AFA NEWS: Space Force Announces Organizational Prototypes for Electronic Warfare, PNT

By Laura Heckmann

Defense Dept. photo

NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland — In an effort to create a unified organizational structure, the Space Force announced two new proofs of concept called Integrated Mission Deltas, focused on electronic warfare and positioning and navigation, its chief announced Sept 12.

Gen. B. Chance Saltzman, chief of space operations, said the key is to arrange the organization to maximize performance “around what matters most and minimize the negative integration effects seams naturally created,” during a keynote speech at the Air and Space Forces Association’s Air, Space and Cyber conference Sept 12.

“In my mind, performance should be optimized around our missions, rather than the functions that support them. In other words, we cannot afford to split a mission area’s critical activities across organizational seams,” he said. “Instead, it's essential that all elements of readiness, the people, the training, the equipment and the sustainment, fall into the same organizational structure, and then we create unity of command around those elements at the lowest possible level.”

Deltas are the Space Force’s equivalent of the Air Force’s numbered air forces and are organized around functions like cyberspace operations or missile warning. The reorganization objective sprouted the Space Force’s two new proofs of concept called Integrated Mission Deltas, where both operations and sustainment for a mission area are under a single commander. One prototype will support the electronic warfare mission and the other will be a new organization to support [positioning], navigation and timing, Saltzman said.

“Both of these deltas integrate operations and sustainment, creating the unity of command for all aspects of readiness and enhance our ability to continue to provide world-class effects in the face of a determined adversary,” he said.

Saltzman characterized the new deltas as a sign that the force has evolved from its historical origins and an opportunity to reexamine its organizational structure for a contested environment.

“Periodically, anytime there’s a change, at least monthly, we report on our readiness metrics all the way up the chain to make sure everybody understands exactly the level of readiness of our forces,” he told reporters at the conference. The reports have four elements: people, training, equipment and sustainment.

“Because of the way we grew up, outside of a contested domain, those responsibilities were bifurcated,” he said. People and training were done by Space Operations Command, with weapons systems sustainment handled by Space Systems Command.

“Which means the first officer that you get to that combines those together is me,” Saltzman said. “That's not successful in terms of how fast we need to be responsive to changes in readiness. And so the idea was, we wanted to take those elements, pull them all together at the lowest level possible, [and] have a commander that has unity of command around all four of those readiness elements.”

The new deltas’ focus on electronic warfare and positioning, timing and navigation was “to learn some key lessons,” Saltzman said.

“Step one was, does this work? Can we still divide those things from capabilities development, from big acquisition programs?” he said. “And we want to make sure that there's a severable element of the sustainment function that can be given to the integrated mission delta commander without breaking any big picture acquisitions.”

He said electronic warfare and positioning, timing and navigation were the best guinea pigs for the new concept because they were the lowest risk, and a “relatively simple shift.” He also said they knew they needed a focused delta that would combine acquisition capabilities with leadership that understood how to develop capabilities and sustain them, as well as have operational capabilities.

The positioning, timing and navigation delta will separate out of Delta 8 to become its own unit. Delta 8 currently handles satellite communications and positioning, navigation and timing.

“Quite frankly, Delta 8 was pretty big,” he said. “It had a lot of responsibilities. And so it made sense from a scope of responsibility. And then to make sure that we knew exactly the kinds of mission deltas that we needed to build. So I think the short answer is, this was the best way to learn some key lessons quickly by picking those two deltas.”

The integrated mission deltas are part of a service-wide effort to reoptimize and restructure the forces for great power competition, and meet the needs of space domain that is “more contested than at any other point in history,” Saltzman said.

“Since we know we need new outcomes, we must invest our time, energy and effort into developing and optimizing new structures and processes,” he said. “This is why Secretary Kendall’s push to optimize our service for great power competition is so critical. We're creating the structures and processes we will need to be successful in this era.”


Topics: Air Force News, Space

Comments (0)

Retype the CAPTCHA code from the image
Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
Please enter the text displayed in the image.