AFA NEWS: Space Force Revamping Education and Training Courses
Space Force photo
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The Space Force has classified undergraduate training courses for its guardians as part of a larger upgrade of professional education opportunities, the service’s top officer said Sept. 21.
The organization wants to develop unique training for recruits as it prepares to build coalitions with other U.S. military branches and international partners, said Chief of Space Operations Gen. John “Jay” Raymond.
“We started with undergraduate space training, … shifted that from an unclassified course to a top-secret course focused on the threat, training our operators to be operating in a contested domain from day one,” he said at the Air Force Association’s annual Air-Space-Cyber conference in National Harbor, Maryland.
The space domain has become more contested as adversaries like China develop more advanced technology, he noted. As an example, Raymond highlighted a Chinese satellite with a robotic arm that has the potential to grab and interfere with other nations' spacecraft.
He noted that the Department of the Air Force — which the Space Force falls under — has added more space-related content into the curriculum at its educational institutions. In the next couple years, the Air Command and Staff College and Air War College will be broken up into their own integrated development environment and synthetic training environment for the Space Force, he added.
The Space Force is also strengthening international partnerships with its professional education courses, Raymond said. The service declassified its 100-, 200- and 300-level courses to encourage more foreign partners to participate.
“We’re already seeing that,” he said. “Once COVID frees up, I know we'll even get more.”
At the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in August, officials noted that the service is creating more slots for foreign personnel at its professional military education programs. Raymond cited the participation of 22 partner nations at the event as a sign of promising growth in space collaboration.
“We had representatives from every continent except Antarctica, and it is clear that we are stronger together,” he said.
Meanwhile, the service is increasing its collaboration with the U.S. Army and the Navy. Raymond noted that 11 Army and four Navy units are slated to be moved under the Space Force organizational umbrella on Oct. 1.
Some units from the Army satellite operations community will transfer to the service. They operate the military’s constellation of communications satellites known as Wideband Global Satcom.
The Navy’s contribution will consist of units that operate the Mobile User Objective System, the Defense Department’s next-generation narrowband military satcom capability.
“We’re proud of this partnership with our services, and are eager to get them into the force,” Raymond said.
He noted that the personnel move could be delayed if Congress does not pass its spending bills on time for fiscal year 2022, which begins Oct. 1. “It might get delayed a little bit if there's a [continuing resolution],” he said.
Updating professional military education courses has better prepared the service to maintain and acquire talent, Raymond said.
“One of the fundamental responsibilities of a Space Force ... is to develop your own people,” he said.
— Additional reporting by Mandy Mayfield