Events

August 20, 2012

Supporting war fighters from space

by Capt. Chris Sukach
Huntsville, Ala.

Air Force Space Command Vice Commander Lt. Gen. John Hyten spoke at the 15th Annual Space and Missile Defense Conference in Huntsville, Ala., Aug. 14 and discussed how the American way of war has fundamentally changed thanks to space.

He used historical examples to illustrate his point and contrasted those with support provided in more recent conflicts like operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

Hyten highlighted the importance of knowledge and communication in warfare, emphasizing how critical it is for war fighters of today to know the lay of the land.

“It’s really simple,” the general said addressing the audience of space professionals. “My job, and the job of most people in this room, is to ensure no American war fighter, no American soldier, sailor, airman or Marine ever has to worry again about what’s over that hill or what’s around the next corner. No American in combat should ever again lack the ability to communicate.”

The situational awareness space assets provide has grown vastly since 1991 and Operation Desert Storm, which is largely regarded as America’s first space war, the general said. He explained GPS was not integrated into systems like it is today and that troops supplemented the few military grade receivers they had with commercial ones duct taped to their vehicles.

Today you’d be hard pressed to find a tactical unit that doesn’t use real-time global positioning, navigation and timing capabilities, but the contributions of GPS go beyond just military application, he continued.

“It touches almost everything we do – pay-at-the-pump gas – you probably use GPS a dozen times a day and don’t even know it,” Hyten said of the integration of GPS into daily civilian life.

He also shared that, while the Defense Satellite Communications System satellites provided the backbone of the command, control and computer network during Desert Storm, the data provided by the system was small by today’s standards.

“One WGS [Wideband Global SATCOM] satellite has more bandwidth than the entire SATCOM constellation in the first Gulf War,” said the general, contrasting the technologies.

Because satellites orbit the world, the capabilities space assets provide play an integral part in meeting the needs of today’s war fighters wherever they may be, he explained.

“Our joint war fighers depend on space – they depend on the asymmetrical advantage it creates – and there is no going back,” Hyten said.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs February 27, 2015

Ukraine will start pulling back heavy weapons in the east Ukraine’s military says it will start pulling back its heavy weapons from the front line with Russian-backed separatists as required under a cease-fire agreement. The Defense Ministry said in a statement Feb. 26 that it reserved the right to revise its withdrawal plans in the...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s AstroMesh reflector successfully deploys for NASA’s SMAP satellite

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory successfully deployed the mesh reflector and boom aboard the Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft, a key milestone on its mission to provide global measurements of soil moisture. Launched Jan. 31, SMAP represents the future of Earth Science by helping researchers better understand our planet. SMAP’s unmatched data capabilities are enabled...
 
 
NASA photograph by Brian Tietz

NASA offers space tech grants to early career university faculty

NASA photograph by Brian Tietz Tensegrity research is able to simulate multiple forms of locomotion. In this image, a prototype tensegrity robot reproduces forward crawling motion. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Director...
 

 
navy-china

USS Fort Worth conducts CUES with Chinese Navy

The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) practiced the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) with the People’s Liberation Army-Navy Jiangkai II frigate Hengshui (FFG 572) Feb. 23 enhancing the professional ma...
 
 

AEGIS tracks, simulates engagement of three short-range ballistic missiles

The Missile Defense Agency and sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyers USS Carney (DDG 64), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), and USS Barry (DDG 52) successfully completed a flight test involving the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system. At approximately 2:30 a.m., EST, Feb. 26, three short-range ballistic missile targets were launched near simultaneously from NASA’s Wallops...
 
 

DOD seeks novel ideas to shape its technological future

The Defense Department is seeking novel ideas to shape its future, and officials are looking to industry, small business, academia, start-ups, the public – anyone, really – to boost its ability to prevail against adversaries whose access to technology grows daily. The program, called the Long-Range Research and Development Plan, or LRRDP, began with an...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>