Preparing for tomorrow: Space Flag 24-1 strengthens operational readiness

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  • Space Training and Readiness Command Public Affairs
Space Training and Readiness Command hosted the 19th iteration of the Space Flag exercise at Schriever Space Force Base, last month. The event saw the participation of nearly 400 individuals focusing on space mission integration planning.

According to officials from the 392nd Combat Training Squadron, who are responsible for constructing and overseeing Space Force service exercises, Space Flag 24-1 marked the “first formal reorganization of the exercise, taking into account multiple emerging service priorities.”

“This exercise has evolved to match real world mission planning to the greatest extent possible with a realignment to operational readiness linked to several Operation Plans addressing real world threats the force could face today,” said Capt. Lane Murphy, Space Flag 24-1 exercise director.

Space Flag now encompasses both the operational and tactical levels of warfare, but despite the reorganization, the core of the exercise remains focused on integrated mission planning.
The exercise has retained its objective for Guardians to effectively exercise joint space forces against a capable, thinking, and determined adversary to provide participating units with valuable insights and data to evaluate their operational readiness and develop lessons learned.

“The goal of Space Flag is to produce a comprehensive space mission sortie based on the orders generated to employ space forces to a particular conflict,” Murphy said.

Participants from every Delta within Space Operations Command took part in Space Flag 24-1, which also included a joint and interagency presence.

“I believe one of the overarching benefits of this exercise is that Guardians know how to do their individuals tasks, but when they participate here, they can see how their assets and actions not only affect the overall space fight but the overall terrestrial fight as well,” Murphy said.

The exercise was executed over a span of about three weeks. The initial week was dedicated to the generation of the necessary Mission Type Orders to kick off the integrated planning efforts for the subsequent two weeks.

The final two weeks involved collaborative planning efforts from approximately 20 units across SpOC. These efforts were put to the test during two dynamic “fly-out” periods featuring numerous simulation tools and constructive rehearsals of their strategies against a thinking adversary, represented by the 527th, 57th and 26th Space Aggressor Squadrons.

“As we conclude Space Flag 24-1, we’re reminded of the irreplaceable role of large force exercises in service readiness,” said Lt. Col. Scott Nakatani, 392nd CTS commander. “This Space Flag tested and iterated on the Space Force’s ability to utilize mission type orders in support of a Great Power Competition scenario in a way not possible outside of exercises.”
Nakatani expressed pride in the many Guardians who participated in the exercise.

“[Guardians’] ability to adapt and innovate in the face of changing global threats directly enables the Space Force’s commitment to maintaining space superiority through competitive endurance,” he said. “With each exercise, we evolve our tactics and strengthen the integration between our units, ensuring the Space Force is always prepared to secure our national interests in the space domain.”