U.S. Space Command leaders have emphasized the importance of intelligence data, commercial technology and workforce diversity in its mission to help other combatant commands protect the country’s space assets from adversarial threats.
Sean Kirkpatrick, deputy director of intelligence at SPACECOM, said the U.S. must leverage space technology being developed by the commercial industry to gather intelligence in deep space.
Speaking during a May 8 Space Foundation virtual talk, Kirkpatrick underscored that the mission space should be extended to the cislunar, lunar and Martian orbits in the near future, according to Air Force Magazine.
“We’re going to be far behind … So we need to look forward now on, ‘What do I have to put in cislunar orbit, or [what] do I need to put in lunar orbit, just to be able to monitor activities that are going on and report that back?’” he said.
On July 1, the command signed its 100th Commercial Space Situational Awareness Data Sharing Agreement as part of efforts to increase situational awareness and safety in the domain.
“Our space systems underpin a wide range of services, providing vital national, military, civil, scientific and economic benefits to the global community,” Gen. James Dickinson, commander of SPACECOM, said at the time.
During a July 27 webinar hosted by the McCrary Institute/Space Policy Institute, Dickinson noted that the command seeks to attract people who have skills in the science, technology, engineering and math fields as well as non-STEM professionals who can support its mission.
“Those skills sets together in the combatant command is what really makes us powerful and able to go quickly and to be agile enough in this changing environment that we’re seeing in the space domain,” he said, according to a DOD News report.
As the Department of Defense ramps up initiatives to advance space intelligence sensors that will seek to collect critical information, foreign adversaries are also carrying out their missions to create antisatellite and space-based weaponry.
To further discuss the expanding space-based intelligence and development of critical space technologies, federal and industry executives will gather during Potomac Officers Club’s Space Intelligence Forum on Aug. 10 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern time.
Register here and be part of the event that will feature Brig. Gen. Gregory Gagnon, director of Intelligence for U.S. Space Command as the keynote speaker and Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick as one of the panelists.