Space and Strategic Command senior officers were among a panel of experts discussing responsive space issues at the Westin Hotel here April 25.
Space and Missile Systems Center Vice Commander Brig. Gen. Larry James moderated the five-person panel.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Lt. Gen. Brian Arnold, Space and Missile Systems Center
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LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Space and Strategic Command senior officers were among a panel of experts discussing responsive space issues at the Westin Hotel here April 25.
Space and Missile Systems Center Vice Commander Brig. Gen. Larry James moderated the five-person panel. Introductory briefings by each member preceded a question-and-answer period with the audience. General James opened talking about responsive space “doing more with less.”
“Ultimately we want more capabilities per dollar,” he said. “Technology will drive more capabilities into a smaller package.”
Featured speakers included Brig. Gen. Elaine Knight, mobilization assistant to the director of Air and Space Operations at Air Force Space Command, Colorado Springs, Colo. Col. Elizabeth Durham-Ruiz, chief of the Space and Global Strike Mission Capability Team at United States Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., also sat on the panel.
At the conclusion of the panel discussion, Lt. Gen. Brian Arnold, Space and Missile Systems Center commander, took the podium as the luncheon special guest speaker.
General Arnold’s brief, “The Road to Responsive Space,” focused on growing responsive space capabilities and current plans and programs being developed and executed to bring the concept to fruition as a vital part of the overall tool bag for warfighting commanders.
General Arnold went further in depth by explaining operational responsive space concepts being developed in response to President George W. Bush’s signing of the National Space Transportation Road Map in January.
“The ORS concept is designed to meet Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John Jumper’s vision for responsive joint warfighting space capabilities,” said General Arnold.
The JWS concept envisions using space assets in a variety of roles, said General Arnold. Today’s F-16 fighter aircraft fulfill several air-to-air and air-to-ground combat roles. Similarly, versatile payloads and spacecraft under development will evolve into an array of space packages available to air, land, and sea forces as they execute their part of the theater battle.
“The joint part of JWS emphasizes the joint nature of our customer focus,” said General Arnold. “It envisions a scenario in which the combatant commander identifies a need that may be supported by an array of systems packages awaiting call from a responsive space war reserve. Upon the combatant commander’s direction, the trained cadre would rapidly integrate the necessary mix of payloads and spacecraft buses onto available boosters.”
General Arnold added that deployment and on-orbit checkout would then be done within a several-day window or less, depending on the system fielded.
He continued saying responsive space capabilities are supported by three equally important pillars: responsive launch vehicles, responsive spacecraft and responsive infrastructure. The general outlined a systems plan, laying out goals for each pillar.
“Our road map illustrates a fundamental strategy for our development of responsive space capabilities – the spiral development approach. This approach lets us build our capability in manageable, ‘bite-sized’ pieces without investing huge amounts of time and money in a single effort,” he said.
The general closed by saying the space team’s intent is to provide capabilities to the warfighter when needed, at an affordable price.
“Operationally, responsive space is not entirely new. We can use, and have used, our existing systems to responsively support the warfighter,” said General Arnold. “Alongside of this, we can develop new systems and further tailor our existing systems to meet the dynamic needs of commanders in the field.”
Responsive Space 3 attendees came from academic, scientific, engineering and industrial communities. The conference was the third-annual meeting for space professionals to check the progress of the space community’s efforts toward creating truly responsive space capabilities.