AFSPC commander releases initial guidance and intent

(U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

(U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- I could not more proud to be back in Air Force Space Command and to be part of the world's greatest Space and Cyberspace Total Force team. It is both incredibly humbling and a great honor to become the commander of this organization during a very exciting and critically important time. Our tactical operations in space and cyberspace provide tremendous strategic and operational advantages for our nation. Our adversaries have noticed and we are now facing new challenges that could disrupt our warfighting capabilities and threaten our national interests. How we respond to the growing challenges in these domains will shape our ability to protect vital national interests well into the future. We have to get this right - staying ahead of these challenges and ensuring access to these domains is imperative and our top priority.

The challenges we face from China, Russia, Iran, North Korea and terror networks are global, multi-faceted and multi-domain. To put this another way, our nation's most pressing national defense concerns are our concerns and we need to step up in new and innovative ways to meet them. To this end, I would like to provide my initial commander's intent in the form of several guiding principles. I expect each of you to understand these principles and integrate them into all of your duties and responsibilities.

a. Air Force Space Command Airmen will be leaders in the Joint Fight.
Our Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein made developing joint leaders one of his three focus areas. Our Airmen must not only be proficient in air, space and cyber operations, but they must be able to lead in the joint environment. To that end, the command must hone Airmen tactically and technically through venues like Red Flag, the USAF Weapons School, U. S. Strategic Command’s "global" exercises, Schriever Wargames and Air University's School for Advanced Air and Space Studies. As our Airmen develop professionally and interact with the joint and coalition community, they will learn the advantages offered through operations in the other domains, with other services and nations, and be better prepared for future command, staff and joint leadership positions.

b. Air Force Space Command will operate with a Joint warfighting perspective.
As we move into our 35th year as a command, we can't do business the way we have in the past - we don't have that luxury. Space and cyberspace are no longer benign environments; they are contested operational domains. We will meet the challenges in these domains by aggressively driving toward resiliency with initiatives like the Space Enterprise Vision and Cyber Secure. We must enhance awareness in these domains and develop a robust capability to command and control operations on tactically relevant timelines. We will actively innovate and experiment to enhance our capabilities and continue to pursue initiatives like the Space Mission Force to ensure our operators have the advanced training they need to execute our critical missions. Last, but certainly not least, our world-class acquirers will drive to acquire needed capabilities that will improve our resilience and help us realize the SEY. This is no small task as it has to be done on operationally relevant timelines and within existing resource constraints.

c. We will be a responsive, ready and able component to USSTRATCOM.
As a service component to USSTRATCOM, Air Force Space Command provides the combatant commander with the preponderance of its space power and a substantial portion of its cyberspace capability. That means we must be responsive, ready and able to provide those capabilities when and where the commander needs. There is a lot of hard joint-warfighting preparation work to be done. This is our work and we will do it in lock step with USSTRATCOM and our partners.

d. We will be at the leading edge of Air Force multi-domain operations.
Of critical importance to the Department of Defense is the ability to successfully conduct multi-domain operations. We must find ways to operate seamlessly between domains to generate effects at a tempo the adversary cannot match. This is another one of the Chief of Staff’s focus areas. He believes the Air Force is postured to lead the DoD in developing this approach and I agree. As the Air Force owner of two of our domains, multi-domain operations must be an Air Force Space Command core competency. We must: build, develop and operate space and cyberspace capabilities in support of this effort; develop Airmen who are multi-domain leaders to operate these capabilities; and effectively integrate our space and cyberspace operations centers with regional air operations centers to provide commanders true multi-domain effects.

e. Air Force Space Command will enhance its capabilities through meaningful partnerships.
To meet the challenges we face today, we will actively partner with the intelligence community and other government agencies, our allies and foreign partners, and the civil and commercial sectors. When we operated in benign environments, these partnerships were important; in contested domains they are critical. We must take an active leadership role to bring space and cyberspace domain stakeholders together as a unified team.

f. Air Force Space Command will honor its commitment to the Profession of Arms.
Through all of these endeavors, we must keep in mind that the American people and our national leadership have entrusted us with the highest calling - the defense of our nation as members of the Profession of Arms. We will live the Core Values - Integrity First, Service before Self and Excellence in All We Do. We will maintain the highest standards of performance and behavior. We will treat all people with respect; we will cherish diversity and inclusion; and we will provide our Airmen an environment free of harassment and discrimination, where they can develop to their full potential and fulfill the nation's calling.

Air Force Space Command has a history of change and innovation dating back to its creation in 1982; we must embrace that heritage and use it as our foundation for moving forward. Yesterday's Air Force Space Command does not meet today's reality or tomorrow's challenges. We must enhance our capabilities by evolving the way we organize, train and equip to effectively compete in the space and cyberspace domains. The bottom line is that I need the entire command fully engaged and I know that you are the right people at the right time to meet these challenges. I am honored to be your commander and to have the opportunity to serve our nation at your side.