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Space Force aims for lean, fast force, Gen. John Raymond says

Space Force aims for lean, fast force, Gen. John Raymond says
Chief of Space Operations at US Space Force General John Raymond testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee in May. Pool photo by Shawn Thew/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 15 (UPI) -- The Space Force must be lean, agile and fast -- and must be prepared to engage in warfare in space if necessary, the U.S. Chief of Space Operations said this week.

During the 2020 Air Force Association Air, Space and Cyber Conference, which is a virtual event this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chief of Space Operations John W. Raymond said the United States doesn't want to engage in warfare that begins or ends in space, but must be prepared for such a conflict.

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"We want to deter that from happening. However, if deterrence fails, a war that begins or extends into space will be fought over great distances at tremendous speeds," Raymond said.

Raymond said being prepared for conflict in space means building a force that's lean, agile and fast -- and the Space Force has been working on all those things since it was established as a separate branch of the military in December.

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The force has been working to reduce bureaucracy by "slashing bureaucracy, delegating authority and enhancing accountability at every crossroad," he said.

To that end, the Space Force has remoed two echelons of command, including a numbered Air Force and an O-6-level command, and reduced the number of planned Space Force staff at the Pentagon.

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"My opinion: big organizations are slow. We must move at speed to outpace the threats that we face," Raymond said.

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According to Raymond, Congress has identified about 65 different organizations involved in space-related acquisition, and the Space Force is proposing a new acquisition system for space that reduces duplication of effort and slashes cost.

"If we get this right, we will be the envy of the other services, because we are not tied to business of the past," Raymond said.

The service is also working to establish partnerships with countries including Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

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Also at this week's conference, Raymond hosted a ceremonial swearing-in commemorating more than 300 transfers into the U.S. Space Force.

The new transfers will "help establish the service in organizing, training and equipping forces for space as a warfighting domain," according the Space Force.

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