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SPEECH | March 21, 2022

Testimony on United States Strategic Command and United States Space Command in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2023 and the future years defense program.

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you, Chairman Reed and members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.  As always, I am honored today to represent the approximately 18,000 men and women of the United States Space Command.  We are a joint and diverse team of professionals who value the honorable service of everyone within our ranks.

Today we are not only in full support of our joint forces globally and NATO in Europe but we remain hard at work building the command toward full operational capability.  We are steadily building the capability and capacity in our headquarters, and its composition reflects our joint, combined, and partnered approach to executing our critical mission.  As of this month we have over 1,000 members assigned to our headquarters, including civilians, contractors, active-duty personnel from all services, representatives from the interagency, and servicemembers from the National Guard and Reserves.
We also recognize the vital importance of our allies and partners through the contributions of an assigned international general office and two international liaison officers on our staff.  We are pleased to have all of them on our team.

Responding to the threats to the U.S. and allied interests in space demands the teamwork and expertise of every one of our people.  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, in fact, growing.

China remains our pacing challenge.  Current PLA development is directed towards creating a joint, versatile, professional, and lethal force capability of power projection globally, and the space layer is critical to their efforts.  In 2021, the PRC increased on-orbit assets by 27 percent.  This increase brings their on-orbit satellite total from just over 100 satellites 10 years ago to more than 500 satellites today.  Their recent counter-space capability demonstrations include the DN-1 and the DN-2 direct descent anti-satellite tests and a hypersonic glide vehicle test.

In October of 2021, the PRC launched their SJ-21 satellite, described as a, quote, "space debris mitigation," end quote, satellite.  In January, the SJ-21 docked with a defunct PRC satellite and moved it to an entirely different orbit.  This activity demonstrated potential dual-use capability in SJ-21 interaction with other satellites and builds on the previous demonstrations in late 2016 of potential dual-use capability that we saw in the SJ-17.

Over the past 2 weeks we have witnessed Russian aggression in Europe on a significant scale.  Space is not a sanctuary from similar behavior.  Russia is actively working to regain its prestige as a space power.  The destructive direct ascent test just this last November is an example of their activity.  Space is no longer a sanctuary, and U.S. Space Command stands ready to protect and defend the space assets of the United States and our partners and allies.

U.S. Space Command is committed to deterring the use of any space capabilities for nefarious purposes within the framework of the Department of Defense Integrated Deterrence Strategy.  Key to all of this is U.S. 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 the information from our intelligence agency helps develop an understanding of why things are happening, characterize intent, and provide decision advantages to our leaders.  Our SDA capabilities are part of a broader resilience space architecture that enables command and control and provides the tools to sustain freedom of action in the space domain.

Within this broader resilience space architecture, SDA remains my top mission priority for U.S. Space Command.  SDA provides the backbone of U.S. Space Command's strategy for accomplishing our mission.  That strategy sets the conditions to understand and attribute activities in space. This enables our mission to deter first, and when called upon, to defend space capabilities and to deliver combat power for the United States and our allies.

Our strategy has three main areas of focus:  first, countering competitive influence; second, strengthening relationships and attracting new partners; and third, building and maintaining a competitive edge.  With continued support from Congress, U.S. Space Command will do all of that and more.  U.S. Space Command is postured to protect and defend the space domain while ensuring continuous space effects are delivered to our joint and combined force.

I assure you, here today, that U.S. Space Command is ready.  So on behalf of the most critical resource in our command, the soldiers, marines, sailors, airmen, guardians, civilians, and families of the command, thank you, Chairman Reed and members of this Committee, for your support of our mission to conduct operations in, from, and to space.

Link to full testimony transcipt: HERE