CSO speaks on logic of space superiority at Mitchell Institute

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  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman emphasized the critical importance of space superiority and outlined the service’s approach to achieving it at the Mitchell Institute’s 3rd Annual Spacepower Security Forum in Arlington, March 27.

Saltzman emphasized that, over the past decades, an incredibly sophisticated array of threats has emerged in the space domain, primarily from the People’s Republic of China and Russia. He noted that a rise in congestion and competition in space has led to a growing risk to the U.S.’s continued access to, and ability to operate in space.

He stressed how the three tenets of the Space Force’s Theory of Success — avoid operational surprise, deny first-mover advantage, and responsible counterspace campaigning — can help the Space Force ensure that no adversary is ever desperate enough or emboldened enough to pursue destructive combat operations in space.

“These three tenets guide Space Force activities and investments that posture us to protect U.S. interests without compromising the usability of the space domain,” Saltzman said.

As joint force operations depend on space capabilities and protection from space-enabled attacks, the Space Force’s ability to achieve space superiority is essential to protect friendly forces and control the domain, if necessary, Saltzman explained.

“We must protect our space capabilities while being able to deny an adversary the hostile use of its space capabilities. It allows the joint force to effectively engage strategic rivals and does not compromise the safety, security, stability, and long-term sustainability of the domain.” Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman

Saltzman underscored the significance of space superiority in ensuring the effectiveness of the joint force in any conflict scenario. He expressed optimism with future collaboration among allies, partners and industry, and innovation in the Space Force.

“My hope is that our conversations, particularly those discussions focused on the individual tenets of competitive endurance, will help us all think through the challenges we collectively face, what we need to address those challenges, and how we need to work together to find the innovative solutions we need to ensure space superiority,” Saltzman said.