The Fight is on at Space Systems Command

  • Published
  • By SSC Public Affairs
“Traditional space systems were built for an uncontested and uncongested environment,” explained Lt. Gen. Michael A Guetlein, Space Systems Command (SSC) commander. “Today’s space environment is entirely different. The threats in space today are real and visible to the World. Adversaries are demonstrating their capability and desire to disrupt and prevent our use of space for peace and defense. The SSC workforce wakes up each day with the mindset of getting after the threat of those adversaries.”
SSC is the U.S. Space Force Field Command responsible for delivering sustainable joint space warfighting capabilities to defend the nation and its allies while disrupting adversaries in the contested space domain.
Over the past several months, SSC leadership has worked closely with USSF’s Chief of Space Operations and joint force leaders to design a new mission-focused organizational structure with SSC Program Executive Officers (PEOs) focused on the lifecycle of U.S. space mission capabilities. This gives the program managers the responsibility, accountability, and authority for a capability throughout its lifecycle, something that wasn’t possible when mission sets were previously being performed in multiple offices.
The PEOs include 1) Assured Access to Space; 2) Battle Management Command, Control, and Communications (BMC3); 3) Space Domain Awareness & Combat Power; 4) Communications & Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT); and 5) Space Sensing. This design better informs acquisition, budget, and requirements decisions for a more robust space enterprise.
Further, a newly-formed SSC Space Systems Integration Office, led by Dr. Clare Leon, will ensure a strong unity of effort across all mission areas and joint forces involved with space systems and capabilities. SSC’s Commander, as the Space System-of-Systems Integrator, serves as an advisor to Department of Air Force (DAF) Space Milestone Decision Authorities regarding integration of space capabilities into the broader space enterprise prior to milestone decisions. Lt. Gen. Guetlein will also be responsible for staffing, personnel management, contracting, security, and budget execution.
The Value of System of Systems Integration and Unity of Effort 
In its simplest form, system of systems integration ensures a collection of space systems -- with each being capable of independent operation -- to interoperate together to achieve additional desired capabilities. For example, several stand-alone systems that can work interdependently for a larger, desired common goal. Implementation of USSF’s Digital Engineering Ecosystem is part of this effort – validating capability opportunities and architecture impacts before formal acquisition decisions, and throughout the development lifecycle.

SSC has stood up an International Affairs Office focused on partnering with allies, and a Warfighting Integration Office to ensure every aspect of system and capability acquisition is aligned and integrated with combatant command requirements and exercises. Connectivity with the operators is critical to deliver the space capabilities required to stay ahead of the evolving threats. Through this business and governance process, SSC has changed the entire way it does business – from how a requisition is received to how it will be acquired, to how it is delivered. And all of the changes support greater unity of effort across joint forces, space acquisition organizations, allied partners and the Space Warfighting Analysis Center (SWAC) and USSF S5/8, who are responsible for creating operational concepts and force design guidance for the service. 
What do these changes mean for companies currently doing or interested in doing business with the Space Force?
SSC’s integration efforts include not only different acquisition and space system platforms but also better integration with commercial industry partners – understanding what technology is out there and harvesting it to ensure the capabilities are sustainable and something that warfighters actually want and need. A new SSC Commercial Services Office will serve as a one stop shop for connecting government customers to potential commercial service providers, facilitating greater communication and partnership with the commercial sector on requirements the Government has for space capabilities. This Office is empowered to make investments that enable concepts which are laser-focused on getting after emerging threats. And lastly, a new SSC Front Door office will provide a one-stop capability for industry partners looking to partner with the government on innovative and emerging capabilities.