WASHINGTON –– At the start of 2020, the Chief of Space Operations, Gen. John Raymond, laid a foundation for “United States Space Force Vision for Satellite Communications,” to develop an integrated SATCOM system for U.S. military personnel and other entities.
After nearly two years of research, that system is in place and operational.
It is one of the most coveted SATCOM systems that would revolutionize the entire global monitoring process for the U.S., from both a commercial and security aspect.
The entire project started with Raymond’s announcement at the SMi MilSatCom USA virtual conference. At this conference, he proposed a plan of collaboration between the U.S. Space Force and the U.S. Navy.
The U.S. Space Force currently operates 10 Wideband Global Satcom (WGS), six Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS), five Milstar, two Enhanced Polar System hosted payloads, 37 Global Positioning System Satellites, and six advanced EHF communications systems. That is a total of 66 satellites, and Space Delta 8 operates all of them with the help of 635 highly skilled gifted professionals from their base in Schriever and Vandenberg, California.
As a part of that collaboration, Space Delta 8 will absorb the Navy’s three satellite control antennas and ground control stations in California and Guam. Additionally, the control of the Navy’s 11 narrowband communication satellites will also be transferred to Space Delta 8.
Following the plan, the transitioning process begins in the following October of 2020. During that period, the 53rd Signal Battalion and the SATCOM Directorate started transitioning control.
Following the Disestablishment and Assumption of Command Ceremony on June 6, the entire process began under the supervision of Vice Adm. Ross Myers, commander of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and U.S. 10th Fleet. A historic mission of dismantling the world’s first satellite navigation systems operating since April 1962 began.
It was the first military space operations command system, and that was re-designed as the world’s largest satellite navigation system NAVSOC in June 1990.
On behalf of the U.S. Space Force Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, commander of Space Operations Command will take over the entire system from the U.S. Navy.
Not only acquisition, but he will also look after included responsibilities such as training and operations. That historic move would initiate a new era for U.S. space power.
It was a crucial moment from the security aspect. Not only for security, but that entire transition would also revolutionize the commercial space sector. These two departments could not leave room for mistakes.
Successful completion of that endeavor can ensure the utmost user-friendly space technology on a budget. To be more precise, the successful implementation of the project can ensure that both government and commercial entities can use the same systems without changing the interface and without any security compromise.
The closest example can be a mobile phone. When a mobile phone user changes location, they don’t change their service provider. The phone catch signals via the infrastructure of the local service provider, and the system work perfectly. Similarly, this new transition would allow government and commercial space infrastructure to work in collaboration.
The new squadron that will be looking after that entire system will be called the “10th Space Operations Squadron.” It will be the youngest squadron of the U.S. Armed Forces.
That unit will complete its transition by the end of 2023.
For now, the results have been pretty impressive, and around the world, every U.S. ally is counting on that integrated SATCOM.
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