The Senate Armed Services Committee considers the nomination of Space Force Lt. Gen. B. Chance Saltzman to the rank of general and the position of chief of space operations, September 13, 2022.
Morning the committee meets today to consider the nomination of Lieutenant general. Be Chance Saltzman for promotion to general and to be the next Chief of Space Operations. General Saltzman welcome. I thank you for your decades of service and willingness to serve in this very important position. I would like to welcome your wife Jennifer, your son john and your daughter Sarah. And while not present today, let me also acknowledge your parents randy and Belinda Saltzman who are watching from home, I’m sure and I know they’re very proud of your nomination, recognizing the increasing importance of the space domain and the growing threats to our critical space assets by china and Russia. Congress established the Space Force in the fiscal year 2020 National Defense authorization Act. The first Chief of Space Operations General Raymond, then the commander of the US Air Force Space Command was legislatively transferred in 2020 to be the chief. So you are the first to be nominated and have a hearing for this position. Given that the Space Force is only two years old is still becoming institutionalized within the Department of Defense and there are many challenges in that process. First, the Space Force must develop its ability to train and equip guardians. Space is a remote domain. One that is now contested. Your Guardians will have to have the ability to integrate digital and other advanced technologies to accomplish their mission. All underpinned by a strong stem background. My understanding is the Space forces standing up a Space training and readiness command or stock calm. I will want to know your views if confirmed and how Starcom will train future guardians as a war fighting force in the space domain. Second, you will have to force a service culture that can succeed in the dramatically evolving space environment often called New space. We are witnessing an enormous surge in the space industry with some satellite constellations that numbered one or two dozen satellites a few years ago, now having thousands in low earth orbit, all interconnected to provide high speed internet anywhere on the globe, rockets that were once disposable are now reusable, lowering the cost of launch to a fraction of what used to be the space force of today and tomorrow must adapt to this rapid change in pace of innovation and utilize it to protect and defend our assets in space and on the ground. The faith force, its organization and its guardians need to reflect this changing environment. Third, in response to the growing adversarial threat and space Congress not only created the Space force as a war fighting entity, it also reorganized the way we acquire space systems. The way we formulate space policy and the way we fight in space for the new combatant command. If confirmed, you will lead the space force in this new national Defense enterprise. I want to know what you foresee as major issues you expect to face and how you will ensure the space force can respond to them. Most importantly, an integral part of the military service is its new culture and its unity of mission. When the Space force was established, most guardians necessarily transferred from other services and thus had to adapt to a new culture. I was pleased to learn our meeting last week, that successful recruiting efforts Have ensued that soon. 1/3 of the space force will never have served in another service general. I’m interested in how you intend to create a unique culture with the blend of transfers and new recruits. Thank you again for your willingness to serve our nation. I look forward to your testimony. Let me now recognize ranking member in. Thank you Mr. Chairman. I’m And um, I would also like to extend a welcome to uh, the general and I appreciate the time you spent with me giving you an idea of what you have in your mind and also the fact that you have your family here today, it’s very meaningful to us. We appreciate that very much because you’re not gonna see a lot of them. And uh, in the days to come, our national defense strategy is not shy about the scope and scale of the the threat from china and the speed of the advances. There’s no better example of that than space in a decade. The United States has gone from the unquestioned leader in space to merely one of two peers in a competition. Most, most people don’t realize that uh, there’s a lot of china and Russia are doing in space we can’t talk about today. But even what we can talk about the public is very concerning for years. We’ve kept noting that everything our military does relies on space, but we never really acted like it worse yet. The uh space is no longer simply an enabler for other functions. So we have a different uh, a different environment altogether today and and you’re only the second one to take on this awesome responsibility and we appreciate very much the effort that you’re making and the background that you bring. Thank you Mr. Chairman, Thank you Senator Inhofe and general recognize your opening statement. Could you please bring the microphone as close as possible and can you hear me okay?
Thank you. Chairman Reed ranking member Inhofe, distinguished members of this committee. I’m honored and deeply humbled by the opportunity to be with you this morning. I’d like to begin by introducing my family with me today are the most important people in my life. First my wife Jennifer, I’m very proud to announce that just yesterday we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. Jennifer has been steadfastly by my side for this entire military journey through 15 moves nearly 200 overnight. I C. B M alerts countless late nights and trips away from home and most recently a year separated while I deployed to the Middle East. She has taken on all these challenges and conquered them with a smile on her face and warmth in her heart. But the most amazing accomplishment has been raising our two Children into the fine young adults you see here our son John is the director of social media content for a sports marketing firm and our daughter Sarah recently completed a master’s degree in public administration with a perfect 4.0 GPA Jennifer and I could not be prouder of these two. They followed mom and dad all over the country and been successful at every turn. They meet challenges head on and have always shown maturity beyond their years, optimism and a contagious wit. My home and family are my bedrock and they are clearly at the center of any career success that I’ve enjoyed, I owe all of that to these three and I will be forever grateful for the love and support they have shown and the sacrifices they’ve made. I would also like to take this opportunity to offer a special thanks to General J and molly Raymond. The Saltzman and Raymond families go back many years and we’ve benefited greatly from their mentorship and friendship. They are concluding 38 years of distinguished service to our nation. But these last three years have been critical to the historic establishment of the space force. Their passion, dedication and vision have set the space force on a solid foundation. If I have the good fortune to be confirmed Jennifer and I will work hard to build on their successes and continue to push the Space force to new heights. I would also like to express my appreciation to this committee for your relentless support and advocacy for our Space Force, its guardians and their families. For the last two years I’ve had the privilege of serving with these guardians and I can attest that they are the finest men and women that America has to offer. If confirmed, it will be the honor of my life to lead them as the second Chief of Space Operations for the United States Space Force. Not quite three years ago, Congress established the Space Force to provide freedom of operation for the United States in from and to space to conduct space operations and to protect the interests of the United States in space. In the few short years since the Space Force was established, the number of satellites on orbit has doubled and the global space economy is approaching half a trillion dollars. Space is truly a critical domain for us interests. So we must be clear eyed in our understanding that our strategic competitors have invested heavily in fielding systems capable of disrupting degrading and even destroying our space capabilities. If confirmed, I will work to ensure the Space Force is ready to protect these vital interests from these threats. It is truly an honor to be nominated to serve as the Space Force’s next Chief of Space Operations. I’m excited about the opportunities ahead for the Space Force. If confirmed, I look forward to working with this committee, other members of Congress to continue to ensure the Space force fulfills its mission as part of America’s Joint force?
I look forward to your questions. Thank you. Thank you very much. General Saltzman. Before I begin the questioning, there are a series of standard questions for nominees and you can respond. Uh have you adhere to applicable laws and regulations governing conflicts of interest?
Yes. Have you assumed any duties that taking any actions that would appear to presume the outcome of the confirmation process exercising our legislative and oversight responsibilities?
Makes it important that this committee, its committees and other appropriate committees of Congress received testimony, briefings, reports, records and other information from the executive branch on a timely basis. Do you agree if confirmed to appear and testify before this committee when requested?
Do you agree when asked before this committee to give your personal views even if your view is different from the administration. Do you agree to provide records, documents and electronic communications in a timely manner when requested by this committee?
Its subcommittees or other appropriate committees of Congress and to consult with the request or regarding the basis for any good faith delay or denial in providing such records?
Yes. Will you ensure that your staff complies with deadlines established by this committee for the production of reports, records and other information including timely responding to hearing questions for the record. Will you cooperate in providing witnesses and briefings in response to congressional requests?
Yes. Will those witnesses and briefings be protected from Reprisal for their testimony or briefings?
Thank you very much. General General. Uh In my comments, I talked about the force design that the Space force must uh lead uh the intent in Congress to centralize that force design in the Space uh Force and the Senate version of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act deemed the Chief of Space Operations to be the Force design Architect for space of the Armed services. No different in many ways of how the Chief of Naval Operations is the designer of the fleet of ships for our Navy. The conference bill required the Secretary offense to designate the Chief of Special Operations as the Force design architect. And the August 17 letter sent to the committee by the Secretary does indeed designate the chief as the force design architect except for all of the other authorities of space residing in the armed forces and the Office of Secret Defense, which are rather extensive. Do you think this is a workable designation uh and follows the intent of Congress?
Yes, sir, I do. I’ve had extensive discussions with Secretary of the Air Force and General Raymond, the current Chief of Space Operations. Uh And it’s my understanding that the exemptions that you mentioned really are not about authorities associated with the Force Design Architect and that the authorities and responsibilities that that the Secretary of Defense gave to General Raymond as the Chief of Space Operations uh is sufficient to accomplish the intent of Congress. Uh And if confirmed, I would continue to execute those same authorities and responsibilities so that I could take seriously those priorities for force design to make the Space force as capable as possible. Thank you. Uh General Assault confirmed your job will be to present trained and equipped forces to US Space Command primarily but also you will have the duty to support other combatant commands such as you, calm etcetera. Uh Is there any significant distinction in your mind between your responsibilities uh between those two or or the different commands?
No Senator. The the responsibilities of the Chief of Space Operations are to make sure there are ready forces that have the flexibility, the agility, the training and experience necessary to support all combatant commanders. Of note of course, is that U. S. Space Command has primary responsibilities for that Space area of area of responsibilities as well as some key missions of providing capabilities for the Joint Force. And so while over 90% of the Space Force capabilities are presented to US Space Command, there are critical other capabilities, regional capabilities that are also presented to the other combatant commands to fulfill their missions as well. Thank you. Uh General Saltzman. Uh The administration has sent a legislative proposal to create essentially full and part time Space Force military personnel in lieu of a separate Reserve and Guard elements as in other services. And this I think originates because the Space Force is relatively small and the reserve and Guard elements would be smaller still. Uh do you support this proposal, Senator?
The most important aspect of this is that there are critical capabilities and expertise that currently reside in the Air Force Reserves as well as the Air National Guard. The primary responsibility, of course, is to make sure that we have complete access to that experience, that expertise and those capabilities. So from a readiness perspective, I can tell you as the Chief of Operations currently, um that’s high on my list to make sure that we have unfettered access to those capabilities. We’re also looking at flexible and innovative ways to make sure that we have viable and flexible career paths for our guardians. It’s important that we retain this talent for an extended period of time to get the most out of them and having the ability to seamlessly and have a permeable way to move between full time and part time capacity inside the Space Force we think is is a tremendous benefit to the guardians uh and ultimately to the force to maintain that readiness. So I’ve confirmed the CSO I would I would certainly welcome the opportunity to continue to work with members of this committee and other stakeholders to make sure that we get the right organizational structure to take advantage of these capabilities. Thank you. Again, one of the great challenge you have facing you is uh creating a culture uh in the space force uh as a war fighting uh force um one that’s highly technical uh and one that innovates constantly and and we find sometimes culture is more determinative outcomes than a lot of other factors. So uh that’s something I think you’ll be working on and we hope to work together with you. Thank you very much. Now let me recognize uh the ranking member Senator Inhofe. Okay. General salesman. Let me get the two required questions out of the way. So no one else will have to do it. Uh The two are what worries you the most and what do you intend to do about it?
And secondly what we will be the first challenge that you go after. Two questions. Yes sir, thank you. The most immediate threat in my opinion is the pace with which our strategic challengers first and foremost, the Chinese are aggressively pursuing capabilities that can disrupt, degrade and ultimately even destroy our satellite capabilities and disrupt our ground infrastructure. Um They are, they have watched how we perform joint force operations. They know how critical the US, how critical US space capabilities are to the joint force. They’ve learned from that and they recognize that it is an asymmetric advantage of theirs to go after our space capabilities and deny them to the joint force and they’ve invested heavily and demonstrated capabilities that that can deny us this. So it is one of my earliest priorities to make sure that we’re on track to to build and field effective capabilities and then train the guardians to operate in a contested domain so that we can counter this activity by our strategic competitors. Thank you, gentlemen. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. Senator. Turn off sinister. Hin, please thank you. Congratulations General Saltzman on your nomination. Um now, I hope that for your 30th anniversary, you’re doing something other than just bringing your wife to this hearing. You know, the pearls are the gift for the 30th anniversary. So I hope Jennifer has got that on her list. You’re getting me in trouble, ma’am, I appreciate that. Um Seriously, I appreciated the opportunity to meet with you last week and I especially um appreciated the conversation that we had about the risk that’s involved with um our space capabilities and I wonder if you could speak to how important it is to have the S B. I R. And S. T TR programs with our small businesses who are able to assume more of that risk. And what would what your assessment is if those programs are discontinued because we don’t get them reauthorized this year, the size of the Space force, the criticality of the missions means we’re gonna have to innovate, we’re gonna have to do things differently in order to deliver the kinds of capabilities that the nation needs to protect its space force to protect the space capabilities and then protect the joint force from our adversaries?
It’s my opinion that when you’re trying to innovate, when you’re trying to be creative, the best way to do that is to open up the aperture of ideas. And I think small businesses have a tremendous role that they can play in helping provide some of those innovative creative capabilities that we can then leverage to build a full spectrum response to what our adversaries are trying to do. And so I I firmly believe we ought to lower the thresholds to make it easier for small businesses to offer their capabilities for us to take into. So I assume you would agree with me that if we don’t get those programs reauthorized, it’s going to be a real loss in terms of the innovation that are small businesses are providing to the space program and also to our military. If confirmed. I am certainly committed to any authorities responsibilities that help pull the maximum number of innovators and to solve my problems as possible. Thank you. Can can you also talk about the risk issue in terms of our procurement process?
Um I think general heighten talked about the bureaucratic hurdles that impede our ability to procure the capabilities we need and as we’re looking at our adversaries, particularly china, They don’t have to deal with that. So what what do you see in terms of policy changes that we should do that would help us address the procurement issues that we’ve got?
Well, we have a very deliberate process to make sure that we’re wisely using our taxpayer dollars. You bring up an excellent point that the urgency, the sense of urgency that our adversaries have imposed on us require us to move quickly to develop these capabilities. And so I’m certainly committed to making sure that we streamline our processes. Uh, Congress has helped with the establishment of a forced design architect in the CSO, the Chief of Space Operations, I think streamlining the requirements being clear exactly what we need, innovating to pull in as many ideas as possible to solve those problems will streamline our efforts and deliver operational capability faster the cultural piece of this. Uh sometimes we get focused on the fact that we need to purposely build capability to provide space capabilities for the nation out of space systems command. They’ve adopted a mantra about exploiting what we have, buying what we can and only building what we must. And I think having that open thought process for how best to bring capabilities to bear what will actually streamline the process and make us do a better job. Thank you. I appreciate that. Um, during our meeting, you also talked about and you did as you did in your opening statement, the importance of the people in our space force and and they will make a difference in our success or failure. One of the things that um I understand space force may be rethinking is some of the requirements that disqualify 70% of young Americans from military service. Can you speak to what we ought to be thinking about?
Excuse me, as we’re thinking about, how do we get more of those Americans into service?
We may be a small force, ma’am, but we require highly skilled technical experts to be brought in to do these important critical missions for the Space force. Um We we also have an advantage by being small that we can consider on a case by case basis, you know, precisely the right people, the right kinds of people with the right skill sets, the right diversity of thought into the Space Force to optimize our capabilities. And so by being able to consider this on a case by case basis. I think we don’t have to put blanket uh restrictions on types of people, on types of uh qualifications that that bring you into the Space Force. So we have a tremendous opportunity I think because of the numbers that we need to bring in to be more individualistic and if if confirmed the CSO I would I would want to expand that and actually broaden this out to as many people as possible. Well, thanks very much, I look forward to that continuing that discussion. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, Thank you Senator James Senator Cotton, please General Saltzman, Welcome and congratulations on your nomination. I wanna explore a little bit your thoughts on the relationship between the space force and the National Reconnaissance office. You well suited for that not only in the Space force but having served at the N. R. O. I have heard it said by some that once any asset goes into space it becomes strategic intelligence and therefore should fall underneath the N. R. O. Um Although that would point of view would seem to conflict with the mission of Space Force. So could you explain how the space force should relate to the N. R. O. How that should look and function?
Yes sir. I learned to fly satellites in the N. R. O. I was an N. R. O. Ground station commander. So I speak from a personal basis from an insider if you will uh that that mission that the N. R. O. Does the missions that the N. R. Does are critical critical to the United States. But they do there are differences in the missions that they support, the requirements that they support and the customers that they support. Uh And although there are differences the collaboration between the two organizations is essential for both success. And as I mentioned earlier space systems command thinking through how do we exploit what we have?
How do we buy what we can and build only what we must is that mantra that underpins some of the collaboration. We will need to look as we as we examine where our missions start to overlap, whether it’s intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance or some of the other protect and defend missions wherever we overlap, we need to evaluate what current capabilities exist, what we need to, what we can buy commercially and what we need to to build specifically to fill the gaps and then not walk all over each other to not be overly redundant because we can’t afford to be. And so I think through this collaboration and the N. R. O relationship right now is solid and we do have good solid collaborations. The current analysis of alternatives proves that out. Uh And so I think we’re on a good, good pace. I think we just need to keep it up There any changes to the law that need to happen to sure ensure that Space force can do that. I’m not tracking any changes that need to occur now sir. As I get into the position of confirmed, I will I would welcome the opportunity to come back and evaluate any changes or make any requests that need to be modified. Um You’ve said this morning as have others that space as a warfighting domain. Most people I think understand that um our troops on the ground or on the seas or in the air use our space assets to help fight or in their domains. But do you also mean that space itself could be a war fighting domain, correct?
I do. Okay, so the the timeless principles of war that have stood the test of time from alexander too, Washington and napoleon to grant would apply in space, just like they apply here on earth. Right. Uh, and one of those principles is the priority of the offensive. Um, can you talk to us a little bit about what offensive operations in space would look like when I think about space superiority, which is kind of the phrase we use to mean that we are going to contest that domain to make sure that we have access to the capabilities. Part of that also means that we’re going to protect the joint force from an adversary’s ability to use space to target them. I think the best way to achieve this is through deterrence, prevent a war from extending into space denying us those capabilities. But the best way to deter is to have a resilient capability and to have offensive and defensive capabilities that creates a credible force. That’s where you really get your true deterrence. All right, thank you. General. Thank you. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, congratulations and congratulations to your family. Uh, the federal government has struggled to recruit cyber and digital service professionals, both in the civilian and military service. This challenge is also seen in other high tech fields as well. To address this challenge, I’ve worked with Senator rounds, uh, and Senator Sasse on proposing the creation of a cyber and digital services academy to recruit and train next generation of cyber professionals into the government service. Given the highly technical nature of space forces work. Should congress consider integrating Space Force cadets into the cyber academy and using a potential cyber digital services and space academy as the service academy commissioning source for Space force officers and civilians. Senator. There’s no way the Space force can be successful without capable cyber professionals. We simply rely too much on our ground networks on the R. F. Links that connect our satellites to our ground nodes, the distribution of data that’s required to really meet our goals. All relies on highly capable, highly technical cyber professionals. So in the pursuit of finding them and training them and continue to provide advanced training for them. I would be open to any institutions or capabilities that can add to our portfolio to make sure that our cyber operators are trained and continue to be at the leading edge of technology if confirmed to CS. So this would be one of my priorities. Um and what do you think some of the recruiting challenges?
Uh, what do you think they will be for Space force?
And have you, and have you been able to recruit and retain the technical workforce that you need?
And where are some of your current shortfalls?
Yes, ma’am. We currently are not seeing the recruiting shortfalls that some of the other services are facing primarily, that’s because we don’t require as many in the Space force. We have that good fortune of being smaller so that our recruiting numbers are lower, but that small work force is highly skilled, highly technical and so we have to reach out and find just the right people train them to do our our specific and sometime military unique missions inside the domain, which then means it’s important for us to retain them over the course of the career so that we can continue to benefit on their gathered experience. That’s going to be, I think more difficult as they see opportunities in the private sector to to use the skills that we provide them. So in my mind, this is about culture, this is about giving them challenging work, respecting their inputs and making it a place. They just want to show up to work every day to protect the nation. Uh that’s what I’m committed to if if confirmed to CSO is getting that culture right. And I listened very carefully to your response to the Chairman’s question about the National Guard in your written response to advance policy questions, you wrote that you are most concerned with maintaining the readiness of the Space units in the Air National Guard. I’ve heard some concerns that the training pipeline for these Air National Guard units will be cut off given the transition of the active duty space missions to the Space Force. Um how will you ensure that these Air National Guard units are able to fully execute these missions?
That, as I mentioned that those capabilities are critical to the success of the Space Force the way I see it, they can be organized in several different ways. I think there’s three options that are being considered. Uh The key is that there are pros and cons and advantages and opportunities in each of these that are slightly different. And so what’s important is that we take the time to evaluate all of those 2nd and 3rd order effects to make sure we optimize the capabilities optimize their long term viability, the training, the recruiting, the retention of the of that expertise and and if if confirmed as the Chief of Space operations, what I’d like to do is is work with the committee work with the other stakeholders to really evaluate all of those nuances to make sure we optimize the organizational structure, but basically you want to use the space units that are part of the International Guard as your feeder. I think I think those capabilities are important to the success of the Space Force understood. Um I I saw that the Space Forces Direct commissioning program began this spring with a cyber constructive service credit board in order to acquire cyber professionals. Can you speak to what specific operational billets are needed that this initiative to commission cyber professionals can help fill and how has the process gone so far?
What we’re recognizing is that to get the mid-grade officers, you know the 15 year technicians takes 15 years to grow them. If we start from scratch at the sessions point if we’re able to take advantage of the expertise they gain in the private sector and pull them over. We want to give them credit so they can lead our organizations and not start at the bottom of the organization. And so we’re seeing a lot of positive interest in that and the pilot program is going successful so far. Thank you thank you for your testimony and thank you for your service. I do hope you get to meet all the former heads of Space Force including Steve Carell. Thank you very much. Senator Gillibrand, Senator Tuberville please. Thank you. Mr. Chairman. Congratulations general. You and your family. Uh Just a couple of questions here. Do do you believe our national security launches should remain on U. S. Soil Sir, assured access to space is a national imperative. Uh I’m open to making sure that we can put any kind of payload, any type of payload into any of the orbits that are required. Uh This will take establishing a number of launch providers uh a number of launch locations to maintain the kind of agility and flexibility we need to ensure that that mission continues. So I’m open to exploring all options to make that the most flexible capability possible if confirmed. Would you what would you do to protect the D. O. D. And U. S. Contractors from intellectual property theft?
Which is a huge problem as we know. Yes, Senator if confirmed again, I think about this in terms of cyber defense because a lot of times that’s how they’re gaining access to our capabilities. And as I mentioned we can’t do anything without our cyber networks without our cyber professionals defending those networks. So what I would commit to is looking at the tools they need, the training, they need the experience, they need to make sure that they’re the most capable force in defending our intellectual property and our networks from the actions of our adversaries. What would you say are percentage Of cybersecurity is in the space force uh percentage of of your of your people, how much how much would that be?
10, 15, 20%. Uh Senator, I don’t think I have a specific number. You know, we only have five officer categories and and an equal number of enlisted categories. So all of our operators, all of our personnel are really focused on operations. One of those subsets is cyber but I’m happy to take that for the record and get back with you on a specific number. Thank you. You know, we’ve previously been told that Space force is not looking at any new launch requirements for phase three of the National Security space launch program. Given Chinese developments just this week. Do you believe that we should explore and establishing new requirements. Senator. It’s my understanding that we’re still developing the phase three of the National Security space launch strategy. We’re still trying to figure out the best way to bend the requirements to take advantage of both the high end established launch service providers but also find room for these emerging uh smaller launch service providers. And I think that that mix creates the kind of flexibility we need and it’s about getting the requirements set just right and if confirmed would be committed to looking and working with stakeholders and make sure we get that balance just right. Thank you. You know, our supply chain remains a challenge, especially for our uh National Security space ecosystem. How will the Space force address these these uh new requirements and future systems?
Could you give me thoughts on that senator?
What we’re learning is we have to account for the supply chains, the the veracity, the robustness of the supply chains as we go through our acquisition process. You can’t wait till after you decide what you’re gonna buy and then figure out if the supply chain works. And I think our space systems command and the other providers in the acquisition system have done a good job of characterizing that. And once you characterize it effectively, then you can make sure you’re defending it, making it as robust as possible, making it flexible. So it’s not sensitive to problems in the supply chain that we have other areas to go uh and if confirmed, I would continue to promote that. Thank you general. Good luck. Uh It’s gonna be a tough job but thanks for being here today. You and your family. It’s uh this is quite an honor obviously the second head coach basically of Space force. So thank you very much and Mr. Chairman, this is national peanut Day so that’s reading. I put all these peanuts in front of everybody from Alabama. So uh thank you sir. Thank you very much. Senator Tuberville and thank you for the peanuts of Senator rano. Please thank you Mr. Chairman and thank you for the peanuts. We need to uh energy. So general, welcome to you and your family to ensure the fitness of nominees for appointment to senior positions within any of the departments. I ask the following two initial questions of all nominees in any of the committees that I sit on. So I will ask you these initial questions since you became a legal adult. Have you ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors or committed any verbal or physical harassment or assault of a sexual nature. Have you ever faced discipline or entered into a settlement related to this kind of conduct general. Over the past several years, the regional dot com. Support center pacific has experienced a significant amount of mission growth as the armed forces have become more reliant on satellite communications. Unfortunately, regional dot com Support Center pacific has not seen corresponding manpower increases to handle this additional work with army satellite operations said to be consolidated under Space Force in the near future, will you consider increases to the Space force’s manpower levels to ensure every unit is able to keep pace with its mission requirements?
Senator, I think one of the most important things that the Space force has done since its inception is consolidating military SAT. Com military satellite communications under a single service. It gives us a lot of authorities responsibilities and opportunities to do just what you’re saying and that’s increased the readiness of of those units so that they can provide these critical capabilities. And so we we’re redesigning currently how we assess and force present for readiness all of our units uh first and foremost among those are these new units that are coming across from other services. So the short answer is I as if confirmed as the CSO, I would take the readiness of these units very seriously. And the manpower element of readiness is a key concern. That sounds like a yes. You’ve been asked a number of questions from both the chairman and Senator Gillibrand about the role of the National Guard and Space Force and I recently met with members of the Hawaii Air National Guard to discuss their concerns about the potential transition of space missions away from the Air National Guard to the Space Force and these men and women have committed to the Space mission on Kauai and have dedicated their time and training to building their expertise in space electronic warfare however, remaining assigned to the Nash to the Air Force while carrying out Space Force missions has resulted in budget gaps and training delays. It is my understanding that the Space Force and Air Force are evaluating three potential actions to resolve this issue, including the establishment of a Space National Guard. I think that we are, we in Congress is expecting or was expecting a report on how Space force was gonna be constituted due in March and we don’t have that report yet. So until the decision is made as to how the Space Force is going to be constituted, how we ensure that such National Guard units, which by the way exists in a number of states that would be excuse me, uh California Colorado Florida Hawaii Ohio Guam and Alaska. How would you ensure that such National Guard units are adequately resourced and have access to the records that training required to carry out their space missions?
Yes, Senator, I think you’ve characterized that just right. I know that this is also a concern for US Space Command and as one of the key force providers to US Space Command were involved in those discussions where the Air Force and the Air Guard through the Air Reserve also provide those capabilities and so, you know, readiness again is my primary concern having access to that expertise uh and as a part of the Department of the Air Force. If confirmed, the CSO, I would be in those deliberations to make sure that those forces are as ready as possible to beat the combatant commanders requirements. If if confirmed, would you agree that the National Guard should be consulted in any decision or cost estimate related to a creation of a Space National Guard?
But some of the concern is that creating a Space National Guard is too expensive and really setting up an entire other uh constitute a way to constitute the Space Force could be much much more expensive because you already have these units in a number of the states that I mentioned. So I’d like your commitment that you will be consulting with the National Guard and going forward. Senator have confirmed as the Chief of Space Operations. I commit to collaborating with the National Guard on a host of issues. This being one. Thank you. Thank you. Mr. Chairman. Thank you very much. Senator. Center around please. Thank you. Mr. Chairman. Uh Good morning General Saltzman and thank you to you and your family for your years of service. Thank you. Um I most certainly appreciated the comments that you’ve made so far today. And I want to approach this from a little bit different angle, recognizing that we are in an unclassified environment. Can you provide your assessment on Russia and china’s space capabilities as compared to two hours?
Yes, Senator, we’re still the greatest Space faring nation on the planet. The Space Force’s capabilities, what we can provide to the joint forests are extremely capable and I still put us at the head of the table. Unfortunately, our adversaries are investing heavily to close that gap and supersede us. I’m worried about the pace with which they are making those changes china first amongst them. But Russia also committed to investing heavily in the kinds of capabilities that are going to disrupt, degrade and even destroy our on orbit capabilities. And so it’s that pace of change in their commitment to disabling it. That’s most concerning to me, Senator. If you take a look at the existing capabilities. I’m really curious because we’ve all seen what’s happened in Ukraine and yet, uh, if Russia has capabilities in space that are good. Um, and perhaps advancing, how do we account for their well, they’re repeated failures to provide relevant and timely information to strike Ukrainian forces on the ground. Certainly not in a position to comment on the Russian operational failures. I will tell you that we have learned some lessons watching that operation. It may be a little early to say, complete lessons learned, but there are observations that are important, for example, the, the use of commercial space capabilities to augment military and national decision making capabilities has proven to be effective for the Ukrainians the disaggregated proliferated nature of some of the constellations that they’re using has shown a level of resilience to degradation attempts that I think is noteworthy. And then finally I think we see how important it is to defend our cyber networks because those cyber networks create vulnerabilities if attacked to actual space capabilities. And so when I look across what we’re seeing in that Ukrainian theater, I see some important lessons that we should take to heart in terms of building our space force design general, the new advanced battle management system or a B. M. S will be a critical piece of our command and control on the battlefield. And I understand the reasoning behind moving away from J stars. In fact I support moving away from J STARS due to the survivability issues in a contested environment. I’m concerned that a specific alternative that has gained support within and outside of the department might not provide the same level of situational awareness and targeting capabilities to our troops on the ground. That the J STARS radar is able to provide part of what we look at when we when we talk about the A. B. M. S. Is is the broad picture but also specifically the need for an officer commanding officer on the ground to re to rely on good specific and very timely data in a close quarter battle situation. Do I have your commitment that have confirmed you will assure that the joint requirements oversight council validated requirements for this system are met so that our troops on the ground are provided the capabilities that they need to win on the battlefield. Senator, one of the important responsibilities that’s given to the Chief of Space operations is to be the D O. D. Integrator for joint space requirements. It’s just that kind of concern, which I think we take seriously by establishing that critical position. And so as we evaluate the requirements, we have to take all the perspectives into account that ground commander that has to make the final decision is one of those key inputs. So you have my commitment if confirmed as Cso that I will account for all the requirements stakeholders when we make critical decisions about whether missions should be migrated into space or performed by other platforms and other domains in Ukraine. Russia clearly has good space capabilities and yet they’re not able to to implement them and to use them effectively. There’s not that line of command down to that local commander. The last thing that we want to see when we move into the uh the A B. M. S system is one which gives broad informational, situational awareness but is not capable of providing what we do today with regard to J stars to that commander on the ground. Would you agree with that?
I agree that closing that last tactical mile to make sure the right decision maker has the right information at the time and place that’s operationally relevant is important. Thank you. Thank you Mr. Chairman, thank you Senator around Senator Kaine, please Thank you Mr. Chair General Saltzman, Congratulations on your nomination. I wanna ask you some questions about leveraging commercial space technology to ensure us space dominance. Uh in the run up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, R I. C. Doubled its procurement of commercial satellite imagery to help prepare and provide intel to our Ukrainian allies. The I. C. Was also able to leverage satellites operated by Virginia company Hawkeye 3 60 to detect jamming efforts that were being undertaken by the Russian military in the Donbas. This isn’t the first time where commercial technologies have been leveraged ineffective ways, but I think it’s really hitting a warp speed uh in your view, how important is leveraging innovative commercial technologies to preserve us space dominance?
It’s critically important. Center the the the idea of the mantra that we’re using to, you know, exploit what we have, get the most out of the systems that we’ve already paid for. But then also to consider how commercial capabilities, a broad spectrum of commercial capabilities can contribute directly to our mission set and perhaps do it more cheaply than us building our own systems is essential. The final element would be when there are still gaps as we have. We look at our mission set. If there are still gaps, we might need to consider a specific military solution, military, unique solution of that. But the commercial services, commercial capabilities are profoundly growing and we need to take advantage of it. So let me let me ask you about one example of this last year. The Space Force approved experimentation and prototyping for a new tactical space layer that would leverage commercial satellite imagery to provide battlespace awareness and bolster targeting capacity. What is the timeline for the development of this capacity so that our war fighters might be able to use satellite based information in real time to make battlefield decisions?
Senator, I don’t have a specific timeline. If it’s okay, I’ll take that for the record and get the specific timeline back to you. But I can tell you it’s an important capability that we consider. Very seriously Excellent. Thank you. I will, I will ask that for the record, um, over to another topic. The increase in in the number of commercial space launch providers, together with a substantial reduction in the cost of access to space and then the proliferation of commercial constellations could uh, create a kind of a traffic jam in the demand for launch services. And I imagine that demand could play significant challenges on federal launch ranges such as Vandenberg and Cape Canaveral. Uh, there are state spaceports, for example, the mid Atlantic spaceport on Wallops Island Virginia that are being used significantly not only by private sector space operators, but by Nasa and others. What would, what could the potential relationship be between Space force and state space launch, uh, facilities being the future?
Senator assured access to space is a national imperative, simple as that. And I believe that having agility, having flexibility in the types of capabilities that provide um payloads to orbit to all of the orbits?
That means maximizing the number of launch providers as well as the amount of launch locations that are available to the nation. Currently, our capacity on our on our ranges meets the governmental needs. But with the proliferation of small satellites uh that’s going to change rapidly and I think the number of launches is gonna go up dramatically and we’re gonna need to look at other opportunities. We’re currently engaged in an interagency process to look at the National Space Sports Strategy. And I think the capabilities like at Wallops Island will naturally be a part of that discussion. Should you be confirmed. And I’m confident you will be. I’d love to uh carry that discussion further. Let me ask you about one other topic. This is one that I’m kind of a nerd about. My favorite government publication is orbital orbital degree orbital debris Quarterly News. O de que en that’s published by Nasa. It’s getting more and more important because there’s currently 4500 active satellites um in orbit. Uh SpaceX has deployed more than 1700 starling broadband satellites into low earth orbit. Um and then last year the FCC received from companies like amazon astro and Boeing uh petitions to put as many as 38,000 more broadband satellites in low earth orbit. Um Are you concerned about how the proliferation of commercial investments could interfere or complicate national space needs. Um, and do we need to look at international rules of the road?
Both about commercial use of space, but also about the handling of debris that can uh, small amount of orbital debris can wreak havoc on a super expensive satellite platform. I’m not concerned at this point about the traffic as you as you mentioned it, I am always concerned about debris. We’re committed to making sure that we lead and model responsible behaviors in space. And I think that will help reduce the amount of debris associated with launch and other kinds of operations. Thank you very much. Thanks Mr. Chair, thank you. Senator Kaine. Senator Kramer, please thank you. Mr. Chairman, thank you. General Jennifer, Good to see you and your family here. It’s this is a really great day and congratulations. Um I’m gonna, Senator Kane brought up the issue of commercial companies, I want to emphasize small commercial because one of the things, you know, you’re you’re in the innovation business, if anybody is in the innovation business. And um so I’m gonna ask sort of maybe three questions and one and let you just a plain if that’s okay. So pick it back in again, General Kane there, Senator Kane’s point maybe elaborate a little bit on the role of small commercial space companies are seeming to, you know, just going great guns, thank goodness and having access At the same time?
You know, we’re coming up on October one, at which time, as a matter of legislative policy, space development agency will move over to space force. One of the benefits I think of space development agency has been their autonomy, their independence. That’s allowed that innovation to to to really grow. Um, at the same time, I think they and Space force and and all of us will benefit from the discipline, the oversight and the collective, if you will, of of space force, the collective opportunities, the strategies if you will. And that’s part of why we’re still up a space force and at the same time and I know there’s been some talk already of cyber once again, the the the coming together of commercial and government um, becomes all the more critical. Could you just maybe elaborate a little bit on those specific things and it’s small sDA and its autonomy blossoming under your jurisdiction. And then the role of cyber and all of that. You hit on the key principle there and that’s that innovation is gonna be critical to the success of the space force. So I’ll start with the small business is one thing I can say for certain is that with regards to ideas, the more the better. And and if you can, if you can look across the broad space ecosystem and pulling as many ideas as possible regardless of the size of the vendor that’s promoting that idea, you’re gonna be more successful at putting solid innovative ideas on the plate uh with regards to space development Agency, I couldn’t agree more. Their innovative business model, if you will, has been very successful in the early efforts associated with missile warning, missile tracking, space, data transport layer, etcetera. Uh when they come over to the Space Force one October, we’ve already been working with them, we’ve been planning for months to make that transition seamless to make it smooth. Uh and we want to make sure that we don’t violate that secret sauce, which is the innovation engine of space Development Agency. So have confirmed to CS. So I’ll be committed to making sure that we don’t lose the goodness as we bring them over now. We need to integrate them and make sure they’re a part of the force design, that’s what’s gonna make it an effective force when it’s finally fielded. But I do not want to lose that innovation engine and and nothing requires staying at the technical forefront than than cyber. Uh it is such a fast paced changing environment that uh innovation, our ability to stay engaged with the leading edge of technology there is going to be essential. One of the innovative ideas that we came up with is something we’re calling super coders. And the idea is that we take our guardians, especially the ones who kind of do coding as hobbies quite frankly and pull them in, give them advanced training and then put them back into the units. And so that our operational units have direct connection to people that can code and develop applications that support the mission. And that’s it’s already paying off. We’re seeing some some new tools being developed for how to monitor our systems and how to do logging, crew logging activities for example. Uh And so those are the kind of innovative ideas to stay on the forefront of cyber. Thank you. Um in the last minute let’s just talk a little bit about my favorite space topic parks um radar as you know the the cavalier Space Force station has that beautiful old gigantic piece of concrete um that watches space and missile warning. Of course it has for several decades but modernization is important and some has taken place there already and appreciate that we were able to put five million into the fiscal year 23 N. D. A. Here in the Senate. Hopefully that survives. But maybe you could just share a little bit in the closing seconds. Um Your your vision for for that radar sir, the missile warning mission is a no fail mission for us. Missile tracking is is gonna be just is important with hypersonic and what those radars provide is not just missile warning but the space domain awareness and I certainly will not be able to do my job if confirmed to CS. So if I have no idea what’s going on in space. And so the more data that we can collect from the sensors on the planet, the better we’re gonna have for space domain awareness. And I think the better we’re gonna be able to do our mission. Thank you General. Good luck to look forward to supporting you. Thank you. Mr. Chairman. Thank you. Senator, Kermit Senator King, please. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, are we on Um general?
I have to tell you at the outset, I’ve I’ve rarely been as impressed with the witnesses preparation and grasp of the issues as you have demonstrated here this morning. You’ve really, I think thought deeply about a lot of these issues. And I want to start with a more conceptual question, the conventional political position through the 80s and 90s and perhaps the early part of this century was we don’t want to militarize space. My concern is that this administration may still be holding onto that concept to some extent. And that train has left the station, has it not?
We have to we have to react to the militarization of space that’s already taken place by our potential adversaries, Senator. It’s one of my primary objectives to make sure that a war does not extend into space. That’s not a good day for the United States. I believe the best way to create a deterrent capability to prevent that is to have a credible force that can both deny benefits of those actions and impose costs where necessary. That creates doubt in our adversaries mind that it’s a good idea to start attacking capabilities, and the implication of what you just said is that we have to have both offensive and defensive capability in space in order to have an effective deterrent. Is that correct?
We certainly need to defend what we have and if we’re going to protect the joint force from what the adversaries have already put in space, there’s space enabled targeting. We’re gonna have to have counter capabilities. I appreciate that. And I hope that you will argue that effectively in the administration because this is, as I say, that this train has actually pretty well left the station um wanted to follow up on a on a question that Senator Cotton asked and just sort of tied up in a bow. General Raymond said that the joint effort uh unity of effort between the Space force and N. R. O has worked well and that the two entities should remain separate. Is that your position?
I think because there are two organizations that allows them to focus on different requirements and different customer base is the key will be to how they collaborate, where their mission sets get close. And I think it’s in that collaboration, we make sure the right lanes on the road, the right authorities, the right funding so that we’re not overly redundant. That that is going to happen in in detailed collaboration. Is there a formal process by which that collaboration is ensured?
Is there, in other words, are there uh monthly meetings, our communication back and forth because you can say collaboration, but if you’re not talking it ain’t gonna happen. Yes, sir. There’s an executive committee that meets routinely both our parties and members of the space acquisition Council and both are parties to what we are calling the Program Integration Council, which is even a lower level organization committee that gets together to talk about requirements, acquisition strategies to make sure that we are meeting the mission requirements of both without being overly redundant. Thank you. Uh, you’ve had a lot of discussion this morning about innovation, which is you, as you suggest, is absolutely critical to the mission of your agency perhaps more so than than any agency in our government. Uh, we’ve also talked about Senator Cramer asked about smaller businesses. Uh, we’ve had testimony before this committee from innovative smaller companies, particularly in Silicon Valley who basically said we’ve given up responding to the pentagon are FPs, it’s just too burdensome. The process is too lengthy, too expensive. And so we’re losing those, those suppliers. I will Would hope that you might meet with take your your 20 smallest companies that you’re working, with pull them together and have a discussion about how they feel about the process. And are there ways that that can be improved?
I’m concerned that just the nature of the pentagon acquisition process may itself be an impediment to smaller companies even getting on into the game senator, we can’t afford to lose those contributions. So I’ve confirmed to see us. So I would definitely explore opportunities to get their feedback to make this a better process. Uh final question about and you’ve touched on this about culture and and recruitment, you indicated that you’re not having any problem with recruitment. I guess one measure of how you’re doing is uh how many uh Air Force Academy graduates when they leave want to join the Space force more than we have slots for?
So that that’s a good sign in terms of their view of the of the future in this uh in this area. I said that was the final question, but I I thought of another one. A lot of your space capability. We were all our military is based upon in many ways space capability. GPS being the best example. Do you not believe however, that we need to be sure that our military has the capability to effectively deploy and act without GPS because that may be the first thing to go in a in a conflict. I’ve heard that they’re teaching celestial navigation at Annapolis, but I want to be sure that that’s the case because we could be blinded uh in the first day of a conflict and we need to have backup. Sir. I’m a military planner at heart. Our job is to prepare for the worst case scenario. So I agree with you, we always need to plan for contingencies for when things go wrong or when things are not available to us. Thank you. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, thank you. Senator. King Senator please. Yes thank you. General Salzman and to your family as well for joining you here today. Congratulations on your nomination. And thank you for your service. I’d like to go back to the deterrence discussion so that the bedrock of Biden’s administration, their National Defense strategy is a so called integrated deterrence. And how does this concept account for cross domain deterrence?
So holding terrestrial targets accountable and at risk uh to deter attack on U. S. Space assets?
The idea is integrated deterrence leverages a whole of government approach to imposing costs and denying benefits. If an adversary were to think about taking actions detrimental to U. S. Interests. So I think in that whole of government approach then on the military side of things, you look at all of the domains if if there is a if there’s a threat against a particular domain or a particular target set that we can take a symmetric action and others to impose costs or deny benefits and it’s the collaboration of the joint force that brings power to that full set of capabilities. Very good. And would you support revealing some of our space capabilities for deterrence demonstrating to our adversaries that we can respond effectively to their attacks. You bring up an important point about deterrence and that’s if you don’t know the capabilities are there. It’s hard to deter specifically an adversary if they don’t know the capabilities there. The problem is if we think too much about revealing capabilities that are vulnerable, that we might be jeopardizing those capabilities, I’m, if confirmed as the CSO, I would welcome an opportunity and a classified environment to talk about some of those tradeoffs. Well, I would appreciate that. And and going along with that, the Biden administration had recently announced a unilateral moratorium on certain anti-satellite tests. Do you believe that this self-imposed restriction will inhibit or stop china and Russia then from conducting anti-satellite tests?
I think it’s a commitment to not um, conduct destructive asset missile tests, which is currently the most dangerous thing to us space capabilities in the form of what the Chinese and the Russians are doing. So. I don’t know if it’s gonna dictate that they won’t do it. Not hopeful of that, but I think it does show a commitment to hey, there are better ways to test. There are more responsible ways and I, I think by, by demonstrating and modeling that behavior we don’t give up much because we have other ways to test our capabilities, but we lead by saying we’re not gonna intentionally create debris in space. Okay, I can appreciate that. However, I, I don’t want to continue to set the United States up by operating from doctrine of appeasement. Um So I do think it’s important that we can signal to our adversaries that we have the capabilities of destroying satellites. Maybe we don’t conduct those, but again maybe in a classified setting we can talk more about that. Um How can the United States go ahead and promote or as you said model the norms of conduct for space, how can we do that and then encourage um other countries to do the same and if they don’t then how do we impose penalties on those countries or states that are violating them?
I think as we as we clearly define what it means to be responsible and professional in space activities, it will cause put into greater relief those activities which are not responsible and I think by building a coalition of like-minded spacefaring nations around a set of responsible behaviors. Again it will create peer pressure if you will for the international community to deem certain activities professional and responsible and other activities to be irresponsible and that would be the focus I think of of those tenants. Thank you very much. General Saltzman, I look forward to supporting your confirmation but probably the most important question. General Raymond had a daughter that attended Iowa State University. Did any of your Children attend Iowa State University, ma’am. They’re proud graduates of the University of Missouri. Thank you very much sir. Thank you Senator Ernst. Senator Kelly please. Thank you Mr. Chairman. Uh General uh welcome, Very nice meeting you and your family. Uh The administration’s fiscal year 23 budget request request requested a growth in Space force and strength from 8400 to 8600 guardians. And this committee’s version of the N. D. A. N. D. A supports that request uh the military’s emphasis and reliance on global space operations will demand a robust force moving forward but there are concerns That budgets for the space force are expected to flatline in fiscal year 27. So what type of growth do you foresee in the space force over the next five or 10 years. Senator, I wouldn’t want to comment on any particular numbers, just haven’t had a chance to really dig in and see what appropriate levels would be. However, I can tell you that um in my estimation, looking at the readiness of the force, there is substantial um capabilities in test and training infrastructure that we need to invest in. Uh the if we have exquisite weapons systems, exquisite systems on orbit to provide joint capabilities. But our guardians and our operators don’t have the skills that the training, the experience they need to make the most out of those systems, then I feel like we’re not really fully combat ready, fully ready to do those critical mission tasks. What are some examples of those capabilities?
We don’t have simulators that allow our operators to practice their tactics against a thinking adversary. Even if it’s a simulated adversary, we don’t have good simulators. We don’t have ranges where they can routinely practice their trade craft. We don’t have the ability to link multiple units together so they can practice the coordination that’s necessary to to do large force employments if you will. We’ve just been operating in a benign environment for so long. We didn’t need to necessarily have those kinds of capabilities. And so I think over the next few years we’re gonna have to look at that and be as specific as we can, but provide that kind of training and experience to our operators. Yeah, I mean, having the, having the equipment and the capability is one thing, being able to use, it is entirely another. And being able to, you know, simulate operations on a range operate jointly as well. I imagine that’s something that’s on the agenda. Um, a simulator and range, that’s infrastructure. Is there any other infrastructure capacity uh that you feel you need?
Um you know, we were continuing to build and design a more resilient defendable architecture as I mentioned, you know, we’ve operated for years in a benign domain. And so we were we were focused more on the capabilities of the payloads and how long they would last on orbit try to get the most out of the expensive launch that put them into orbit uh launch prices are coming down. We’re doing distributed architectures because they’re more resilient. We’re trying to think about ways to to disaggregate our payload. So they’re not as easy targets. Uh, all of that is new investment in new force design. And so it’s gonna come with with a transition from our legacy capabilities to these new architectures. Uh, that’ll be work that we’re doing in the requirements phase and the in the force design phase and have confirmed, I look forward to working with the community to get that balance as we transition from legacy to the new architecture. Right. Senator King asked about recruiting and you mentioned from the Air Force Academy, you have more volunteers to go into the Space Force than you. Then you have spots um, in the enlisted ranks. How how is recruiting there?
It’s very good. Again, despite the fact that we’re looking for highly capable, highly technical skills, we have more volunteers than we have spots to fill. Just again, we’re lucky we’re a small force at this point doing a very specific mission set and so we can hand pick and we’re really getting solid volunteers. It’s one thing getting um, people, it’s another thing getting the right people. Have you felt the need to do any marketing of the Space Force at this point?
Lots of people are doing marketing for us and it’s working out to our advantage were also very active in going to specific universities where there are underrepresented populations to make sure that we’re looking across the board to bring the right people in the right kind of diversity, the right kinds of diversity of thought, the right backgrounds and skills. And so far we’ve been very successful in doing that. All right, thank you. General feedback, thank you. Senator Kelly. Senator Fischer. Please thank you. Mr. Chairman and thank you general for your willingness to step forward one skin to serve this country. My thanks to your family for their sacrifices and service as well. General as you know, the next gen O. P I. R satellite program is one of the key components of our future missile warning architecture along with the proliferated constellations of smaller satellites operating in lower orbits. Your predecessor, General Raymond testified in support of this approach before this committee in May, but I’m concerned about discussion of alternative proposals that have not been developed with input from the combatant commands and would ultimately accept greater risk in the mission of the department that the department itself describes as no fail. I hope that’s something you’ll take a look at and ensure that we continue to pursue a diverse architecture of complementary constellations that meets the warfighter needs for capacity and schedule. Do I have your commitment on that?
Yes, ma’am. As you mentioned, missile warning is no fail mission and bridging that transition for new capabilities. Legacy capability. So we have no gaps in coverage is a is a high priority for me. Thank you. I know the space forces in the process of designing the requirements for Phase three of the National Security space launch program, do you see phase three as being more of an evolution of Phase two or revolution in terms of its structure and capabilities and I’ll be honest ma’am, I haven’t really dug into the details of what that strategy proposes. I have had some briefings in preparation for this uh and so I would offer uh there was a great deal of effort that was put into going out across all of the stakeholders and getting as many inputs as possible so that the strategy would at least learn the lessons of the previous phases of national Security space launch. Not ignore those lessons and bring those forward into phase three I think keeping a fair open competition to make sure as many providers, both established launch providers as well as emerging launch providers was was also a key element of the strategy being devised and I think that they’re on the right path. We’ll see as we get closer to the final decisions on how that strategy plays out. But if confirmed, I look forward to getting inputs from all the committee members as well as the other stakeholders in this critical mission set for the space force. There has been some criticism of the program particularly its use of block buys and certified providers but I want you to know this committee understands the importance of maintaining assured access to space, especially for the most challenging orbits. We want to take advantage of the private sector’s innovation. You talked about that earlier but we are talking about unique and very expensive payloads that if they are not delivered perfectly, they will result in capability gaps for our war fighters. So we understand uh, there has to be a balanced approach to that risk. When you say that you want to include all stakeholders, give me examples. Certainly all the launch service providers, uh, certainly the people whose payloads were putting on orbit. Uh, certainly the acquisition community has to balance contracting requirements cost profiling all of the key considerations. When you put a acquisition strategy together, procurement strategy together, making sure that all those variables are accounted for so that we can thread the needle to get the balance that you just mentioned right. There’s risk to mission. But there’s also cost overruns that we want to avoid uh spending too much to for these required mission sets is something that’s on my mind. And so I think we just need to pull as many of those key opinions from all the stakeholders together to make the wise decision for the strategy going forward. And how do you balance the risk?
It’s it’s a it’s a challenge because we have to, it has to be a no fail mission. We have to be able to put the payloads we need into the orbits that we require, but we need flexibility across that. So it’s this balance between mission assurance and flexibility which is always a conundrum for for military planners. But I think the best way to do it is just to have open deliberate debates about what the merits are on both sides and make sure you try to get it as close to perfect as you can. Last question, can you talk about how the space force has made changes to deliver capabilities faster so so that it’s more responsive to the needs that we face. Such as restructuring of space Systems Command and how you plan to build on these steps to ensure our space enterprise is responsive to both threats and technological changes. With the help of Congress we established the force design architect in the Chief of Space Operations. The joint requirements oversight committee gave us responsibility as the D O. D integrator. This is allowing us to streamline the requirements development and if we get the requirements just right, it sets us on the right path for the major acquisition programs. Were also considering exploiting what we have and then the commercial capabilities that are that we can buy as a complement to those major acquisition programs that we have to build from scratch through those processes. I think we’ve streamlined at least the early phases of that larger complicated acquisition process. When you look at these reforms, What benchmarks do you look at?
Um in order to determine success or major success?
The classic acquisitions are cost, schedule and performance. But for me it’s about delivering a full set of full throated capability that gives us both the emission agility to do the job sustainability over time just because it works today in a dynamic environment against the dynamic threat. It may not work in the future. And so I’m looking at always being able to provide a capability to the president to the combatant commanders to give them flexibility and execution of their mission set. So it’s the readiness of the force to meet that broad spectrum of anticipated threats that I’m looking for as a measure of effectiveness. Thank you sir. Thank you Mr. Chairman. Thank you. Senator Fischer. Senator Rosen please Thank you. Chairman read. And uh for holding this hearing, I also want to thank General Saltzman for testifying today for your service and for your vast knowledge in this area. And um I want to talk a little bit about our tech and cyber challenges in space because our nation, of course we know facing increasingly sophisticated cyber security threats in space from disruptive technologies including the threat of stealing data, jamming satellite signals, hijacking satellites and disrupting internet services. So I have kind of a multipart question. And so if confirmed, um how are you going to work to keep our space based assets like satellites safe from cyberattacks. Who are you going to co what other agencies interdepartmental or otherwise?
Uh do you need to coordinate to protect that, all of government approach on cyber that we’ve been trying to work on And um how are you using emerging technologies in all of this?
Thank you senator. That is an important topic. And uh watching what happened in Ukraine to cyber-attacks that had space effects um dismantled to some degree showed that there is a large concern for just what you’re pointing out that our cyber networks are an avenue to disrupt and degrade our space capabilities. So this is a critical issue for me as well. We’ve organized um one of our units, a delta delta six is actually dedicated to cyber operations and specifically cyber mission. Defense of Space force uh systems. Um We also leverage the authorities that U. S. Cyber command has uh to to monitor and if necessary defend actively defend and protection of those capabilities so that those you mentioned, which ones are the stakeholders who are we collaborating with?
U. S. Cyber command is at the top of that list certainly. But what we’re doing is is training our cyber operators on our mission unique what we call cyber terrain. They are living day to day inside our weapons and the networks that feed them and make them work and they’re monitoring for malicious actions malicious behavior and they’re continually updating the defenses to make sure they’re as secure as possible. I’m comfortable that that they’re actively doing it now. What I want to give them are some of the tools to do the job better and some of the training and education that they’re going to need as this very dynamic field moves down the road. And so I want to keep them at the forefront of that technology to have the tools, the monitoring systems and the ability to defend our critical cyber networks. Well, you must have read my mind because that’s my next question because as a former computer programmer, I’m very excited to hear you talk about super coders. That’s very exciting to me. But it is so important that we think about our stem outreach generally and that like you said, Space force provides an opportunity to ensure our guardians uh including the Space force unit stationed in my state at nellis Air Force base there, fully, fully equipped to address evolving threats in space. And I really hope this new branch of the military can also play a role in promoting what I think are exciting stem career fields and helping bridge the technological gaps facing military and industry because it’s a collaboration and it’s why I’m glad in 2020 that promotes act bipartisan legislation, I introduced it authorized D. O. D. To provide stem education and training to junior ROTC students. And it was signed into law as part of the N. D. A. So we hope that gives you a good pipeline. Uh but considering how important it is and you spoke a little bit about this, um how are you going to do things like the stem to space initiative and other stem outreach programs to try to be sure that um, you’re really reaching out there and letting young folks or anyone really know what an exciting career field this is. Yes, ma’am. And thank you for the support, agree that attracting the right kind of professionals with the right kind of acumen on this stem uh, field of play if you will is critical to our success. And so certainly we do uh, we do outreach. We go to, we start in grade schools, we send people out into grade schools and high schools to talk about the importance of space. General Raymond is always famous for dragging our astronauts that our Space force guardians along with them to, to talk about how exciting the space domain is. And, and I think there’s a lot of excitement, a lot of buzz that that creates. We’ve established a university partner program Whereby we have 14 universities, maybe 15. Now. It’s expanding where we go out and try to leverage that diverse, highly technical skill set that people are seeking in those universities and try to attract them into the force. Uh, we’re establishing partnerships for research to stay at the leading edge of cyber through that same partnership program with the universities. And I think we’re seeing the benefits that on a day to day basis. I agree it’s a critical mission if confirmed to CS so I’ll continue to support that. Thank you. Thank you. Senator Rosen. Uh Senator Scott if you’re ready. Uh You’re next in order. Thank you. Well first thanks for being here. I think this is working. And uh congratulations on your nomination. Thanks for your service And uh thanks for everybody who works with you since the Space force is relatively new and the department still working out its operations. Can you describe the role you’ve been nominated for in terms of how the space force enhances the U. S. Ability to deter and if necessary defeat our enemies. Especially communist china communist china and Russia but also any aggressive state that seeks to use space force against us. Are you space against us?
Yes sir. Thank you for that question. It’s important. Foundational piece for the reason there’s a space force and I take that very seriously. Every American benefits from the capabilities that are inherent in space in the U. S. Space capabilities. Whether it’s the navigation apps on their phones, uh satellite communications, weather reports, digital banking access. All of these are critical things you may not see on a day to day basis because you don’t see the satellites but that space. Those space effects are critical to every American. I think it drives the economy, it spurs technological advancement certainly underpins the military capabilities. We just we just couldn’t live without our space capabilities. The American way of life now is inextricably linked to space capabilities. So it’s the space force that has to address the emerging threats. Uh, China is that pacing challenge. Russia certainly is a challenge. They have invested heavily in the ability to destroy, not just disrupt or degrade, but to destroy our space capabilities. And the Space force wakes up every single day dedicated to protecting our vital interest in space, but also protecting the joint force from the adversaries, designs of space enabled targeting space enabled capabilities. And so we’re committed to developing the operational concepts, the the on orbit assets, the tactics, the training to make sure that we can protect that capability. Let me ask you a question. So what you just said is what I believe also, I believe Communist china and Russia are out to defeatist their governments, uh, not the people, but their governments actually don’t like our way of life. Why doesn’t the public know that?
And what can what can you do in your role or what should uh what, you know what what I mean?
What can you do to get people understand that they actually mean you’re trying to prevent bad acts. That’s all that’s what you do for a living. It’s certainly a matter of scale. You know, when I when I talk to friends and family back home and I think there’s a recognition that this the world is not safe. I think there’s recognition that there are countries out there that don’t have the same idea as we do and that they’re working actively to try to do those interests from a space perspective, it’s a little bit harder to get support around something you don’t see on a day to day basis. And with the satellites a little bit out of view, sometimes they always don’t make the connection that hits the satellites that they’re trying to attack and that prevents us from doing X, y and Z. So it’s education, it’s us getting out, it’s connecting with the public, it’s connecting through speeches and academic interactions to make sure that those connections are clear. You think that’s part of your role?
I do. Can I ask you another question?
Um, I assume you’re going to play an active role in budgeting acquisition process. So can you talk about how the department’s gonna use the most of any readily available commercial technology or products?
So you can be more, you know, you can with the money you you’re that we allocate you to, you, you’re going to be more efficient with us and get more things accomplished. Yes sir. The with the help of Congress, uh the Chief of Space Operations been designated as the Force design Architect have a further responsibility in the joint requirements process to be the D. O. D. Integrator. This gives us an important leadership role in setting the requirements and then working with the acquisition community to make sure that we meet those requirements based on all the capabilities that are available to us and space systems command is is convinced that if we have the ability to exploit existing capabilities, that would be great. But we also have to be able to then by commercial capabilities it might be cheaper to procure what’s already available through the commercial sector and then only build what we must. Do. You feel comfortable that you’re doing that?
I do okay. Um, if you find problems, I think everybody on this committee would like to make sure that that we’re not creating roadblocks from your ability to use readily available technology to make make sure our tax dollars go further so you can do more. So if you would let me know um, and let this committee no um where there were creating any bottlenecks and what we could do to make it uh easier for you to use commercially available. Would will you commit to doing that?
If confirmed the cso it’s a top priority. Make sure we get the most out of commercial private sector. I’m sure that senators from Colorado and Alabama think they’re probably the best state for um space force. But I mean, do you really believe that you’re doing enough in Florida?
Do you do you think that you know if you you had you could wave a magic wand, you just do almost everything in Florida. There’s there’s there’s no question that Florida is important and rich history of space support. The space coast is vital to our success as a service. Now, even the guard capability, the space electronic warfare capability, they have vital um Florida remains an important aspect of Space force question. Just how how is how is the Space force working with?
Not just Florida?
I know, I know we have our National Guard has an interest in the Space force. We’re doing a lot of stuff. Is that is that working?
Are you picking national guards around the country that uh like I’d like to do everything in Florida but I don’t think that’s necessary, realistic. But are you doing that now?
We we work with the guard very closely on which mission sets what we need. Uh if confirmed that my responsibility to define those operational requirements work very close with the Guard Bureau with the Air National Guard to see if there are capabilities. That makes sense to go to the Guard especially where it’s maybe surge capability or something we don’t need on a day to day basis. We work very closely in collaboration with them to get that right. Thanks. Thank you. Senator Scott sent Holy please. There we go. Thank you. Mr. Chairman General thanks for being here. That’s enough. Talk about Florida. Let’s talk about Missouri. So did I hear you say an answer or two ago that your Children are graduates of the University of Missouri. Can I get back there?
I don’t know. All right, awesome. There you go. I’m feeling a lot better now. Mr. Chairman. Um let me let me ask you about the pacing threat you mentioned just a second ago, the pacing threat?
The pacing scenario. So the Secretary of Defense has designated china as the department’s pacing threat. Pay calm as the pacing theater, the priority theater. And then the Taiwan contingency is the pacing contingency?
Let me just ask you first off, do you agree with those designations?
I don’t see anybody more dangerous, more committed to attacking U. S. Interests in those areas than the presence to find very good. And do you agree that the threat of a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan is something that we need to be concerned about this decade and the 2020 is not just 2030 and beyond. I think the observables show that there is a clear indication that they are moving in that direction very rapidly. So let me ask you this then, would you commit to making your top priority to ensure that the space force is ready to help deter china from aggression and pay com generally?
And then specifically with regard to the pacing scenario in Taiwan, what space force be ready?
Would you help them get ready to make sure we’re able to deter a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. If confirmed as the Chief of Space Operations, there will be no higher priority than maintain the readiness of our force to meet all of those contingencies. The Chinese threat first amongst them. Very good, thank you for that. Um Let me ask you a bit more specifically um what kind of space capabilities do you think would need to be prioritized in order to deter a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan And walk us through your thinking there. I look at this sir. From from 22 pronged approach we have to be able to protect the capabilities that are enabling our joint force today. Whether it’s navigation and timing, whether sally communications, the missile warning architecture is that provide indications and warning of attack. Uh The structure of our joint force is built. Presuming we have access to those space capabilities we must preserve them. That requires a shift to a more resilient defendable architecture to provide that level of mission resiliency that we need. But it’s also important to realize that the joint force is under a threat umbrella by space enabled capabilities of our adversaries and they will not be able to meet their military objectives if we allow the Chinese in particular to use the space enabled targeting capabilities that they have at their disposal. So we in order to be deterrent to prevent this from going into a war that extends into space. We will have to be resilient and we will have to have the offense and defensive capability necessary to create a credible deterrent force. You mentioned resiliency several times now. So let me just ask you do you think that we are currently resilient enough in space and in particular?
Resilient enough to absorb losses from china or Russia in a, in a conflict with either. I think the best way to state that is the current attacks that we are seeing are not sufficient to take out our capabilities. We are resilient on today as soon as we go into a crisis contingency, I do not believe we have designed our systems to operate in that level of contested environment and so we need to change to a more defendable architecture to account for the fact that space has shifted from a benign environment to a more contested warfighting domain. What’s a more defendable architecture look like?
I think we can look at some of the observations we’re seeing in Ukraine that a distributed architecture where there are more satellites with, with proliferated missions that’s harder to attack big single satellites are much easier to attack than a distributed proliferated constellation of capabilities. It becomes a tougher targeting problem. Let me ask you this in your personal opinion, does the United States have the anti-satellite weapons that we need?
Uh whether that’s to deter china or Russia or if necessary to defeat them should deterrence fail. I think the best way to answer that is for the, for the current conditions, I think we have suitable capabilities but I think the security situation is changing dynamically and I’d really appreciate the opportunity to talk with you in a class of an environment on the specific details?
Let me ask you just just more broadly, if you are confirmed, what steps would you take to ensure that we’re doing everything that we’ve got to do in order to improve our counter space capabilities have confirmed a cso. I will lean on the force design architecture. Textual role that Congress has given to the Chief of Space operations were doing forced design analysis. This is rigorous data analytics that show what one constellation against a modeled threat would do. And we run thousands of permutations to really see what the optimal configuration is. I’m committed, continue doing that so that we can one by the systems we need and not be overly redundant or have too little resilience in the face of the adversary. Very good general thanks for being here. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, thank you. Senator Howley. Uh Penhall thank you for your testimony. Um Senator Sullivan, I’m told is trying to to get here uh but and that will give me an option to ask one more question and if he’s not here, by the end of my question, then uh I will uh call the hearing to a close. But this question has been sort of alluded to in some cases, directly posed you throughout the hearing. Um What are the critical hardware and software gaps you see uh on the ground to effectively or in the air to effectively uh uh inhibit your mission. Yes sir. That that analysis is ongoing but there’s some initial thoughts um in terms of how do we build an architecture on the ground that’s resilient to attacks from Russia from china from other malicious cyber actors. Uh And we haven’t had the need to build quite the level of resiliency or redundancy on the ground in the past as we as we see necessary today. And so when I look at the software, the monitoring of those networks, I think there are still some gaps that we need to fill when I think about space domain awareness and the the number of sensors worldwide that we’re gonna need in order to effectively evaluate and and determine what’s on orbit and where it is and what it’s doing. Uh And then the tools the software tools on the ground to take all that data in and turn that data into information and decision quality information. Those are some near term issues that I think we’re gonna have to address from a software and hardware standpoint. Well thank you very much general. Uh Thank you for your service. Uh Thank you for your very compelling testimony. Uh Today we look forward to your confirmation and the next as soon as possible. Uh Thank your family again for the support they’ve given and the service they’ve also given uh with that and uh indication that center cell will not be joining us. I will adjourn the hearing. Thank you. Thank you sir