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CSO visits Texas Air National Guardsmen

  • Published
  • By Airman Eduardo Figueroa Varela
  • 147th Attack Wing Public Affairs (Texas Air National Guard)
U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman visited the 147th Attack Wing in Houston, Texas, August 18, 2023. Saltzman’s visit highlighted the importance of seamless integration and collaboration in the air and space domains.

While at Ellington Field, Saltzman observed the wing’s primary mission and met with Airmen responsible for the operations and support of the MQ-9 Reaper.

The advanced capabilities of the MQ-9, which plays a pivotal role in intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and combat support, highlight the complimentary nature between Air Force operations and Space Force assets. These assets, including communication satellites and the GPS constellation, are critical in ensuring the success of the 147th Attack Wing’s MQ-9 mission.

“If we don’t have space, we don’t have a mission,” said Col. Travis Walters, 147th Attack Wing Commander. “Without the communications and GPS satellites that U.S. Space Force Guardians provide, we could not do what we do here on a daily basis 24/7 to support the combatant commands.”

Walters also emphasized the significance of the collaboration between the 147th Attack Wing and civilian partners. He highlighted the fact that, as in many Guard and Reserve units, members have long tenured ties to the community and local businesses. “We have Airmen that fix and fly airplanes on drill weekends bringing with them the culture and expertise that resides in the community,” said Walters.

During the visit, Saltzman had the opportunity to meet with elected officials, including Rep. Brian Babin, Texas 36th Congressional District, key leaders from the Texas Military Department, including Maj. Gen. Thomas Suelzer, Texas Adjutant General, and civilian sector partners from the Houston space ecosystem.

“Not everybody understands how space directly supports their mission,” said Saltzman. “Clearly this is a wing that understands how space helps, contributes, and enables the mission that you do for the joint force.”

Saltzman’s visit to the 147th Attack Wing symbolizes the evolving nature of military operations in the 21st century. The Joint Force is embracing the interconnected nature of space, cyber, and more traditional military capabilities to meet challenges presented by today’s dynamic national security environment.

The 147th Attack Wing’s integration and understanding of space’s role in enabling Air Force capabilities exemplifies the future of holistic defense strategies where collaboration and technological prowess combine to successfully achieve military objectives.