead of today’s weeks or months. The current Range Standardization and Automation (RSA) program is focused on improving operational efficiency through increased responsiveness, improved reliability, improved supportability and reduced O&M costs. This modernization, scheduled to be completed in FY06, aims to accomplish a single, standard design for both ranges with standardized hardware, software and procedures.

1.1.1    Satellite Operations

As mentioned in Chapter 2, satellite operations consist of three tasks – TT&C; mission data retrieval; and LEO&A support. With respect to the TT&C task, telemetry involves downlinking space asset bus and payload telemetry to a terrestrial point so that the space asset’s health and status can be monitored. Tracking involves determining the position of the space asset so that the required antennas will be pointed in the correct orientation for future contacts with the space asset. Tracking also permits orbital accuracy for the position, orientation and footprint calculations for each satellite’s mission. Commanding involves uplinking instructions to the bus and payload so that they will perform the necessary operations. Mission data retrieval is the downlinking of information that is gathered by the payload. LEO&A involves a TT&C task being performed during the launch and ascent of the space asset, the separation of the space asset from the launch vehicle and during the initial phase of the space asset’s life on-orbit. Anomaly resolution involves performing TT&C when an on-orbit space asset is experiencing problems.

Currently, common user and program-unique ground stations located around the world provide access to on-orbit assets. The Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN) is a worldwide terrestrial-based infrastructure of ground stations and control centers that provides satellite operations services to select DoD, Allied and Civil satellites. The AFSCN is composed of two primary control nodes at Schriever AFB CO and Onizuka AS CA, eight remote tracking stations and other control facilities around the world. The 1995 Congressionally-mandated Base Realignment and Closure Act identified Onizuka AS for realignment. Since then, the Air Force has been planning, as well as transitioning, satellite operations missions and critical support functions (e.g., network scheduling and collision avoidance) currently performed at Onizuka AS to Schriever AFB. The end result will be a single control node located in Colorado.

Today’s AFSCN does not perform all satellite operations services for all satellite missions (i.e., DoD, Allied and Civil satellite programs). Typically, the AFSCN provides an LEO&A service for the majority of satellite missions and provides a TT&C service (prime or back up) for select satellite missions. The AFSCN provides mission data retrieval support for very few satellite missions. In the instances that the AFSCN does not support the satellite missions, those missions have program-unique ground stations and associated infrastructure in place to meet their specific satellite operations requirements. Although current AFSCN common user capabilities meet today’s needs, lack of standardization and interoperability, an aging unique proprietary C2 system, high O&M costs, manpower intensive operations and limited ground-based autonomy prevent the AFSCN from completely supporting the Space Support Vision of on-demand satellite operations execution.

When taken together, the AFSCN and the program-unique infrastructures provide the total satellite operations infrastructure that the Space Support mission area advocates. Although current common user and program-unique satellite operations infrastructures meet today’s operational needs, the challenge is to align their future development paths so that they support the AFSPC Satellite Operations Vision End State of on-demand operations execution of any US Government on-orbit space assets to support the full spectrum of worldwide military operations.

3.3.4     MS&A and FDE

MS&A tools are used by AFSPC to support system performance studies, exercises and war games and to determine system-level design and employment strategies. Current tools such as Portable Space Model (PSM), Operational Satellite Constellation Availability and Reliability Simulation (OSCARS), Space and Missile Analysis Tool (SMAT) and AFSCN Scheduling Program (ASP) allow for system-specific analyses to support current operations, requirements definition and architecture assessments. Since these capabilities are focused on specific system missions, they do not address the operating constraints of space assets to support multiple theaters or missions. Other tools such as System Effectiveness Analysis Simulation (SEAS) are used to perform trade-off analyses between proposed future space systems from a multi-mission perspective. SEAS has focused on the sensor-to-shooter chain and ISR system effects. Finally, AFSPC has supported recent modifications to the Air Force model THUNDER which provides a theater-level campaign analysis capability for space systems. Some of these modifications include linking space reconnaissance system performance to the ground war to support trade-offs between Space-Based Radar (SBR) missions, modeling the collection of signals intelligence (SIGINT) with effects of SIGINT observations and capturing the campaign-level effects of satellite-navigated munitions.

Minimal MS&A capabilities exist for quantifying the military value of space systems, particularly mission and campaign warfighting contributions. The current analysis tools primarily support system performance assessments. These performance characteristics do not include battlefield planning and integrated effects with other weapon systems in a wartime environment. Traditionally, system capability and resource apportionment analysis tools represented long-term system management goals and not dynamic changes. Major breakthroughs in model runtime now allow quick-reaction sensitivity analysis to support combatant commanders. Recent developments in THUNDER and SEAS allow analyses of operating constraints and resource allocation of space assets across multiple theaters.

Current AFSPC FDE capabilities are very system and scenario specific with little or no commonality across space systems. AFSPC performs FDE after full-rate production decisions or operational acceptance. AFSPC uses FDE to refine estimates of operational effectiveness and suitability, help evaluate how a system continues to meet mission requirements throughout its lifecycle and re-evaluate the system against changing operational needs and missions. Also, AFSPC uses the FDE results to determine the best use of O&M funds to optimize operational performance based upon comparisons to operational baselines. This helps to increase a system’s overall operational life and reduce life-cycle costs. Missile Warning ground systems have recently undergone FDE. Many of our space systems are currently sent into operations without undergoing a thorough test and evaluation program. Due to limitations, testing does not always provide real-world operational validations or exploitation of vulnerabilities. Therefore, operators and decision-makers have limited confidence in the capabilities of their systems. Real-world capabilities and vulnerabilities are left to chance. By not providing a robust, realistic test environment, we cannot fully understand our ability to provide space support and warfighting systems to support our combatant commanders.

3.3.4     Space Support Needs

Space Support limitations, along with anticipated future needs, were documented during MNA. Figure 3-4 lists these Space Support Needs. Detailed information on these Needs may be found in the Space Support MAP.

Figure 3-4: Space Support Needs

3.3     Space Control

The Space Control mission area ensures the freedom of operations within and through the space medium, while denying its use to our adversaries, if required. As space has become an area of vital national interest, we must be prepared to protect and defend it. Space Control is thus essential to achieving the force multiplying effect of all space and missile capabilities. It includes three sub-missions: Space Surveillance, Counterspace and NMD. Figure 3-5 depicts our current Space Control systems and capabilities.

Figure 3-5: Today’s Space Control systems focus on space surveillance

3.3.1     Space Surveillance

Near-real-time space situational awareness is a key contributor to controlling the space medium. Space surveillance provides the ability to detect, track, characterize, classify, catalog, monitor and disseminate information about all man-made space objects, whether operational platforms or debris. These capabilities provide an awareness to the theater CINC of overhead activities (e.g., intelligence gathering or communication satellite windows) that could impact operations. They also provide awareness of dangers to friendly satellites that may warrant maneuvers to preclude loss or degradation of capabilities, anomalies in adversarial space operations that provide insights to changes in terrestrial force operations and changes in friendly space operations that warrant actions to remedy lost or degraded capabilities.

We currently employ a combination of ground-based radars, passive radio-frequency tracking sites and optical sensors to perform Space Surveillance. Dedicated sensors, those with the primary missions of space surveillance, include the Naval Space Command Fence, Ground-based Electro-Optical Deepspace Surveillance System (GEODSS), Mobile Optical Surveillance System, Deep Space Tracking System and Eglin Radar. These systems are augmented by collateral sensors whose primary missions are other than space surveillance, such as BMEWS, PAVE PAWS and PARCS. Contributing sensors, such as the Lincoln Space Surveillance Complex and Kwajalein Missile Range, provide data through leasing or other sharing agreements.

Today’s systems detect, identify, characterize, track and catalog man-made space objects. However, the network cannot consistently detect small debris and has limited capability to detect, track and characterize objects in high-altitude orbits. Further, neither the surveillance capabilities, nor the space surveillance data processing capabilities are currently adequate to meet the event processing timelines mandated by USSPACECOM and get space surveillance information to the unified CINCs in near-real-time. With more and more nations and commercial organizations exploiting space, surveillance is rapidly growing in importance. As other missions evolve to become more dependent on space platforms for information, communications and possible combat operations in and through space, it is paramount that we have high reliability and timeliness of situational awareness of this medium. Real-time characterization of space platforms, from initial deployment through operational life, will become critical to assess potential threats from space maneuvers, foreign ISR, and configuration changes to space-based or space-transient weapons. More sensors of higher quality, better orbit coverage and better observational data are needed to locate, track and characterize objects more precisely.

3.3.4     Counterspace

Our increasing reliance on space systems and information derived from space creates a center of gravity that potential adversaries clearly understand. Counterspace provides the capability to exploit that center of gravity. Defensive Counterspace (DCS) involves the protection of US and Allied space assets from adversary attack or exploitation. DCS includes active and passive measures to detect, assess the impact of, and minimize threats (natural or man-made) to friendly space systems or the unauthorized use or exploitation of those systems. Offensive Counterspace (OCS) involves negating an adversary’s ability to use space systems and assets. OCS includes the ability to deny, disrupt, deceive, degrade, or destroy (D5) an adversary’s space systems or services. It involves military actions to target ground support sites, ground-to-space links and space platforms, when required by command authorities.

Today’s Counterspace capabilities are very limited. Survivability countermeasures have been added on a case-by-case basis to US and Allied satellite systems for protection against jamming, signal interception and nuclear detonation. However, AFSPC has limited abilities to detect, characterize and assess intrusions into friendly space operations, limited ability to prevent an adversary from exploiting AFSPC systems and no current capability to negate an adversary’s use of space.

One measure being taken to protect our space assets is the development of a space aggressor capability by the Space Warfare Center (SWC). During FY99 exercises, the SWC employed a limited space aggressor capability. To expand this capability, the SWC is currently standing-up a Space Aggressor Squadron (SAS). The mission of the SAS will be to perform the role of a space adversary in support of exercises, testing, training and Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) preparation. The goal of the SAS is to increase awareness of threats from space-capable adversaries and improve US ability to defend against them.

3.3.3     National Missile Defense

NMD focuses on protecting North America against limited ballistic missile attacks. This capability is achieved through integration of the NMD system elements with the Integrated Tactical Warning and Attack Assessment system to execute the NMD mission. This sub-mission area only addresses the neutralization of threats. Surveillance and threat warning of attacks and the C2 of NMD intercepts are part of the Force Enhancement mission area.

Despite the reduced threat from the former Soviet Union, the ballistic missile threat has not disappeared. The proliferation of missile technology and WMD has raised the concern over potential limited attacks on the US, thereby threatening our political and economic well-being.

Today, the ICBM force is deployed for deterrence, but that deterrence carries varied credibility, depending on the nature of a potential adversary, whether nation or terrorist group. It also provides no defense against missile attacks, once launched. The US currently has no NMD capability.

            Space Control Needs

The Space Control limitations highlighted in the preceding paragraphs, along with anticipated future needs, were documented during MNA. Figure 3-6 lists these Space Control Needs. Detailed information on these Needs may be found in the Space Control MAP.

Figure 3-6: Space Control Needs

            Force Applications

The overarching objective of the Force Applications mission area is to conduct global operations by the direct and prompt application of force from and through space against terrestrial targets.  The primary goal is to provide precise, prompt, global strike capability with selective lethality thus deterring aggression or achieving military objectives when use of force is directed. Figure 3-7 depicts our current Force Applications systems and capabilities.

Force Applications capabilities focus on holding a finite number of terrestrial targets at risk anywhere, anytime with nearly instantaneous attack from or through space.  They provide increased speed of response, short cycle times to counter high-value targets, a high probability of target neutralization and, hence, a high deterrent value to preclude hostilities.

Today’s Force Applications systems consist of nuclear-armed Minuteman III and Peacekeeper ICBMs.  These ICBMs provide strategic deterrence by holding hostile targets at risk, as well as employing the capability to destroy, disrupt, or neutralize those targets.  The Peacekeeper provides the most credible capability against many high-value targets; however, Peacekeeper is planned to be retired once the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) II is ratified by Russia and is entered into force.  Until such time, effective Peacekeeper operations require continued funding for spare parts, replacement equipment and possible modernization.  Peacekeeper manning levels are also a potential stumbling block in the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP).  Manning for the Peacekeeper program begins to drop off of unit manning documents starting in FY00.  Vandenberg AFB loses its Peacekeeper instructor slots in FY00, and F.E. Warren AFB loses all crew member slots by the third quarter of FY02.  To sustain Peacekeeper, Air Staff will have to restore manpower authorizations during the FYDP.

3-7: Today’s Force Applications ICBMs provide strategic deterrence

Currently, the US has few options for conventional, low risk, prompt strike.  The ability to apply conventional force from or through space would add options for deterrence and flexible response for the NCA when time is absolutely critical, risk associated with other options is too high, or when no other courses of action are available.  Such actions may be warranted in limited conflicts, but could also provide significant benefits during the early stages of major conflicts, buying time for additional air, land and sea forces to respond.

The Force Applications limitations highlighted in the preceding paragraphs, along with anticipated future needs, were documented during MNA.  Figure 3-8 lists these Force Applications Needs. Detailed information on these Needs may be found in the Force Applications MAP.

Figure 3-8: Force Applications Needs

            Mission Support

The AFSPC mission support areas provide the infrastructure, sustainment, security and trained personnel needed to perform our missions around the globe. Mission Support areas ensure stable, effective and efficient operations across all the command’s mission areas. Figure 3-9 summarizes the current capabilities of the Mission Support functional areas covered in this plan.

Figure 3-9: Today’s Mission Support capabilities provide
the global infrastructure for space operations

3.3.4   Communications and Information (C&I)

The C&I support area provides and sustains communications connectivity, computer resources and information management for our forces worldwide. This is accomplished through managing and sustaining a variety of systems and equipment including local and long-haul telephone networks, local area networks, land mobile radios, computers, C2 systems, and military and commercial communication satellite services. Base-level support provides communications connectivity and computer support for fixed, deployed and airborne users. Connectivity for global situational awareness provides C2 and timely sensor and intelligence information to combatant commanders.

Today, these capabilities are largely supported by stovepiped systems with limited interoperability, resulting in high O&M costs and inefficient operations. Moreover, the increasing demand for bandwidth to support all missions is rapidly exceeding the capacity of many systems to link forces and C2 nodes.

To ensure warfighter information is protected from intrusion and future systems are survivable, the Space Systems Information Assurance program develops survivability plans, evaluates system vulnerabilities and provides awareness training to users at all levels. Current systems have limited multi-level security and survivability features. Moreover, user awareness training is not keeping pace with the increasing cyber threat.

            Civil Engineering

The Civil Engineering support area provides, operates, maintains and restores the installations, facilities, housing and environment needed to support our space and missile forces. Base development, along with ongoing sustainment, provides the necessary facilities, infrastructure and utilities to support mission operations. Historically, this capability is provided on a level-of-effort basis, depending on available funding. With the evolution of current and future AFSPC missions, a harder look at facility and infrastructure needs and practices will be warranted.

Housing for AFSPC personnel and their families is provided through a combination of available on-base units and off-base referrals. The relocation, addition and competitive sourcing of mission responsibilities over the next several years will dictate a deeper evaluation of the housing issue to support personnel needs. Dormitories need to be upgraded to the DoD standard, and houses must be upgraded to meet whole house standards commonly available in local markets.

Civil Engineering is also responsible for environmental leadership and manages pollution prevention, compliance, conservation and restoration programs. These capabilities are provided through a combination of level-of-effort activities and must-fund items required to comply with federal, state and local regulations.

Civil Engineering also provides combat and contingency engineering support to deployed forces. With the reduction in active duty manpower and competitive sourcing/privatization of key peacetime responsibilities, unit type code manning must be maintained at sufficient levels to support wartime taskings, while training programs must provide proper skills training in all required areas (utilities, bare base beddown, etc.).

Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) requirements will continue to increase in conjunction with the new Expeditionary Air Force concept. Full funding is required to meet the existing earned manpower positions and support the space launch and ICBM programs and EOD mobility requirements to support the two Major Theater Wars concept.

AFSPC may be assigned the responsibility of IO for the Air Force, precipitating new programming and O&M requirements for additional facilities worldwide.

AFSPC must enhance the Baseline Threat Response Capability through training, equipping and organizing forces to respond, mitigate and preserve the scene following a WMD attack against installations and mobile units. This encompasses the ability to organically detect, assess and contain the hazard and notify appropriate agencies to assist in decontamination, casualty treatment, investigation and low-exposure detection. Additionally, Civil Engineering will provide first responder personal protective equipment to sustain critical response operations during a suspected or confirmed WMD event.

Finally, Civil Engineering is responsible for programming and budgeting for the replacement of chemical and biological protection gear needed by our deployed forces.


Logistics focuses on reliability, effectiveness and sustainability for the life cycle of all AFSPC systems. It provides the organizations, systems and processes needed to maintain the mission readiness of the ICBMs and supporting helicopter fleet, spacelift platforms, launch facilities, AFSCN facilities and communications sites. Funding constraints continually challenge our logisticians to acquire logistically supportable space systems and to continue to support them properly throughout their life cycles.

Logistics is teamed with the C&I functional area, striving toward the development of a long-range, standardized sustainment process for all space systems. Logistics also manages the spares, supplies, equipment and fuels required to sustain AFSPC systems, including AFSPC’s low-density systems which are difficult to support because of low demands on the supply. In addition, it manages transportation requirements and resources, including the aging vehicle fleet and channel flights necessary to transport personnel and perishable supplies to AFSPC's geographically separated units.

Logistics provides logistics plans, acquisition, resource management, and wartime and contingency munitions replenishment support to the command. This includes AEF preparation, assisting in acquisition reform initiatives and ensuring depot logistics requirements are identified and funded. Logistics also provides contracting support to the command’s small businesses, automation, new acquisition and competitive sourcing and privatization initiatives.

Currently, unique processes and information systems support all logistics capabilities; therefore, an integrated, interoperable network of Logistics Information Systems is in development to provide real-time support to theater CINCs. Logistics must continue to take a hard look at all AFSPC missions and capabilities by working closely with the mission teams to fully address life-cycle sustainment needs for our space systems.

            Security Forces

The Security Forces support area provides policy guidance, specialized training and personnel to maintain our physical security of nuclear ICBMs, spacelift facilities, space system ground assets, C2 and Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) facilities. While maintaining on-going physical security functions, the ever-growing reliance on space capabilities has made space an area of vital national interest, vastly increasing the importance of being prepared to protect and defend it. Similar to the protection of our space assets via Space Control capabilities, ground security forces are intent on meeting the protection needs of our facilities, ground systems and personnel. The current focus is on improving Force Protection and Anti-Terrorism (FP/AT) capabilities. This is being accomplished through comprehensive facility vulnerability assessments, reevaluation of current protection measures, FP/AT training at all levels, evaluation of new security technologies and purchase of state-of-the-art security equipment. Sustainment and replenishment of security equipment for deployed forces is also essential for minimal protection of military assets. Further evaluation of future security needs to support evolving space capabilities is warranted in conjunction with the development of those various capabilities.

3.5.5     Space Training, Education & Exercise

The STEDE objectives are to ensure that all our mission forces are trained, exercised and educated for all tasks associated with our space and missile mission. STEDE is concerned with the overarching issues of training, education and exercises within AFSPC as well as establishing the framework by which specific training, education and exercise support is addressed within the respective MAPs. Readiness exercises cover unit, wing and squadron levels and extend to provide mission rehearsals within and between units. Training includes initial courses conducted by AETC, as well as unit qualification and recurring training at AFSPC units. This includes both individual and crew/team training for ICBM, missile warning, satellite operations, launch operations, space surveillance, C2 and range operations crews, as well as forward space support teams. Education includes courses conducted by the SWC, space-related curricula at professional military education (PME) centers such as Air University, and training to maintain an effective civilian workforce.

Currently, there is no robust system to support AFSPC exercises. Modeling and simulation capabilities for exercises and war games are often stovepiped. For many years, personnel have been awarded the space operations specialties without extensive demonstration of performance. This will change in FY00 with a restructure of AETC specialty award courses for both officer and enlisted space operators that will require added skills training for initial assignments before specialty award. The command is on a path to make sure off-line training is provided for all new acquisitions. Increased AETC and unit training capabilities will ensure that operations crew members are mission certified within 20 training days of arrival at a unit. Education courses are moving forward to expand the overall understanding of space capabilities throughout the Air Force.

With AFSPC being more and more central to aerospace operations, we are moving to far more normalized training, both for tasks internal to the command and for tasks that extend beyond our operations. We are, therefore, fully engaged in the Air Force Distributed Mission Training (DMT) initiative to provide a capability to train, exercise and rehearse missions at all task levels. The impact on AFSPC is to acquire training systems that are compatible with Air Force and DoD architectures and to build the infrastructure to provide space models to support mission training at all levels. This support is essential to mission accomplishment of the future. DMT for space will give us the capability to train at the individual, team and inter-team levels, rehearse missions, exercise our forces and develop appropriate tactics and support concepts for any future operation. DMT will provide a particular benefit for C2 functions that involve extensive interaction between AFSPC units and between AFSPC and other theater and strategic C2 activities. No capabilities exist today to achieve the needed training.

3.5.6     Medical

Medical support ensures a fit and vital military force and provides health care to deployed forces and to all other beneficiaries.

Medical units perform a crucial role in force sustainment through disease prevention and medical intervention, caring for non-battle injuries as well as combat casualties. The Medical support area provides medical services to our deployed forces where there is increasing emphasis on medical responses to biological agents and treatment of casualties. Moreover, there is increasing emphasis on “take it with us” medical support capability for deployed forces. To ensure effective support to the combatant commanders, timely medical treatments in the field are critical. Thus, timely coordination of medical procedures via priority communications links is vital. Future tele-medicine capabilities will warrant even greater emphasis on guaranteed communications connectivity.

The Medical support area also operates the TRICARE managed care system for the command. Efforts are underway to improve uniformity of benefits and portability.

Finally, there is increasing emphasis on integrated disease prevention and health promotion approaches to optimize human performance and operational capability. As new space missions evolve, assessment of human factors related to space combat operations in and through space will be needed.

AFSPC does not directly fund the Medical support area. We are allotted a portion of the Air Force Medical Service budget. This funding comes from a variety of sources, with the largest portion being from the DoD Defense Health Program (DHP). Thus the needs identified in this support area are provided to the Air Staff for integration and assessment with other command inputs.

            Chaplain Service

The Chaplain Service responds to the spiritual needs and provides for the diverse religious requirements of Air Force members and their families across the full spectrum of aerospace operations. Religion plays a major role in the day-to-day lives of a majority of Americans. Historically, the United States has been a religious nation, founded on the principle of religious tolerance, and throughout our history the American religious landscape has become more diverse. The Chaplain Service is dedicated to fostering a culture that values this growing diversity. We are charged to provide for the religious requirements and spiritual needs of Air Force members and their families, the trend toward religious pluralism and accommodation will become an area of keen interest for the Chaplain Service.


Services contributes to the readiness of Air Force personnel through fitness, recreation, cantonment, and subsistence programs; fosters unit and community cohesion; supports Air Force family well-being; and offers efficient, customer-driven programs to improve the quality of life for Air Force active duty and retired military personnel, their dependents, and applicable civilians. Services provides a wide range of programs and facilities including: quality transient lodging; food service operations; facilities for recreational support programs and fitness activities including golf, bowling, swimming and fitness centers; readiness planning; mortuary services; library facilities; officer, enlisted, and consolidated club facilities, and child development, youth activity, and Family Day Care services.

3.5.7     Mission Support Needs

Figure 3-10 lists the Mission Support Needs identified during MNA. Detailed information on these Needs may be found in the MSP.

Figure 3-10: Mission Support Needs

3.6    Current AFSPC Baseline Summary

As shown in Figure 3-11, our current space capabilities already support the unified CINCs. Land-based ICBMs continue to provide strategic deterrence and a prompt, global, nuclear strike capability. Ground-based sensors survey space providing commanders with situational awareness of space-related activities. Surveillance, navigation and weather satellites provide invaluable information to fighting forces, while communications satellites provide the communication links to air and ground forces that are essential to effective warfighter C2. Launch vehicles and ranges and ground-based satellite control sites enable the deployment and operation of these space-based capabilities.

Though our current space-based capabilities are already critical to warfighting, they are characterized by several limitations identified above. Our Force Enhancement systems cannot collect against all targets of interest and are bandwidth limited. C2 networks are “stovepiped” and IO capabilities are very limited. Space Support launch and satellite operations are expensive and inflexible. Space Control systems provide limited space surveillance and DCS with no OCS or ballistic missile defense capabilities, while Force Applications provides no conventional strike options.

Despite these limitations, AFSPC’s current capabilities significantly contribute to US and Allied forces. These capabilities provide the starting point on the path for achieving the Aerospace Force envisioned for the future.

Figure 3-11: Today’s AFSPC space systems provide the starting point for
achieving a fully integrated Aerospace Force


Executive Summary    Table Of Contents   

    Chapter 1     Chapter 2     Chapter 4    Chapter 5     Chapter 6    Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9

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