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Space Force to be Lean, Fast, SPOC Commander Says

By Rachel Jewett | January 10, 2020

Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, U.S. Space Command and Air Force Space Command commander, presents the Combined Force Space Component Command guidon to Maj. Gen. John. E. Shaw, CFSCC and 14th AF commander, during a change of commander ceremony in November 2019. Photo: U.S. Air Force

As the military works to build the U.S. Space Force from the ground up, its goal is to be lean and equipped for the speed of war fighting in the coming century, said Maj. Gen. John Shaw, commander of Space Operations Command (SPOC), U.S. Space Force, and commander of the Combined Force Space Component Command (CFSCC), U.S. Space Command. 

“It can’t be ponderous, it can’t be bureaucratic,” Shaw said Friday at Air Force Association Space Force event. “It has to be lean if it’s going to operate at the speed of war in the 22nd century. And that’s what we are trying to build from the ground up, and make part of the Space Force culture from the very beginning.”

Shaw did not offer specific information about how Space Force will be organized, but stressed the opportunity to create a new service “from scratch.” He cited the former 14th Air Force’s Combat Development Division (CDD) — in which embeds in operation units look at capabilities and quickly plug them into war fighting — as an example of leveraging tech at the speed of war. 

Last month, the 14th Air Force – previously the Air Force component to U.S. Strategic Command for space operations – was redesignated as SPOC under Space Force

Shaw also said he expects to see the Department of Defense (DoD) give Congress legislation in regards to incorporating elements of the Army and Navy into Space Force. 

Shaw would not comment on the role that Space Force played in the early warning detection that allowed U.S. forces to seek protection before a series of ballistic missiles struck two Iraqi bases on Jan. 7, saying he would not comment on operational matters. 

“Space is integrated in everything that we do, war fighting operations around the globe,” he said.

In addition, as commander of the CFSCC, Shaw said his two “prime interrogatives” are how to drive integration into domains across the full spectrum of war fighting, and how to pursue strength and partnerships with allies and partners, including commercial partners. 

In particular, Shaw said he expects to see greater partnership with Japan in terms of putting a space domain awareness payload on its Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) in 2020, and collaboration with a deep space radar system that Japan is developing.