Top USSF leaders discuss the Space Force of 2030

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Adam R. Shanks
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

A trio of Department of the Air Force senior leaders discuss their views on the Space Force of 2030 during the inaugural Spacepower Conference hosted by the Space Force Association in Orlando, Florida, Dec. 13.

The panel included Maj. Gen. Shawn Bratton, currently the special assistant to the Chief of Space Operations; Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, commander of Space Operations Command; and Chief Master Sgt. Jacob Simmons, the command senior enlisted leader of U.S. Space Command.

The Space Force is approaching its fourth anniversary Dec. 20 and has been laser-focused on building its structures and organizations while continuing to bolster security in the space domain – something the panel emphasized is needed to maintain momentum to project power into the future.

Additionally, the trio discussed the ways the force will continue to organize, train and equip Guardians for an uncertain future warfighting landscape. The concerns with ever-present and consistent advancement of space-based capabilities by strategic competitors have existed since before the U.S. established a Space Force. To meet these challenges, Simmons urged Guardians to keep moving fast but to move with “a sense of purpose with that speed.”

Whiting added that the Space Force must move at the “speed of the threats it faces.”

Throughout the panel, the three leaders recognized that Guardians should collaborate with industry partners and allies to be postured to win.

The resounding tone of the discussion was that the future remains uncertain due to how quickly the space domain evolves and new capabilities are introduced, fielded and utilized globally. To combat this, Bratton explained that there’s a need to develop imagination and curiosity to aid in forecasting the future of the space domain.

“If there were a fifth ‘C’ in our Guardian Values, I would lobby for ‘curiosity,’” Bratton said. “When we talk about thinking outside the box, curiosity is the thing that is going to get the Space Force through all these unknowns.”

While 2030 is only six years away, the panel assured the crowd of Guardians that the Space Force will continue to adapt, defend and strengthen capabilities in the space domain.