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News | Sept. 13, 2019

NRO, USSPACECOM exercise the protection and defense of space assets

By U.S. Space Command Public Affairs

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) in collaboration with the newly re-established U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) concluded its participation in the 13th Air Force Space Command Schriever Wargame today, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama. 

The two-week long wargame demonstrated how NRO, USSPACECOM, and the broader space community will work together to protect, defend, and operate the Nation’s space systems and those of our allies and partners. 

“As adversaries increasingly threaten U.S. freedom of action in space, U.S. Space Command is a critical partner for the NRO,” said Dr. Christopher Scolese, Director of the NRO. “Space Command’s mission to protect and defend all U.S. satellites will enhance the survivability of NRO intelligence collection satellites and enable continuation of the national intelligence mission deep into conflict. Exercises like the Schriever Wargame provide us an opportunity to test and improve our joint planning process and shared defensive action ‘playbook’ to preserve assured access to space.” 

“The Schriever Wargame provides an opportunity for us to exercise our jointly developed space protect and defend CONOPS,” said Gen Jay Raymond, Commander, USSPACECOM and Commander, Air Force Space Command. “Recently we’ve reached an agreement with the NRO that, when a threat is imminent, the NRO will execute direction from U.S. Space Command to take protective and defensive actions to safeguard their space assets.” 

The ultimate purpose of this new agreement is to achieve unified action across the continuum of conflict. Although this agreement does not constitute a formal command relationship nor does it transfer satellite control authority, it signifies the strong partnership between the NRO and U.S. Space Command. 

The mission of the NRO is to deliver innovative intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities and data to National policymakers, the Intelligence Community and warfighters. 

The USSPACECOM mission is to deter aggression and conflict, defend U.S. and allied freedom of action, deliver space combat power for the Joint/Combined force, and develop joint warfighters to advance U.S. and allied interests in, from, and through the space domain.