REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – Continuing education course for space officers and cadre switches focus from tactical and operational applications to the strategic application of space in multidomain operations.
Gregory Bowen and Timothy Coffin, both retired brigadier generals and space operations officers with extensive leadership, operational and joint space experience, served as senior mentors for the Army Space Senior Leader Course, hosted June 5-9 at the Space and Missile Defense School in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“As our (functional area) 40s are assigned to more senior positions, it’s imperative that they understand strategy and policy implications of space, as well as how we integrate with our allies. That’s what I want the students to come away with after completing the course,” Bowen said. “We are potentially facing two peer competitors in a multidomain fight. Space remains a critical enabler to the Army and the joint force, so we need senior leaders who are ready to fight tonight, but to also help shape the Army of 2030 and beyond.”
While the school has experienced facilitators, they also coordinated with senior leader participation from across the space community to speak with its students. Speakers included: Gen. James H. Dickinson, commander of U.S. Space Command, retired U.S. Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and commander of U.S. Strategic Command; Lt. Gen. Daniel L. Karbler, commanding general of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command; U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Stephen N. Whiting, commander of Space Operations Command; John Hill, deputy assistant secretary of defense for space and missile defense; and others.
“Army FA40s and other joint force space professionals remain critical if we are going to out-compete our adversaries in a multidomain fight,” said Lt. Gen. Daniel L. Karbler, USASMDC commanding general, who spoke during this iteration of the course. “The Army Space Senior Leader Course will take the students’ knowledge of space operations to the next level and will prepare them to serve at the strategic level and help deliver the Army of 2030 and design the Army of 2040.”
The one-week course is the Army’s culminating professional military education for those in Army space operations and targets colonels, lieutenant colonels, majors, senior noncommissioned officers, and civilians assigned to strategic positions across the national, joint and Army space community. Topics focused on space policy and strategy are linked to decision-making in key duty positions across Army, joint, and national level agencies.
Other senior service space professionals, select senior noncommissioned officers and senior department of the Army civilians with extensive space experience may attend on a case-by-case basis. This week’s attendees also included an officer from the U.S. Space Force.
“SSLC offers senior space operations officers with an institutional education touchpoint prior to assignments in strategic positions across the national, joint and Army space community,” said Robert C. Hoffman, school acting director. “SSLC better prepares these officers for the complexities of working at those echelons and how to navigate them more effectively. SSLC provides students a holistic overview of national, strategic and Army space priorities and challenges from across the Department of Defense.”
Hoffman added that SSLC provides a unique opportunity for senior Army space operations officers to reflect on current and future issues the space enterprise faces both now and in the future.
“The course curriculum is designed to expose them to the current complexities of the space enterprise and what is on the minds of senior space leaders across the joint force,” he added. The small-group and seminar-based format of the SSLC also allows for peer interaction and facilitator mentorship opportunities highlighting potential career pitfalls as well as successes that are applicable to the students’ own careers.”