National Defense Briefing Series – Space: A Warfighting Domain

Space: A Warfighting Domain

General (USAF Retired) Kevin ChiltonDecember 11, 5 pm

Space no longer is a “benign” environment that supports the warfighter, but a warfighting domain itself.  Freedom in space and freedom to operate in space is not guaranteed.  The fact is, space is now a warfighting domain, similar to the more familiar air, land, and maritime domains in which our men and women are traditionally and currently engaged.
While the U.S. did not instigate or favor turning space into a warfighting domain, our adversaries pressed in that direction. We must now respond. This means developing a range of terrestrial and space-based defensive and offensive options to deter and, if necessary, defeat attacks.  This mirrors what we have in every other domain and these are the realities facing America’s assets in space today. We will know when we are making progress in this area when we pursue operational concepts, strategies, and technologies that embrace both offensive and defensive capabilities, integrate space with the other warfighting domains to allow for combined combat actions, and train guardians not just as technical experts, but warfighters.
As an astronaut, test pilot, and past commander of Air Force Space Command and US Strategic Command (STRATCOM), Gen Chilton has particularly unique insight into these issues. Gen Chilton currently holds the Explorer Chair at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies Spacepower Advantage Research Center.

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