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Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman Secures 2nd Wash100 Award for Shaping Space Force Future Through Technology, Partnerships & Culture

Executive Mosaic is thrilled to honor Gen. Chance Saltzman, chief of space operations for the U.S. Space Force, with a 2024 Wash100 Award for his steadfast commitment to uplifting the service branch through new technology strategies, partnerships and culture.

2024 Wash100 Vote Now!

Vote for Saltzman as one of your esteemed Wash100 awardees at Wash100.com. The popular vote competition runs through April 30.

The Wash100 Award represents the most elite recognition for government contracting industry executives. Each year, Wash100 evaluates the past accomplishments and forward momentum of each nominee to identify the top 100 leaders in the field.

“In December 2019, we began a monumental task – standing up a new military service for the first time in over 70 years. This award recognizes the incredible work accomplished by our Guardians to date and their ongoing effort to forge a purpose-built U.S. Space Force focused on securing our nation’s interests in, from and to space,” Saltzman said.

Saltzman took the helm of the Space Force in November 2022. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to forge the direction of the service branch.

“The U.S. Space Force was established to answer our nation’s call for superiority in the increasingly contested and congested space domain, and Gen. Saltzman — with his purposeful vision and an unwavering dedication to securing our nation’s interests in, from and to space — is an exceptionally fit leader for the force and for our 2024 Wash100 list. We thank Gen. Saltzman for his resolute leadership in service of our country during this critical era in space,” said Jim Garrettson, CEO of Executive Mosaic and founder of the Wash100 Award.

Shortly after Saltzman was elevated to his current position, he declared three lines of effort for the USSF. Released in January 2023, these objectives – field combat-ready forces, amplify the Guardian spirit and partner to win – are designed to guide the service branch as it moves into the future. 

In a note detailing the first line of effort, Saltzman defined the USSF’s role in the Department of Defense, which is to provide space-specific technology. He emphasized that the force’s “pivot to resiliency must account for on-orbit constellations, ground stations, networks, data and mission critical support facilities” and that increasing readiness is an effort that involves every Guardian.

Saltzman recently zeroed in on two major “technology gaps” that he aims to address, including a lack of systems that can collect “exquisite, high fidelity information” about activities in geosynchronous Earth orbit and a lack of sensors that can cover adversary satellites in the Southern Hemisphere.

To combat these challenges, Saltzman intends to make space domain awareness a key element of a Space Warfighting Analysis Center force design initiative. He also wants to collaborate with outside organizations to determine the best way to evolve the necessary architecture.

Internally, Saltzman plans to establish new System Delta units that would team with the integrated mission deltas to develop mission capabilities.

“These units will directly complement IMDs by developing, acquiring, and fielding capability that satisfies operational needs,” he explained.

Saltzman has repeatedly advocated for industry partnerships, which he said during Planet’s Explore 2023 conference “is one of the most important relationships that we have to make sure we get right.”

In September, Saltzman shared that a broad commercial space strategy has been drafted, but he is still revising it to include more specific objectives.

“It can’t just be a strategy with aspirational platitudes about how we’re going to work together,” he said during the AMOS Conference on space situational awareness in September.

One of his efforts to connect the Space Force with the private sector is the still-developing Commercial Augmentation Space Reserve program. Once launched, CASR will enable the USSF to create agreements with partners under which they would give military forces priority to satellite communications and remote sensing capabilities in times of crisis.

A major focus for Saltzman is amplifying the Guardian Spirit, which he wrote “is a collective representation of what it means to be a member of the Space Force.” He views support for Guardians as a way to help the service branch “thrive” and sees Guardian talent and expertise as “our most important operational advantage.”

In April, he released a handbook that lays out the organization’s culture and values and recognizes the Space Force as its own service branch. The handbook identifies three critical roles for Guardians: principled public servant, space-minded warfighter and bold and collaborative problem-solver.

In September, the USSF adopted a new mission statement – “secure our Nation’s interests in, from and to space” – which was developed using what Saltzman called a “Guardian-driven process.”

Executive Mosaic congratulates Saltzman and the USSF team on the 2024 Wash100 Award win and looks forward to seeing his vision continue to unfold.

Click here to cast your vote for Saltzman in the annual Wash100 popular vote contest!

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