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SPEECH | March 21, 2022

House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces Holds Hearing on Strategic Forces Posture

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. And thank you, Chairman Cooper, Ranking Member Lamborn, and members of the House Subcommittee on Strategic Forces. As always, I'm honored today to represent the approximately 18,000 men and women of the United States Space Command. We are a diverse team that values the honorable service of everyone within our ranks.

This month, we honor the contributions of the women on our team as US Space Command acknowledges and celebrates Women's History Month. Today, we remain hard at work building the command toward full operational capability. We are steadily filling out our headquarters. Its composition reflects our joint, combined, and partnered approach to executing our critical mission.

As of this month, we have approximately a thousand members assigned to our headquarters with 339 active duty from all services, 227 from the Department of the Air Force civilians, 323 contractors, 44 representatives from the interagency, and 39 reserve component personnel from the Guard and Reserve. We are glad to have them all on our team.

Responding to the threats that US and allied interests in space demands the capabilities and expertise of every one of our team members. We are prepared to execute our Unified Command Plan missions and responsibilities, yet acknowledge that the challenges from our competitors in the domain are substantial and growing.

China remains our pacing challenge. PLA developments -- and is directed to creating a joint, versatile, power-projecting professional and lethal force for the international stage. And the space layer is critical to their buildout. In 2021, the PRC increased on orbit assets by 27 percent. The recent counter capability -- their recent counter space capability demonstrate -- demonstrations include the DN1 and DN2 direct-ascent anti-satellite tests and the hypersonic glide vehicle test.

In January, the recently launched SJ 21 space debris mitigation satellite docked with a defunct PRC satellite and moved it to an entirely different orbit. This activity demonstrated a potential dual use capability in SJ 21 interaction with other satellites. US Space Command is committed to deterring the use of these types of capabilities for nefarious purposes within the framework of the Department of Defense's Integrated Deterrence Initiative.

And if called upon, we are capable of providing options to protect and defend against such threats. Key to all this -- key to all of this is US and allied space superiority informed through Space Domain Awareness, or SDA, capabilities. SDA helps us analyze not just identify what is occurring in space, which when combined with information from our intelligence agencies, helps develop an understanding of why things are happening in space.

SDA remains my top mission priority for US Space Command. SDA provides the backbone of US Space Command strategy for accomplishing our mission. That strategy sets the conditions to deter first and, when called upon, to defend space capabilities and deliver combat power to the United States and its allies.

Our strategy has three main areas of focus. One is countering competitor influence, two, strengthening relationships and attracting new partners, and three, building and maintaining a cooperative advantage. With continued support from Congress, US Space Command will do all of that and more. So on behalf of the most critical asset in our command, the soldiers, marines, sailors, airmen, guardians, civilians and families of US Space Command, thank you, Chairman Cooper and Ranking Member Lamborn and the members of this committee for your support of our mission to conduct operations in, from, and to space.

Link to full testimony transcript: HERE