COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The importance of space to the warfighter, in particular Special Forces, was the main topic of discussion during the warfighter panel at the 11th Annual SPACECOMM Defending America Symposium, conducted Jan. 28 at the Broadmoor Hotel.

This year's warfighter panel was chaired by Brig. Gen. Kurt S. Story, Deputy Commanding General for Operations, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command. Also on the panel were Maj. Ty Hensley, Group Support Company Commander, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne); 1st Lt. Patricia Rodriguez (USAF), Deputy Flight Commander, Plans and Resources Flight, 60th Communications Squadron; Sgt. 1st Class Douglas Wilderman, GSC Signal Detachment Sergeant, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne); and Capt. Jeff Fish, Rear Detachment S6, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne).

Story opened the event with a brief look at where the military has been and where they are currently as a result of the space capabilities now in hand. "Space Force Enhancement is a significant force multiplier. Space will allow Soldiers to dominate full-spectrum operations ...not survive, but dominate full-spectrum of operations," said Story.

Following Story, each panel member gave various personal accounts on how space enabled them to successfully engage and defeat the enemy by using satellite communications; position navigation and timing; intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance and more.

Hitting home with the importance of space to the Special Forces Soldier, Hensley said, "I've been in special forces for ten years and I've noticed a dramatic improvement in the equipment and technology provided to the special forces Soldier, which greatly improves our awareness, our lethality and most important to me our survivability."