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Space Force Finalizes New Enterprise Satcom Vision

By | February 20, 2020

Gen. Jay Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, U.S. Space Force, and Commander, U.S. Space Command, recently signed the USSF Vision for Enterprise Satellite Communications. Photo: DoD by Patrick Morrow

The U.S. Space Force has completed a new service vision for enterprise satellite communications that seeks to eliminate traditional stovepipes for system acquisition and allow for rapid employment of new technologies in the commercial sector.

Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, Space Force chief of space operations, recently signed the vision, the service shared in a Feb. 19 release. The new document, shared on the Space Force’s website, follows a series of events taking place over the past two years that have aimed to consolidate DoD responsibility for acquiring and managing satcom systems into two new entities: The new Space Force under the Air Force, and the new combatant command for space, U.S. Space Command.

USSPACECOM was established in August 2019, and the U.S. Space Force was established in December 2019 as part of the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.

“We must move faster than our adversaries to ensure warfighters receive the operational benefits of an integrated satcom enterprise capable of delivering satcom effects in [contested, degraded and operationally limited] environments,” the vision document said. “We must adopt faster acquisition processes and faster command and control constructs to maintain the advantage in any conflict.”

A team of experts from the Space Force, the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) at Los Angeles Air Force Base and the Space Force Commercial Satcom Office helped to identify key requirements and policies within the vision document, the release said.

The Space Force identified a number of priorities to address that will help create a “single, integrated satcom enterprise,” including building a team of experts to rapidly develop a roadmap “to ensure near-term budgeting priorities are in line with the satcom vision.”

The documents highlight specific satcom enterprise areas for improvement, to include: the synchronization of operations across the enterprise; situational awareness; full-spectrum defensive space control, which would allow warfighters to communicate in any situation or environment; and the ability to manage and direct commercial satcom resources that are employed by DoD users.

The Space Force plans to improve and update multiple requirements documents dating back to 2010, including the 2019 Wideband Communications Services Analysis of Alternatives final report. The new service will develop a flexible modem interface (FMI) standard that would support agile satcom roaming for DoD users, and build a new strategy to replace current Wideband Global Satcom capability.

The vision directs the Combined Force Space Component Command (CFSCC) to centrally manage Pentagon commercial satcom leases and consolidate them with milsatcom resources under a single command. The CFSCC is one of two major components under U.S. Space Command, and is led by Maj. Gen. Stephen Whiting.

“The unity of effort under USSPACECOM improves support for responsive allocation and re-provisioning of satcom resources (military, commercial, and coalition systems), automatic moving and restoring the highest priority users in times of degraded service or conflict, faster resolution of electromagnetic interference (EMI), crisis planning, faster reconfiguration and optimization of the enterprise when resources are lost,” the vision document said.

“By creating a single entry point for all satcom requirements, enterprise satcom needs can be acquired in a deliberate and efficient manner, avoiding the stovepipes of the past,” it continues.

This article was first published by our sister publication Defense Daily.