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News | April 15, 2024

U.S. Space Command ‘accelerates momentum’ at Space Symposium 39

U.S. Space Command

U.S. Space Command senior leaders and joint warfighters concluded a week of robust engagement at the Broadmoor Hotel as part of 39th Space Symposium April 8-11, 2024.  

Hosted by the Space Foundation, the annual event brought together more than 10,000 attendees across all sectors of the space community, to include many space-faring nations and space agencies, with an opportunity to promote dialogue and examine critical space issues from multiple perspectives.

Embracing this year’s Symposium theme of “Accelerating Momentum and Unity,” U.S. Space Command took part in a myriad of engagements, all with a common purpose of expanding partnerships, sharing information and uniting a global space community towards a safe, stable, secure, and sustainable space domain.  

Following a series of engagements at the classified level the day prior, USSPACECOM Commander U.S. Space Force Gen. Stephen Whiting gave the opening keynote Apr. 9, focusing on “Winning in Competition and Conflict.”

Whiting highlighted the importance of international and commercial partnerships and their contributions to a warfighting advantage, announcing several initiatives to expand these relationships.

USSPACECOM command senior enlisted leader U.S. Space Force Chief Master Sgt. Jacob Simmons joined Whiting in a media roundtable, echoing Whiting’s earlier assertion that space is, indeed, a team sport.

“The world we see today is not the world we’ll see tomorrow,” explained Simmons. stressing the importance of the combatant command’s role in space. “With the amount of congestion in the domain we can’t afford to have any gaps in our sight picture of operations. We get after that through cooperation with our international Allies and Partners, and commercial integration.”

With the Department of Defense Space Commercial Integration Strategy newly released, the integration of commercial space within the DoD was a dominant theme throughout the Symposium’s agenda. U.S. Space Force Maj. Gen. Troy Endicott, USSPACECOM Global Space Operations director (J3), participated in a panel discussion alongside private sector leaders from Viasat, Maxar and Slingshot Aerospace, speaking to shared interests in deterring and mitigating threats, and the importance of better integration between space services.

“From an operational perspective, the most important piece is to achieve integration prior to crisis,” Endicott said in his opening remarks. “As U.S. Space Command’s J3, I must first know how we’re going to operate together before we talk about how we’re going to protect one another.”

This "early and often” integration, Endicott suggested, may deliver impactful, long-term solutions.

“One thing I’ve learned over the years is that when we put our space operators together and throw hard problems at them, it’s incredible what they will come up with, commercial solutions, military solutions – we just need to get them in the same room,” Endicott said.

During the week, USSPACECOM senior leaders met with more than 15 nations, expanding partner integration through the signing of a Space Situational Awareness information-sharing agreement with Uruguay and Memorandums of Understanding for liaison officers to be assigned to the command from Spain and Brazil. Additionally, during Whiting’s keynote he announced the invitation of three new nations to join Operation Olympic Defender.

Command leaders and personnel across the staff also met with local community, academia and industry representatives and media, and hosted a booth on the exhibit floor to educate a broader audience on the combatant command’s mission.

USSPACECOM, working with Allies and Partners, plans, executes, and integrates military spacepower into multi-domain global operations in order to deter aggression, defend national interests, and when necessary, defeat threats.
Link to strategy