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News | Dec. 14, 2021

Deputy SecDef stops at USSPACECOM for integrated deterrence, AI discussions

By Department of Defense and U.S. Space Command Public Affairs Office

Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks visited Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan; U.S. Space Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command in Colorado on Dec. 13.

In Michigan, Hicks met with Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow during a visit to Selfridge Air National Guard Base, home of the 127th Wing and 70 tenant organizations. During her tour, Hicks visited the Kelly-Johnson All-Domain Innovation Center, a proving ground and environment for collaborative innovation, which supports Academic, Industry and Military Hybrid Innovations, Joint All Domain Command and Control, Artificial Intelligence and Space efforts.

At North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, Hicks met with NORAD and NORTHCOM Commander U.S. Air Force Gen. Glen VanHerck, to discuss NORAD and NORTHCOM operations, joint U.S-Canada NORAD modernization efforts announced in August, and the NORAD and NORTHCOM roles in continental defense and integrated deterrence. 

At U.S. Space Command headquarters at Peterson Space Force Base and the U.S. Space Force Space Training and Readiness Command at Schriever Space Force Base in Colorado, Hicks met with USSPACECOM Commander Gen. James Dickinson. The two leaders discussed challenges in the space domain, including the increasingly-contested space environment; and how protecting and defending the domain is essential to a holistic approach to integrated deterrence.

She also observed SPACE FLAG 22-1, where Allied participants are planning and executing integrated operations, executing and refining tactics, exercising command and control relationships, and integrating intel and tactical space units to protect and defend vital U.S. and Coalition interests in space. SPACE FLAG 22-1 is the first coalition space exercise to use modeling and simulation.

Hicks is on a multi-state tour, meeting with lawmakers, military leaders and service members to see first-hand the Department’s efforts to rapidly advance warfighting concepts and capabilities to meet advanced threats, and hear about challenges and successes within each command.

Hicks will also meet with leaders and service members across the commands she is visiting to gain insight into family readiness challenges, career development and other issues which affect the workforce.