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AFSPC Commander discusses strategic inflection point for space at 34th Space Symposium

Gen. Jay Raymond addressing 34th Space Symposium

Gen. Jay Raymond, Air Force Space Command commander, delivers his featured speech at the 34th Space Symposium, April 17, 2018 in Colorado Springs, Colo. The 34th Space Symposium brings industry, federal and military space leaders together to discuss the way ahead for advances in space. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Grim)

Gen. Jay Raymond addressing 34th Space Symposium

Gen. Jay Raymond, Air Force Space Command commander, delivers his featured speech at the 34th Space Symposium, April 17, 2018 in Colorado Springs, Colo. The 34th Space Symposium brings industry, federal and military space leaders together to discuss the way ahead for advances in space. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Grim)

Gen. Jay Raymond addressing 34th Space Symposium

Gen. Jay Raymond, Air Force Space Command commander, delivers his featured speech at the 34th Space Symposium, April 17, 2018 in Colorado Springs, Colo. The 34th Space Symposium brings industry, federal and military space leaders together to discuss the way ahead for advances in space. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Grim)

Colorado Springs, Colo. --

Gen. Jay Raymond, commander of Air Force Space Command, spoke to members of the international space community, industry and media at the 34th Space Symposium, describing the past year as a turning point for national security space.

“This is one of the most critical times in our national security space history – it will be seen as a strategic inflection point,” he said, adding that the “bold steps we have taken enable us to compete, deter and win today and into the future.

“We are making a 9G turn towards space superiority, enabled by the strong leadership of the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force,” he said.

Raymond reiterated that the command is no longer discussing a warfighting construct or a space enterprise vision, because over the last year the construct has turned into a reality.

“It all boils down to warfighting,” he said.

Throughout his speech, Raymond described the Air Force’s focus on gaining and maintaining space superiority. However, he explained that space superiority is not just an Air Force responsibility.

“The need to gain and maintain space superiority is not just an Air Force requirement,” he said. “It’s a joint requirement. And in the future, the entire joint force will be called upon for its full spectrum of capabilities to not just gain benefits from space effects, but to gain and maintain space superiority.”

This focus on space superiority is aligned with the new National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy, which states that the U.S. considers space a vital interest.

Over the last year, AFSPC has taken numerous steps to ensure the U.S. maintains freedom to operate in space. For example, in December 2017, Raymond became dual-hatted as the Joint Force Space Component Commander for U.S. Strategic Command, eliminating the Joint Force Component Command for Space position and elevating the role to a four-star position. Additionally, the National Space Defense Center progressed from experimentations to full time operations in January 2018.

The command has also increased partnerships with commercial industry, the National Reconnaissance Office and allies; and advanced the development of joint and allied space warfighters through Schriever Wargames and Space Flag exercises.

During his speech, Raymond highlighted six Airmen and joint warfighters from throughout the command who have contributed to these efforts. He said he is confident the Air Force will continue to provide critical space effects to the nation and to the joint warfighters, because of the Airmen who are driving this change.

“The reason why we dominate as an Air Force is because of our Airmen,” he concluded.