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SSC Leaders Speak Out on the Power of Partnerships

  • Published
  • By Linda Kane, SSC Public Affairs
Strength through partnerships was a key theme delivered by Space Systems Command (SSC) during speaking engagements directed at military service branches, government officials, industry and academia throughout May and June.

“With the increasing threat, it’s very important to recognize that no organization, agency or allied partner is going to be able to build (a resilient Space Force) alone,” said Lt. Gen. Michael A. Guetlein, SSC Commander, addressing What’s Next for SSC at the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS) in May.

Speaking to both a live and virtual audience, Guetlein explained that SSC was stood up to enable a single unity of effort across government agencies as well as facilitate greater collaboration with academia, commercial industry and even foreign allies.

“There’s been a tremendous amount of change in both the space environment as well as the acquisition environment over the past year,” said Guetlein. “(Public) dialogue … helps us get the word out about the things that are changing…how we are getting after the threat, and how we are embracing commercial industry as well as allied partners in the protect and defend mission area of space.” (View the entire CSIS conversation with Lt. Gen. Guetlein here.)

At the third annual Military Space USA Conference in early June, Dr. Stephen Pluntze, SSC Executive Director of International Affairs (IA) Office, echoed the call for engagement with allied nations, academia and commercial industry to maintain and advance U.S. capability and security in space.

“The first thing to remember is, it’s OK and it’s understandable for the other nations of the world to catch up to the United States,” noted Pluntze in a recent MilSat magazine article.  “As they make progress and we can make them our partners, we then become a much more powerful unit.”  (Read more from the MilSat article here.)

Addressing members of the commercial space industry, Maj. Adam Burnetta, SSC’s Space Enterprise Consortium (SpEC) Program Manager, participated in the Association for Corporate Growth’s annual Aerospace & Defense Summit. Burnetta provided an overview of SSC's organization and shared solutions for companies navigating the space acquisition labyrinth hoping to pitch "the next big thing" in front of the right people.

“We want to be that front door for industry to ask any questions, to not get lost in the email riffraff of shifting offices or people, which the military often does,” said Burnetta in his keynote address at Space Tech Expo, a leading showcase for the commercial space industry.  (Read about Burnetta’s address in

At the Government Contract Pricing Summit, SSC Executive Director Joy White made the point that tax payer defense dollars can go further “when we buy off the shelf, repurpose, adapt or modify what’s already commercially available.” With $5.4B of satcomm contracts already in place, White said SSC is now looking at opportunities to buy space domain awareness data, weather capability services, and even GPS or PNT services. (View White’s entire keynote address here.)

Cybersecurity is another area in which SSC is seeking to bolster its pool of solutions by engaging with commercial industry. Delivering the keynote address at the CyberLEO conference in Los Angeles, Col. Jennifer Krolikowski, SSC Chief Information Officer, addressed the threats to low earth orbit satellites and the need for resilient technologies to protect and actively defend against the increasing threat of cyberwarfare and its impacts on everything election outcomes to power grid interruptions. (View Krolikowski’s PPT presentation here.)

These are just a sampling of the many ways in which SSC is reaching out to commercial industry, academia and allied nations to plumb the solutions that will keep us ahead of the threat as we build a more resilient U.S. Space Force.

This summer will find Lt. Gen. Guetlein in Europe meeting with several of SSC’s global and allied partners.