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News | Nov. 1, 2022

Conference strengthens global space integration

By Staff Reporter, U.S. Space Command Public Affairs U.S. Space Command

Members from U.S. Space Command’s Joint Integrated Space Teams traveled from their respective locations, embedded within the other combatant commands, to convene at the command headquarters for their semi-annual conference Oct. 25-28, 2022.

Joint Integrated Space Teams, or JISTs are elements of space experts who provide combatant commanders with planning considerations and recommendations for effectively leveraging space-based capabilities in their operations and plans. These teams are comprised of individuals assigned to U.S. Space Command who are hand-selected for their knowledge of space systems and demonstrated ability to synchronize diverse mission requirements.

The members from each JIST convened for the four-day conference that provided update briefs on the command’s activities and allowed for face-to-face dialogue between the typically geographically separated JISTs, encouraging the exchange of ideas and discussion of best practices for supporting their respective areas of responsibility.

“Conferences like these are crucial, and not routine engagements – it’s coordinating and planning together so that if we need to, we can execute together in a globally integrated fashion,” explained U.S. Space Force Lt. Gen. John Shaw, U.S. Space Command deputy commander. “The conference is an opportunity to intensify focus on freedom of action in space and how that supports, and is supported by, our fellow combatant commands around the planet.”
In a response during his 2022 testimony to the House Armed Services Committee, U.S. Space Command Commander, U.S. Army Gen. James Dickinson explained how JISTs serve to synchronize efforts with other geographic commands in a time of conflict.

“Through day-to-day operations, exercises and real-world events, we’ve found that it’s more than just planning – it’s planning, operations, intelligence, and it’s the integration of those capabilities within each of the commands that provide that regional combatant commander space expertise,” Dickinson said.

The JISTs dispersed throughout the combatant commands serve as liaisons on behalf of U.S. Space Command often communicating opportunities for cross-command collaboration and facilitating cooperative training exercises.

“The Department of Defense has 11 combatant commands, each with a defined geographic or functional mission, so our enabled expertise ensures our seamless interoperability,” explained U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Will Pennington, U.S. Space Command’s chief of staff. “In a multi-domain environment, space-based assets such as communications, navigation, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance act as a means to fuse and coordinate each command’s unique capabilities.”

The Unified Campaign Plan assigns U.S. Space Command the responsibility to protect and defend U.S., and as directed, Allied, partner and critical commercial space operational capabilities. Events like the JIST Conference strengthen U.S. Space Command’s ability to integrate immediately and seamlessly alongside its combatant command counterparts.