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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Jan > Jan 30

Hearing On U.S. Spacepower In The 21St Century

From: Patricia Mason <pmason@ee.net>
Date: Sat, 30 Jan 1999 08:39:50 -0500
Fwd Date: Sat, 30 Jan 1999 18:54:26 -0500
Subject: Hearing On U.S. Spacepower In The 21St Century


Statement By

Assistant Secretary Of The Air Force (Space)


Director, National Reconnaissance Office

Keith R. Hall

Before The

House Science Committee

Space And Aeronautics Subcommittee,

House National Security Committee

Military Research And Development Subcommittee,

And House National Security Committee

Military Procurement Subcommittee

Hearing On U.S. Spacepower In The 21St Century

29 September 1998

I am pleased to be here today to discuss the changing
environment of space in the 21st century and the growing role of
spacepower in U.S. national security. I would also like to
outline the initiatives undertaken by the Department of Defense
(DoD) and the Intelligence Community (IC) to ensure that the
United States maintains space-based information superiority in
the next millennium.

Criticality of U.S. Space Capabilities

Today U.S. space capabilities are the indispensable tools of
global leadership. They allow our political leaders to base
decisions on a remarkably solid, broad, and detailed foundation
of information. Space systems enable our military leaders to
dominate the battlefield by providing global communications,
precision navigation, accurate meteorological data, early
warning of missile launches, and signals and imagery
intelligence support. The global presence of space systems makes
it possible for the U.S. to more effectively address the wide
range of threats presented by the post-Cold War world.

In the future, U.S. forces will rely upon space systems for
global awareness of threats, swift orchestration of military
operations, and precision use of smart weapons. As we move into
the new millennium, one of the key goals of military space power
will be migration of Intelligence, Surveillance, and
Reconnaissance (ISR) from traditional terrestrial platforms to
the high ground of space. Combined with global communications
and high speed information processing, ISR will deliver precise
military firepower anywhere in the world, day or night, in all
weather. Our goal is to detect, track, and target anything of
significance worldwide and to get the right information to the
right people at the right time. This capability will allow the
U.S. to maintain a nonintrusive global presence and deliver
precision weapons on target to maximize combat power while
minimizing collateral damage.

A New Space Environment

While the United States has long enjoyed dominance in space, we
can no longer take this advantage for granted. The utilization
of space is changing rapidly and we will not be able to maintain
our edge in the future without careful planning, prudent
investment, and shared commitment to a common goal.

We are now in a critical transitional period. In past decades,
the United States was the most powerful and effective member of
an exclusive club=97few nations could field satellites. In the
future, the growth of the commercial space industry will open up
this club to anyone with the price of admission. Space assets
will be available to our adversaries during peacetime, crisis,
and war. Capabilities that are U.S. secrets today may be common
knowledge tomorrow. Space will become an increasingly crowded
and contentious arena.

Strategy for Continued Space Dominance

Loss of the advantage space now gives the U.S. in national
decision making and military operations would be a severe threat
to our national security and to our international stature. The
United States can=97and must=97continue to field space systems that
are more capable, more agile, and more reliable than those of
our adversaries. We must develop unique collection capabilities
against the most intractable intelligence targets. Finally, we
must be prepared for the possibility that our adversaries will
target U.S. government or commercial space systems.

I would like to highlight some of the key elements of our
strategy for ensuring space-based information superiority:

First, we are strengthening research and development to achieve
revolutionar y breakthroughs in capabilities. Second, we are
strengthening our space programs through partnerships between
the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the Air Force, and the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Third, we
are leveraging advances in the commercial space industry to
lower costs and improve the capabilities of our satellite
systems. Finally, we are conducting research on ways to protect
our space assets. Let me elaborate on each of these areas.

Achieving Revolutionary Advances

The NRO is now moving from an evolutionary to a revolutionary
research and development profile. This approach aims for quantum
improvements in U.S. capability to collect against hard targets
such as weapons proliferators, to support military operations,
and to counter foreign denial and deception efforts. The NRO is
now close to achieving a goal of devoting 10 percent of its
budget to Research and Development (R&D). Consistent with this
investment, the NRO has established an Advanced Systems and
Technology Directorate to manage R&D programs. This
directorate=92s charter is to accelerate the process of
identifying, developing, and adopting new technologies.

This is not a unilateral effort. In 1997, the Air Force Research
Laboratory, and NASA created the Space Technology Alliance to
coordinate the development of affordable, effective space
technologies. This will allow us to avoid duplication of effort
and ensure that we get the most out of our R&D funds. The
program includes an exchange of personnel among the three
agencies and biannual senior technology summits to review

Space Partnerships

In an era of shrinking defense and intelligence budgets, we can
no longer afford to maintain separate domains for black and
white space programs. Future U.S. space dominance will rely on
successful collaboration between the NRO and the Air Force to
deliver the space systems of the future sooner, better, and
cheaper. As the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space
and the Director of the NRO, I have worked with General Myers
and his predecessor, General Estes, to ensure that we will be
able to meet the needs of national and military users. Let me
describe two key efforts to achieve this cooperation.

In August, the Secretary of Defense (SecDef) and the Director of
Central Intelligence (DCI) appointed General "Mitch" Mitchell
National Security Space Architect (NSSA) to develop, coordinate,
and integrate DoD and Intelligence Community Space
architectures. This position was created in response to a
Presidential Decision Directive, which directed that the SecDef
and the DCI ensure close coordination of defense and space
activities. The NSSA will use the body of work produced by the
DoD Space Architect as a point of departure to build an
integrated national security space roadmap.

We have formed an Air Force-NRO Integration Planning Group, a
small team that will search out new collaborative ventures to
enhance our capabilities, reduce the costs of space services,
and improve our support to the military customer. This team will
develop and promote new ideas and serve as the focal point for
examining and coordinating innovative Air Force-NRO program
integration concepts.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) initially conceived as a
precision navigation system for military forces, has now grown
into an international industry. In 1996, the President directed
that the highly accurate GPS signal be made available
unrestricted to the civil community. The Department of
Transportation now plays a key role in the administration of the
GPS system along with the DoD. Together we are coordinating with
our international partners to make GPS the world=92s navigation
system of choice. To that end, the Japanese have just announced
their intention to work closely with the U.S. to promote broad
and effective use of GPS.

In the area of meteorology, the Air Force=92s Defense
Meteorological Satellite Program will soon evolve into the
National Polar Orbiting Environmental System, a joint DoD and
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
operation. The convergence of the DoD and NOAA satellite
meteorology systems will save the U.S. government $1.3 billion
and create a more robust environmental sensing architecture.
This architecture will also include a European partner, the
European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological
Satellites, who are providing one of the three satellites in the

Leveraging the Commercial World

The rapid expansion of commercial satellite communication will
bring affordable, mobile communications to every corner of the
globe and create a new information infrastructure for banking,
commerce, medicine, science, diplomacy, and education. Shortly
after the turn of the century there will be an estimated 1800
commercial communication satellites on orbit to serve as the
information backbone of the new global economy. This space-based
information network will tie together the world=92s economic,
government, and societal institutions in new and unpredictable
ways. Commercial remote sensing will also continue to grow and
improve from the 2-5 meter resolution now available on the world

The DoD supports the growth of the commercial satellite industry
and we are already taking advantage of commercial technologies,
as well as commercial manufacturing techniques, to reduce costs
and increase efficiency. The lessons learned from mass
manufacturing of commercial satellites will provide benefits for
both government and industry. The Evolved Expendable Launch
Vehicle program is the next step in reducing our launch costs
and creating a more operable and responsive spacelift
infrastructure. The launch demands of the commercial space
industry will drive significant improvements in range
modernization and reusable launch technology. In turn, the U.S.
military will benefit from a more robust launch capacity and
U.S. industry will gain a more competitive footing in the
international launch market.

The DoD and the IC are beginning to share the burdens of raw
technology development and the costs of industrial
infrastructure with a successful commercial industry. This will
act to lower costs for satellite development and manufacturing.
Some of the most promising areas for cost reduction include
launch services and the use of commercial satellite buses=97the
NRO is already using a commercial bus for some satellite
systems. Our eventual goal is to move the production of
satellites from a craft industry to a manufacturing industry
that can deploy national security space systems better, cheaper,
and faster.

I welcome opportunities for commercial solutions to other
government space requirements. For example, if a mature
commercial imagery system can provide mapping data, then the
U.S. government need not finance fully redundant capability.
Instead, the NRO would concentrate on more technically
challenging space-based intelligence collection methods.

Preparing for the Future

As the President=92s national security strategy states, "We are
committed to keeping free and open access to space for keeping
the peace and in support of national security." Our space
capabilities are major elements of our national strength and we
must ensure that they are protected. We must conduct the
appropriate research to this end.


Our space assets are an immensely valuable national resource. As
foreign and commercial space sectors continue to grow, we must
seriously consider our growing national dependence on space
systems and the protection of those national assets. If the
United States is to accrue the full advantages of space in the
future, we must maintain the world=92s preeminent space
capability. Achieving this goal will require close cooperation
between the NRO, the Air Force, NASA, and other agencies, as
well as a strong relationship with the commercial space
industry. It will also require the unwavering support of
Congress. It will take time, coordinated effort, and significant
resources to ensure continued U.S. space dominance, but it will
be one of the most important investments we can make to ensure
U.S. global leadership in the next century.

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