The Director of Air, Space and Cyberspace Operations for Air Force Space Command spoke at the Space Warfighters Luncheon April 9 during the 29th National Space Symposium held at the Broadmoor Resort, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Maj. Gen. Jack Weinstein addressed a packed room of both military and civilian attendees on the impact of Gen. Shelton’s designation as Commander, Air Force Forces for space and cyber forces to United States Strategic Command and its importance to the warfighter.
“This new design for the AFSPC commander as COMAFFOR is a truly revolutionary and positive change for our Air Force,” said Weinstein. “The COMAFFOR operates and supports the Air Force Forces assigned or attached to the Joint Force commander… a COMAFFOR is a warfighter.”
Weinstein stated that two tasks best explain the AFSPC commander’s new role.
“Commander, Air Force Space Command presents integrated Air Force space and cyberspace capabilities to deliver global effects to achieve commander, USSTRATCOM missions per the Unified Command Plan throughout the full spectrum of war,” the general said.
The second task is operational planning to develop strategies that explain how the COMAFFOR can use Air Force cyber and space capabilities to support combatant commander’s objectives.
“This new responsibility is focused at the strategic level and is linked to Combatant Commander strategic planning efforts,” said Weinstein. “Air Force Space Command helps provide a focus at the strategic level of war to USSTRATCOM for Air Force space and cyberspace forces.”
As strategic capabilities, space and cyberspace are being focused to enhance the capabilities of combatant commanders.
“Air Force Space Command must help United States Strategic Command identify why and with what we fight in the space and cyber domains,” Weinstein said. “Space and cyber are incredibly complex domains, and they have fundamentally changed the way we fight and win wars.”
Equipping and grooming space and cyber personnel with training on the operational and tactical levels as well as strategic-level capabilities is one way that AFSPC fits into the broader national security architecture.
“We are able to provide our expertise and knowledge gained … and then apply strategic-level thinking to assist our Combatant Command, ensuring Air Force space and cyber capabilities fit appropriately into the larger picture.” said Maj Gen Weinstein.
The general stated that the warfighter is already benefitting from the change in the strategic-level focus of AFSPC.
“Air Force space and cyber capabilities can help shape perceptions, and with the right level of integration between COMAFFOR and joint force planning, we can synchronize to achieve maximum Joint Force Commander effects and unity of effort,” said Weinstein. “Ideally, AFSPC will become a fully integrated warfighter supporting the Combatant Commander’s campaign and operational planning processes, as well as real-world and exercise management of operational crises and contingencies.”
Future development of the role of the AFSPC COMAFFOR is expected to help shape the battlefield across the full spectrum of warfare.
“The Air Force is postured to ensure all of its world-class capabilities are deployed, sustained, and employed to achieve strategic objectives and defend our nation and its allies,” Weinstein said. “In the end, the warfighting benefit of having a 4-star COMAFFOR that can interface with and support Combatant Commanders is to hopefully save lives and achieve national objectives.”