General explains what space brings to the fight
Space superiority is an important part of what we do in our United States Air Force and in the rest of the military, said General Lance W. Lord.


By 1st Lt. Elizabeth Culbertson, USAFE News Service
Posted Tuesday, April 19, 2005

  
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General Lance W. Lord Biography
 

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (USAFENS) – The commander of Air Force Space Command expressed the importance of space superiority, leadership development and integrating space with military operations during an April 16 visit here.
Space superiority is an important part of what we do in our United States Air Force and in the rest of the military, said General Lance W. Lord.

“That’s why I’m here (in USAFE) ... to check how we’re doing and make sure that space is integrated in everything we’re doing and I’m really pleased with what I’m seeing,” he said.

Just as air superiority is required to protect the airspace over the battlefields, space superiority is critically important to protecting the on-orbit satellites that disseminate information which enables all aspects of military operations, he explained.

 

(Space) is part of everything we do, economically and militarily, so it’s important to protect that advantage,”

 

“Space control," he added, “is the capability to make sure you maintain your space superiority.”

Space control focuses on three mission areas: situational awareness, the “fundamental underpinning” of space operations; defensive counterspace, or protecting U.S. assets; and offensive counterspace, used to maintain our ability to operate in the medium of space, said the general.

“(Space) is part of everything we do, economically and militarily, so it’s important to protect that advantage,” he said.

General Lord said that an important mission of Space Command is to support the joint warfighters executing the Global War on Terrorism.

“You can’t go to war and win without space,” he said. “Space is critical to the conduct of operations. ... (Troops) use it, need it and depend on it.”

Some of the ways troops are using space “downrange” include intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, communication, positioning and navigation systems and space-based weather, General Lord said. One significant contributor to the fight in Iraq has been Blue Force tracking, which allows space operators to track friendly forces carrying special sensors and to create a visual image of their positioning, he said.

“In a couple of intense firefights in Iraq , we were able to save our troops because we were able to locate them and keep them out of harm’s way,“ General Lord said.

The situational awareness that the system offers has another benefit.

“(Blue Force tracking) helps make sure we know where people are and helps eliminate the potential for friendly fire and fratricide,” he said.

The general emphasized the benefits that space technology offers to all services.

“What space has done for ground forces, especially air forces, land forces, and sea forces is given them that capability to maneuver faster, connect our communications, be more precise and, when we need to be, more lethal because of ... the accuracy of the global positioning system.” he said “When you put that all together, it’s really a tremendous capability.”

Fresh from USAFE Project Connect visits at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England , and Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, General Lord pointed out the importance of mentoring and maintaining a dialogue with troops.

“(Mentoring) is a powerful way to communicate and make sure people understand we care about who they are and what they do,” he said.

The general said that in today’s “point-and-click” world, face-to-face leadership and personal interaction is essential.

Part of General Lord’s leadership philosophy is taking care of the 7,500 space professionals in the Air Force, developing them professionally and ensuring they’re integrated with their colleagues.

“Air and space are equal partners in what we do,” he said. “Everybody is important and contributes to the mission.”

General Lord said he thinks the biggest threat to U.S. space superiority now is complacency.

“We may assume that the medium of space is not going to be contested,” he said. “Space is transparent to the user ... (but) we don’t want to take it for granted. ... If you’re not in space, you’re not in the race.”


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