The space domain is growing increasingly congested and contested. Potential adversaries are racing to deliver new systems that can attack, outmaneuver or disrupt the critical space services our U.S. armed forces rely on for mission success.
To maintain a competitive advantage, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and U.S. Space Force (USSF) need a resilient, threat-ready architecture of space assets and operations across multiple orbits – known as a “Space Order of Battle.” As one of the Department of the Air Force’s (DAF) seven Operational Imperatives, Space Order of Battle focuses on the challenge of protecting the United States’ space capabilities and services and defeating adversaries’ space capabilities.
Our Space Systems President, Kelle Wendling, recently shared her perspective on this critical topic as part of a panel discussion at the AFA Air, Space & Cyber Conference, held Sept. 11-13 in National Harbor, Maryland. Wendling joined a cohort of industry and government experts for the “Space Order of Battle” panel, including:
- Maj. Gen. Douglas Schiess (moderator): Commander, Combined Force Space Component Command, U.S. Space Command; and Vice Commander, Space Operations Command, U.S. Space Force, Vandenberg Space Force Base, California
- Diane Ashley: Managing Director, Deloitte National Security Space
- Amy Hopkins: Vice President (VP) & General Manager (GM), Peraton National Security Space
- Maria Demaree: VP & GM, Special Programs, Lockheed Martin
During the discussion, Wendling offered insights on the best strategies for achieving space superiority using current technologies, as well as the gaps that must be addressed in creating an integrated common operating picture across government, its partners and allies.
"We need to provide more flexible capabilities faster to the warfighter. There is a critical paradigm shift to deliver on-orbit capabilities at a responsive and dynamic rate,” said Wendling. “Our adversaries are not debating charters, budgets, policies and classifications — they're moving quickly. There is a keen sense of urgency and a need to move at a greater pace in collaboration with government, commercial and civil partners and our allies to maximize and optimize our capabilities.”
Additional panel topics ranged from how the commercial sector can better partner with governments to accelerate the transition to a new space architecture; the policies, security and training needed to ensure success; and the impact of the Commercial Augmentation Space Reserves (CASR) on the Space Order of Battle imperative.
About the Conference
Founded in 1946, the AFA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the goals of the USAF and USSF through advocacy, education and professional development opportunities. Its Air, Space & Cyber Conference brings together leaders from across industries to share best practices and make connections that advance the cause of air and space power.
L3Harris is a trusted disruptor for the global aerospace and defense industry, a key partner of the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Space Force and other agencies, and has served the nation’s Space Superiority mission for more than 30 years. With customers’ mission-critical needs always in mind, our more than 50,000 employees deliver end-to-end technology solutions connecting the space, air, land, sea and cyber domains.