Our strategy for implementing the Vision sets the appropriate emphasis for obtaining key mission improvements relative to
the near-, mid- and far-terms.
Our Vision requires that we fully exploit the space domain. By doing so, we will not only be able to protect and defend our national, civil and commercial space assets, but also augment our current offensive military capabilities.
As described in our Vision in Chapter 2, our overall goal is to help field an integrated Aerospace Force to shape the battlespace. As stated in the 1998 Scientific Advisory Board study, “Space Roadmap for the Aerospace Force of the 21st Century,” our contributions to this effort fall into three areas: global knowledge, global reach and global power.
For global knowledge, AFSPC will provide precise, global, real-time situational awareness and real-time information superiority to support theater CINCs, as well as tomorrow’s aerospace combatant commanders. Much of the needed technology is either available in the near-term or well underway to meet future needs.
For global reach, space forces have the potential to provide crisis response times on the order of minutes to anywhere on the globe to include areas where access is denied to terrestrial forces. Furthermore, space forces can communicate instantaneous information on supply needs, movement and location, thereby enabling lighter, highly deployable Aerospace Forces rather than large armadas with huge up-front support infrastructures. Space capabilities in these areas could be available over the near- and mid-terms.
Finally, for global power, space capabilities can augment other forces to provide tailored effects, including directed energy projection for force application, against terrestrial and space-based targets. Space combat forces could be achieved in the mid- to far-term, if directed by the NCA. However, near- and mid-term research to mature these technologies would be needed to support those timelines.
To achieve our Vision, new mission capabilities must be developed. Many of these require extensive S&T research efforts. Though the fielding of such capabilities may be 15-25 years into the future, near- and mid-term actions are needed to set us on the path. Recognizing that fiscal and political limitations, USAF cultural and organizational challenges, and near-term operational requirements prevent an all-out pursuit of long-range capabilities, a proper balance must be established. Furthermore, the exponential growth of the commercial market must be factored into our strategy. Finally, as near-term needs are addressed, they must be done with an eye to how they help us evolve towards our Vision.
Our strategy considers unified CINC needs, budget realities, the expanding commercial space services market and existing treaties and policy limitations. We have defined a time phased strategy divided into three periods: near-term (2000-2007), mid-term (2008-2013) and far-term (2014-2025).
Figure 5-1 outlines the strategy we will employ to implement our Vision. This strategy specifies the focus areas for each of the three time periods. Note that although there are specific focus areas in each of the time periods, this is not a complete list of on-going efforts. Each period also contains smaller efforts, typically doing preparatory ground work for future focus areas.
Figure 5-1: Our implementation strategy provides
Our implementation strategy for the near-term focuses on improving our C4ISR capabilities and evolving current core capabilities to better support the unified CINCs. To do so, our implementation strategy puts near-term emphasis on four focus areas: (1) Improve battlespace situational awareness, (2) Integrate Aerospace Forces, (3) Evolve space superiority and (4) Evolve information superiority.
Additionally, we identified five areas of emphasis that persist throughout the 25-year planning horizon: (1) Maintaining a secure and effective strategic deterrence, (2) Leveraging partnerships with other DoD, civil and commercial agencies to help us afford the development and fielding of needed capabilities, (3) Reducing the cost of doing business, (4) Protecting and sustaining our forces and (5) Supporting our installations and people.
Improve Battlespace Situational Awareness
At present, thanks in great part to AFSPC capabilities and personnel, the JFC’s knowledge of the battlespace is historically unparalleled. Our job is to ensure this advantage in battlespace situational awareness only widens. This means upgrading and replacing our S&TW, communications, EM, navigation and space surveillance capabilities while updating C2 systems to integrate into the joint force C2 system of systems.
Integrate Aerospace Forces
The Vision points us towards becoming an integrated Aerospace Force. The USAF is in the infant stages of full integration. Since AFSPC is the space force provider for the USAF, in this near-term phase we must heavily influence the aerospace integration effort and build a well thought-out, internal plan to integrate our people, organizations and capabilities into the Aerospace Force. Included in our effort is a need to upgrade our MS&A capabilities to better reflect space force contributions to warfighting. We also must provide distributed training and exercise capabilities between all aerospace forces.
Evolve Space Superiority
The importance of leveraging space is already recognized, not only by the US military, but also by the commercial world, our allies and our adversaries. Consequently, we need to begin to lay the foundation for gaining and maintaining space superiority.
Evolve Information Superiority
The link between space forces and gaining information superiority is growing stronger. As more and more of the information flow required by our 21st century combatant commanders shifts to space-based systems, space forces will increasingly be responsible for ensuring information superiority. In the near-term, we will begin efforts to fully enable IO with particular focus on developing capabilities for defending our information and information systems.
Maintain Strategic Deterrence
For nearly 50 years, the USAF ICBM force has maintained a safe and secure prompt, global, nuclear strike capability that has maintained strategic deterrence, a capability that cannot be compromised. Our nuclear force will be upgraded and/or replaced as required to maintain our strategic nuclear posture throughout the three time periods in accordance with NCA direction.
We must optimize our force mix of active duty, Air Force Reserve Command and Guard personnel to better tap into the civilian competencies of our Reserve and Guard members, and to take advantage of the synergies the Air Reserve Component (ARC) brings to space.
The past decade has seen a dramatic swing in the character of the commercial space world. Commercial interests now outspend US government organizations on space services by an ever-widening margin. As the Air Force’s steward for space, AFSPC must take full advantage of the progress in commercial space capabilities. Areas where we could achieve considerable leveraging of commercial capabilities include launch services, satellite operations, SATCOM and imagery. The Air Force is sponsoring the ongoing Commercial Space Opportunities Study (CSOS) to identify possible ways of leveraging this commercial space revolution. See Appendix B, Evolving Developments and Initiatives, for the status of the CSOS.
While tapping into the commercial world poses a great potential for cost savings, we also stand to gain much by improving our integration and sharing of efforts with other organizations such as the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), NASA, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), NOAA and the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO). Each organization has found customers’ demands outpace abilities to satisfy those demands. A considerable amount of effort will be expended in the near-term phase to determine, develop and implement new and improved partnering efforts with the commercial world and other government organizations. Well thought out partnering will help to ease budgetary pressures and allow AFSPC to better provide the support theater CINCs need and deserve within the realities of the expected defense budget.
Reduce Cost of Doing Business
With expected future funding limitations, we need to reduce our costs of doing business to grow into new missions. Cost savings will come from all areas with some successes already achieved. For example, the Force Applications mission team has reduced the cost of business by awarding Total System Performance Responsibility (TSPR) of all ICBM weapon systems to the ICBM Prime Integration Contractor. Under TSPR, the contractor is responsible for detecting potential weapon system problems before they occur, coming up with mitigation plans and presenting this information to the government for potential action.
Emphasis for future cost savings will be on the Force Enhancement and Space Support mission areas. The first big step is to significantly reduce the cost of current launch services. The next step will be to reduce launch and satellite operations O&M costs by standardizing and upgrading equipment and procedures.
AFSPC and Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) are co-chairing the CSOS which is looking at ways to exploit the commercial space revolution to help bring down costs. As an example, the CSOS Satellite Control Panel recommends leveraging off industry standards, migrating to commercial off the shelf (COTS) capabilities and commercial practices, and consolidating existing commercial contracts. Approved recommendations of the CSOS will guide future planning.
Protect and Sustain Forces
To become a more fully integrated Aerospace Force with enhanced warfighting capabilities, we must ensure we continue to develop the capabilities to protect and sustain our forces. As threats to our space capabilities grow, Security Forces will provide the specialized training and equipment required to protect our space and missile sites and capabilities. Likewise, Communications and Information, in partnership with Logistics, will work to continually improve the organizations, systems and processes needed to maintain the readiness of our space and missile forces.
Support Installations and People
Achieving the Mission Support Vision End State will require an evolution of capabilities over the planning period for a number of the Mission Support functional areas. To “provide the 21st century aerospace warrior”, STEDE will ensure our mission forces are properly trained and exercised, while the Medical support area will continue to ensure a fit and vital military force. Civil Engineering will continually work to provide, operate, maintain and restore the installations, facilities, housing and environment needed to support our space and missile forces. Finally, C&I will provide, sustain and improve the communications connectivity, computer resources and information management for our forces worldwide.
During the mid-term, we will work to enhance our ability to defend and protect our space capabilities. Our implementation strategy puts primary focus on four areas: (1) Improve battlespace management, (2) Initiate global, conventional strike, (3) Gain space superiority and (4) Gain information superiority.
Improve Battlespace Management
The efficiencies we gain from near-term efforts will free up resources to enhance our contributions to the joint campaign. In the near-term, we improved the JFC’s battlespace awareness. Now we will accelerate his ability to shape and manage the battlespace. As new space-based information systems come on-line, we will dramatically improve the capacity to move information, gain knowledge of the battlespace, and track friendly and adversary forces. The result: the JFC realizes an exponential expansion in his ability to successfully command and control his assigned forces. Even our spacelift will contribute to shaping the battlespace. With a mature, responsive, cost-effective and flexible spacelift capability, AFSPC further expands the options available to theater CINCs.
Evolve Global, Conventional Strike
During the mid-term, we will deploy our initial, operational, conventional Force Applications capabilities building on initial near-term development. A global, conventional strike capability using forces from or through space gives the JFC more options for shaping the battlespace.
Gain Space Superiority
By the mid-term, the importance of gaining superiority in space will be obvious to all and we will be challenged in every situation. We will have to accelerate the fielding of a complete spectrum of counterspace capabilities. In this phase, we will focus on improving our space situational awareness, incorporating threat warning and defensive counterspace capabilities onto all our space assets and developing OCS capabilities.
Gain Information Superiority
The increased reliance on space-based capabilities to process and disseminate information by the mid-term will force AFSPC to become the primary enabler of gaining information superiority. During this time period, we will focus on gaining information superiority by building on our near-term improvements to gain and exploit information for better battlespace situational awareness and to defend our information and information systems. The focus for IO during this period will be to enhance our capabilities to exploit and attack adversary information and information systems.
The far-term will focus more on offensive capabilities as our space forces move beyond being primarily force multipliers to also being direct force providers. It is in the far-term that we will realize the full potential of the AFSPC Vision. This phase has four primary areas of emphasis: (1) Provide global, real-time situational awareness; (2) Provide prompt, global, conventional strike; (3) Maintain space superiority; and (4) Maintain information superiority.
Provide Global, Real-time Situational Awareness
By controlling and exploiting space, we will expand the options available to combatant commanders. As we complete the AFSPC battlespace information system architecture, we will ensure it is always available to provide the combatant commanders with global, real-time situational awareness every day, all day, in all types of weather.
Provide Prompt, Global, Conventional Strike
If the NCA dictates, we will provide multiple options to the JFC and the NCA to deploy precision strike weapon systems with global range able to inflict tailored effects against terrestrial targets from and through space in a matter of minutes or seconds. The result is a dramatic acceleration in our ability to force the enemy’s attack to its culmination point.
Maintain Space Superiority
To maintain space superiority, we must have the ability to control the “high ground” of space. To do so, we must be able to operate freely in space, deny the use of space to our adversaries, protect ourselves from attack in and through space, and develop and deploy an NMD capability. We will field capabilities that provide on-demand space transportation and space asset operations. We will also develop and deploy a full range of counterspace capabilities including offensive space-based counterspace forces and a global coverage, space-based, ballistic missile defense.
Maintain Information Superiority
In this time period, military success will be driven by domination of the information medium. Maintaining information superiority requires we fully develop and deploy a robust spectrum of capabilities to gain, exploit, defend and attack information and information systems. Information superiority will ensure we have reliable information that provides global, real-time situational awareness. It will also allow us to deny vital information to our adversaries that could be used against us and to selectively alter their perception of the battlespace to put them at a disadvantage.
Executive Summary Table Of Contents
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9
Appendix A Appendix B Appendix C Appendix D Appendix E Appendix F