Space Operations in Support of the
The Army’s Objective Force is designed from the ground up to be part of the joint, interagency, and multinational team in support of rapid deployment and operations against a range of threats, including defense of the homeland. The Objective Force concept and design is nested within the strategic guidance outlined in the current National Security Strategy, National Military Strategy, Defense Planning Guidance, Joint Vision and supports the larger Department of Defense Transformation efforts that include the six 2001 quadrennial defense operational goals, the four transformational pillars, and the emerging joint capstone concept of full spectrum dominance.
The Army will fight in the future operational
environment as part of the nation’s joint military forces. To maintain
supremacy in this future environment, the Army must be more strategically
responsive, deployable, agile, versatile, lethal, survivable, and
sustainable across the full spectrum of conflict. These seven characteristics,
outlined in the Army Vision, are the foundation for the development
and evolution of Army organizations, its operational concepts,
required capabilities, and missions.
The Army must have the ability to generate
overmatching combat power by leveraging the synergy of maneuver,
fire power, and protection in combination with mentally and physically
prepared leadership that is empowered by superior situational understanding
. At the same time, Army forces must contribute directly to the
joint force capabilities for dominant maneuver, precision engagement,
full dimensional protection, and focused logistics.
The Objective Force will conduct sustained
combined arms air-space-ground operations within
the joint campaign to establish land force dominance, wrest the
initiative from the enemy, force him to the defensive, and defeat
him in detail. Objective Force units achieve their power through
the ability to see first, understand first, act first,
and finish decisively at the strategic, operational,
and tactical levels of war. Superior situational understanding,
based on networked C4ISR capabilities at all levels, enables ground
commanders to operate on their terms, at the time, place, and method
of their choosing. The ability to see and understand first must
be enabled by reliable, redundant, networked, jam-resistant, high
bandwidth, communications; user-friendly information displays;
and advanced tactical decision.
The Objective Force operating environment
is more complex than today’s environment. There is a growing requirement
for information superiority across battlefield functional areas.
Because the enemy will be less predictable, operations will be
conducted in a distributed manner, in a 360 degree radius, and
over noncontiguous uncontrolled terrain. This complex terrain will
place a premium on integrated space, air, and ground sensors and
Threat forces are knowledgeable of how US
forces use and rely on space capabilities to support precision
engagement and situational awareness and understanding. Degradation
of these space-based capabilities serve to level the playing field
by degrading situational awareness and understanding, thereby weakening
the system of systems synergy and slowing the pace to “see first,
understand first, and act first.”
Today, the enemy also occupies
the high ground and has access to space-based capabilities.
The wide use and increased capability provided by commercial space
systems have altered the definition of the space environment. Commercial
capabilities provide unique challenges for US forces and represent
an alternative for leveling the playing field by the enemy.
As a space-empowered force, Units of Employment
(UE) and Units of Action (UA) will routinely exploit the overhead
constellation of military and civilian space platforms for intelligence;
focused surveillance; area reconnaissance; long-haul communications;
early warning; position, velocity, time, navigation (PVNT); missile
defense; weather/terrain/environmental monitoring; and access to
the global information grid (GIG). The layered redundancy and improved
capabilities provided through space will sharply improve development
of situational awareness at all levels, help resolve many current
operational challenges (e.g., fleeting target engagement or limits
on range and mobility of terrestrial communications), and strengthen
the commander’s confidence in the knowledge backbone that supports
him. The deployed capability to cross-cue intelligence and nonintelligence
platforms will lead to more responsive and comprehensive targeting
information. Space support will extend from national to tactical
level (space to mud) and prove particularly indispensable in immature
theaters where existing communications infrastructure (e.g. absence
of fiberoptic cable networks) may be insufficient or unreliable.
Overall, space-based capabilities are critical enablers for implementation
of the fundamental principles of the UE concept, particularly with
respect to achieving information superiority, creating situational
awareness, and operating within the high tempo, noncontiguous,
simultaneous framework of distributed operations.
Superior knowledge will enable all phases
of the land campaign, beginning with the reliable identification
of key enemy forces and capabilities, and permit the UE and its
subordinate elements to:
- Differentiate and prioritize enemy forces,
capabilities, and targets for attack, enabling the UE to conduct
dominant, precision maneuver against those objectives that will
have the most overpowering effects on the enemy’s forces, capabilities,
- Conduct precise, continuous battle damage
- Sequence, weight, and apportion supporting
assets more effectively with respect to fires/effects, maneuver
support, and maneuver sustainment.
- Conduct highly synchronized, precise sustaining
- Identify threats and means that must be
neutralized to support operational maneuver by ground or air.
- Fully synchronize dominant maneuver with
organic and external precision fires.
- Enhance force protection at all levels.
The medium of space is the “high ground” for
the Objective Force. As such, our joint space forces must seize
this ground if we are to dominate the terrestrial battlespace.
Army space operations will focus on five essential tasks to ensure
that the Objective Force successfully achieves decisive victory.
Unless achieved, Objective Forces will be impaired or possibly
unsuccessful. These five essential tasks are:
- Support increased deployability and reduced
- Enable situational understanding “off the
ramp” during entry operations.
- Support precision maneuver, fires, sustainment,
- Enable continuous information and decision
- Protect the force during all phases of
Support increased deployability and reduced
Space provides many resources that support
increased deployability and which reduce in-theater footprint.
Some of those resources include space-based communications that
provide global access and space-based ISR that enhances situational
awareness. Space control capabilities ensure our freedom of action
in space while denying an adversary the same capability. Global
reach to the home station operations center and home station support
nodes is critical when conducting operational maneuver from strategic
Support situational understanding “off the
Understanding all aspects of the battlespace
environment becomes increasingly difficult when the threat has
the “home-court” advantage. The threat’s intimate knowledge of
urban areas, infrastructure, cultural and political areas, and
complex terrain are critical enablers to threat operations. These
operations may be further enhanced by the effects of weather on
the physical environment, forces, and sensors.
Continuous situational understanding of the
battlespace is the key enabler to offset the enemy’s home-court
advantage. The information supporting this understanding must be
available in real-time, actionable, and tailorable to meet the
unique needs of commanders at all echelons, and create the level
of understanding to enable the Objective Force to gain the information
initiative. Dynamic re-tasking and direct downlink capabilities
must be coordinated with the joint provider to ensure immediate
access to information.
Support information and decision superiority
A CONUS-based Army must have theater access
to project combat power. Deployments may be into areas with poor
infrastructure, limited ports of entry, and little host-nation
support. Entry operations will create “gray space” in which Objective
Force commanders will be able to maneuver freely to fully develop
multiple PODs. Threat forces will attempt to deny access by applying
a wide range of antiaccess strategies to include indirect attacks
by asymmetric means and direct attacks using special purpose and
terrorist forces. Threat forces will attempt to determine what
forces will be deployed and when and where they will enter.
Superior situational understanding of the
battlespace environment prior to deployment enables Objective Force
commanders to deploy the right force mix to establish multiple
entry points. The employment of space control systems will enable
us to preclude the adversary from determining these points of entry.
Space control systems will ensure that the deploying force can
be protected from observation from the time it prepares for deployment
until the time it arrives in theater. Once the force arrives in
theater, mobile space control systems will continue to ensure that
the adversary is denied information on friendly force operations.
Support precision maneuver, fires, sustainment,
Adversarial forces will be more difficult
to target as they conduct dispersed operations and use asymmetric
responses to achieve operational objectives . They will also migrate
to urban and complex terrain for hiding and shielding, disrupting
command and control, and reducing the impact of Objective Force
standoff situational awareness.
To increase friendly force advantage, the
Objective Force commander must be able to leverage ISR and PVNT
resources to maneuver decisively and bring effective fires to bear
on threat forces. Timely and continuous, jam-resistant PVNT is
key to target acquisition and providing precision munitions on
target. One meter accuracy is the accuracy requirement. Combat
ID and timely, accurate and responsive information are required
to ensure that sustainment operations during every operational
phase are conducted at the exact time and place.
Protect the force during all phases of the
Space capabilities play key roles in protecting
the force during all operational phases. By attacking the adversary’s
space systems, we deny him the information needed to detect and
attack our forces. Satellite warning systems will cue missile defense
systems with the location of missile launch and trigger passive
and active defense reactions.
In summary, space is a medium in the
same way as the air, land, or sea. The Objective Force
will conduct operations to, from, in and through space in support
of national interests. This trend will continue; not only will
commanders of Objective Force units be able to better maneuver
in the vertical dimension, but they will also leverage other joint
combat capabilities hundreds of miles above the Earth.
The Objective Force will be equipped and trained
to routinely exploit joint space-based capabilities. A responsive,
integrated and interoperable C4ISR system that collects, processes,
and disseminates information in a timely manner is critical to
the development of situational understanding and awareness on the
future battlefield. In short, the Objective Force will be in position
to exploit space-based capabilities, while at the same time developing
and executing protective measures for space systems as well as
avoiding absolute dependency on them.
Seamlessness will be the signature characteristic
of well-integrated air-space-ground force operations. From the
user perspective, space support must be reliable, timely, and conducted
with minimal operational friction. During operations at the tactical
or operational level, undue delays or discontinuities will quickly
make space support irrelevant. For this reason, the central thrust
of Army space operations is to eliminate technical and procedural
seams in the system of systems to reduce friction and enhance information
In the far term, this capability will be achieved
through the GIG. Space battlespace awareness and space analysis
provide a combat multiplier required for achieving information
superiority. Whether at home or abroad, near or far term, Army
space operations will be consistent with the Army's responsibility
to execute prompt response, mobilize the Army, conduct forced entry
and conduct prompt and sustained land combat to win the nation's
Procedures to enable direct tasking of satellites
by tactical commanders and expanded employment of direct downlinks
from satellites to tactical users will remain an ongoing initiative.
Initiatives are underway to develop new Army contributions to the
space surveillance and negation functions of space control operations.
Army forces will also provide support to space forces, such as
those conducting satellite control operations. Some of this support
will be tied to the Army’s role in homeland security with an emphasis
on Army national missile defense operations.
The overall contribution of space control
capabilities cannot be overemphasized. US dominance in space is
not guaranteed. Adversaries may probe our space systems and segments
for vulnerabilities or they might alter the space environment to
disrupt or deny our space operations. Space control, a mission
shared by all Services, ensures freedom of action for the Objective
Force units and, when directed, denies an adversary freedom of
actions in using space-based systems and products.
Finally, space-based ISR capabilities
will often be the first “eyes on target.” The Army has
been, is and will continue to be a prominent player on the joint
space team to “secure the high ground.”