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Remarks by Gen. Jay Raymond at the 35th Space Symposium, Colorado Springs, Colorado


SHELTON:  It's my privilege to introduce General Jay Raymond, my good friend.

RAYMOND:  Good morning. How's everybody doing? General Shelton, thank you for your kind introduction. Thanks for your leadership and your continued mentorship. 

To the Space Foundation – every year this gets bigger and better. Congratulations on your 35th anniversary. 

Madam Secretary, Chief, distinguished visitors, ladies and gentlemen, it's great – absolutely spectacular – to have the opportunity to address this Symposium, for the third time, as the Air Force Space Command Commander. And, as I stated last year, 35 years from now at the 70th anniversary, folks that are gathered at the Space Symposium will still be in awe at the advances that have been made over the last few years.

Last year, the theme of my talk was that we were in a 9-G turn toward space superiority.  I lied.  We're sustaining an 11 or 12-G turn. There is no way in the 30 minutes that I've been allotted that I could do justice to all the things that have occurred over this past year. The advances that we have made collectively in the National Security Space mission area are remarkable, and this is absolutely the most exciting time to be in the National Security Space enterprise.  In fact, it's the most exciting time. 

What I'm going to do today, I'm going to highlight some heroes. Some of our Joint and Coalition partners – those that have provided us and provided our nation and our allies such great advantage.

General Bernard Schriever … space superiority. This is where it starts, and you can read the quote.  "In the long haul, our safety as a nation may depend upon achieving space superiority." 

So today, what I would like to do is honor the past, present, and the future as I introduce, again, our real competitive advantage. 

Colonel John Boyd is an Air Force visionary strategist and tactician.  He developed and created the energy maneuverability theory – EM theory of aerial combat. EM theory became the world standard in designing fighter aircraft. His most famous concept was the OODA loop which grew out of the EM theory and described the process for which an entity responds to an event and … that – the speed of that reaction is critical to their survival.

Captain Carl 'Boyd' Black. Captain Black is applying the same principles – the same EM principles, the same theory that Colonel Boyd talked about in the air domain – to space. And over this past year, Captain Black has been leading about a 53-person team made up of fighter pilots, space operators, and air battle managers and others to develop the tactical doctrine on how we will battle-manage a space-to-space engagement in the future.

Every year, Air Combat Command does a conference called 'Weapons and Tactics Conference' down at Nellis [Air Force Base] and everybody, the leadership of the whole Air Force is there – Chief of Staff, the Vice Chief of Staff, all the MAJCOM commanders, about 2,000 tacticians – and they focus on warfighting challenges. So, I reached out to General Holmes and said, "Hey, can we have Captain Black (at the time, Lieutenant Black) present the work that they're doing on space?" And they did. And I will tell you, as a proud “space dad” sitting in the front row, he did a heck of a job. And in fact, at the end of the briefing, General Goldfein called Lieutenant Black up to the front of the stage and said "Lieutenant Boyd, do you have a call sign?" He said, "Yeah, I do." He said "Well, I'm gonna give you a new one – and will you accept it?" And he was smart and he said, "Absolutely." When the Chief of Staff of the Air Force is giving you a call sign, that's probably the right thing to do.  And he said "Your new call sign is 'Boyd,' and it's because of this linkage – because of the visionary work that he's doing." So Captain Boyd, I think you're here (I can't see anybody) if you'll please stand up.  Thank you.


This is Susan Helms – a true space pioneer. As a crew member, [she] flew on five Space Shuttle missions, over 211 days in space, 163 days on the International Space Station, the record for the longest spacewalk. We lured her back from NASA and she went on to have a critical and important career in the National Security Space business, retiring just a few years ago as the 14th Air Force Commander. I was lucky enough to take over for General Helms as the 14th Air Force Commander. I was invited to give a speech a week or so after. I was at a mayor's conference and I was thinking there were going to be 10 people at this conference, but I show up and there's 300! And I give what I thought was the best speech I've ever given in my life, and at the end this gentleman came up to me and said, "So, you're not the astronaut?" And so now I know why we had 300 people there. I said "No, I'm the Clemson business major – but we refer to that as the Harvard of the South." 

Let me introduce you to Lieutenant Claire Sakovich. She's not an Astronaut…yet. I'm convinced she's going to be a future Astronaut. Claire grew up wanting to be in the space business – she wanted to be an Astronaut. As a little girl, she went to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama … seven times. It's not because she flunked – she just liked it. She was accepted into the Air Force Academy – followed General Helms' footsteps and went to the Air Force Academy – participated in the FALCONSAT program all four years; after commissioning, was a distinguished graduate out of U.S. Space Training;  undergraduate space training; went on and is serving in the 1st Space Operations Squadron out at Schriever Air Force Base operating our most critical space situational awareness satellite called the Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Satellite Program – GSSAP.

I first met Claire a couple of months ago, and she was participating in a recent Space Flag exercise. That's analogous to Red Flag – building in-domain expertise critical to this competitive environment that we now face. And there were hundreds, hundreds of Airmen and others in the room, many, many more senior than Claire. But, when it came time for the person to brief the Air Force Space Command Commander, it was Claire, and she knocked it out of the park. In fact, she so impressed me that she's the face of Air Force Space Command on our new podcast, 'Generation Space.'It is available on Soundcloud and iTunes. If you go there, you'll see her front and center. Claire, thank you. Please stand up.


Admiral Nimitz played a major role in naval history of World War II. As Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, he was a master strategist guiding the Allied Force scheme and maneuver. He led our naval forces to victory in the historic Battle of Midway. And after the war, he served as a CNO where he led the transformation of the submarine forces from gas to diesel to nuclear power. 

Lieutenant Ryan Smith is a member of the U.S. Navy. He is assigned to our Joint Force Space Component Command here in Colorado Springs and is serving in our Future Operations Branch. Ryan serves as our lead future operations planner for satellite communications. Although still a very young officer, he has already demonstrated the strategic thinking in the space domain that would have made Admiral Nimitz proud. Ryan has been instrumental in the development of our global SATCOM management strategy. He streamlined the command and control relationships within MILSATCOM scheme and maneuver and ensured that geographic combatant commanders have the satellite communications that they need in time of conflict. His work was the centerpiece for helping inform the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs global integration construct at our recent global exercise and, in fact, the Vice Chairman commented on just how brilliant that strategy was. Ryan, if you could please stand up.  Thank you.


Air Chief Marshal Leigh-Mallory. Leadership in the Royal Air Force was essential in leading Allied Forces to victory, again, in World War II. As a phenomenal strategist, he was pivotal to successes in the Battle of Britain, D-Day, and the Normandy Invasion. He was lauded by General Bernard Montgomery for his support to the ground fight. General Montgomery said "We must definitely keep Leigh-Mallory as the Air Commander in Chief because he's the only Airman who's out to win the land battle." 

Today, we are working hard to not only develop joint warfighting partners but also, as the Chief talked about and the Secretary highlighted, developing the international partnerships needed for coalition warfighting. This year, we transformed the Joint Space Operations Center into a Combined Space Operations Center, and Canadian Lieutenant Colonel Al Dallaire serves as our first coalition deputy. 

Wing Commander Ben Large from the U.K., in particular, has significantly advanced our warfighting mission at the Combined Space Operations Center. Ben is a combat-tested Air Battle Manager with nearly 19 years of experience in the Royal Air Force. He brings valuable allied and air perspective as we grow our combined space C2 capability. He served as our first U.K. Chief of Combat Operations and is our Deputy of our Strategy and Plans Division. Additionally, he's the first coalition partner to accompany a deployed space element downrange. We are clearly stronger together, and Ben has been a source of great strength.

This August, we will hold our first ever Space Flag exercise that will have our coalition partners. Additionally, as the Secretary talked about, we're opening up Space 100, 200, and 300, and later this month we will open up, we will host our first Space 300 course with Allied participation. So Ben, thank you very much for your service. Thanks for being on our team, and thanks for making us stronger. Please stand.


Chief Master Sergeant Chuck Zimkas was the first senior enlisted advisor for Air Force Space Command. He set the bar extremely high from the beginning as one of our first trailblazers defining the future of National Security Space. He boldly led the enlisted corps at a time when the future of space was uncertain and we were just beginning to define that mission area.

Master Sergeant Shaun Crawford is also emblematic of this same can-do spirit, redefining our ability to conduct space targeting to meet the challenges of a multi-domain fight. In 2014, I had the privilege of commanding 14th Air Force and the Joint Functional Component Command for Space. At that time, our space targeting capability was in its infancy, and I will be honest, we were struggling on how we were going to move this forward. A few years later, I went back to Vandenberg and participated in an exercise as the Joint Force Space Component Command Commander and I couldn't believe just how far we had matured our targeting capability. And I asked Major General Whiting, the Deputy Joint Force Space Component Commander, who lives out at Vandenberg and works in the Combined Space Operations Center on a daily basis – I said, "What did we do to go from preschool to master's degree in such a short period of time?"  He introduced me to Shaun Crawford. 

Shaun grew up in the Bay Area, played baseball at Berkeley until an injury forced him out. When that door closed, he decided to join the Air Force and one of his first assignments was at the Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg. After that, he went to Korea and he served as a targeteer in Korea. And when it was time to come back from Korea, he was given a couple of choices; one of those choices was to come back to Vandenberg. And lucky for us, he did, and he brought that expertise that he gained over at Osan Air Base back to Vandenberg – and I will tell you has singlehandedly overhauled our processes and played a key role in getting U.S. Strategic Command and the Department of Defense as a whole on board with this new, more synergistic, multi-domain approach. So again, I can't thank you enough, Shaun, for what you've done. You're truly impressive, and thanks for being here. Please, stand up. 


Chief Master Sergeant Tom Echols took Chief Master Sergeant Zimkas' spot. He began his career in communications and served in Vietnam where he was decorated for hazardous mission support to the U.S. Army unit and as a volunteer crew chief of a group which recovered the remains of downed air crew members. He completed nearly 11,000 flying hours including 121 aerial combat missions and showed tremendous leadership and courage under fire. 

Senior Airman Kyle Lucas exudes this same strength of leadership, tenacity, warfighting spirit, and dedication to the mission. Kyle is a crew chief at the 2nd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever. That's right – let me repeat that: a crew chief – as a Senior Airman in a position that almost always is held by a more senior NCO. That's telling you something about Kyle's leadership right off the bat. Kyle grew up in an Air Force family. His father was a civil engineer for 23 years. He spent most of his childhood at RAF Alconbury in the U.K. Kyle has a twin brother, also in the Air Force, and serves as an intel professional at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Kyle graduated from Penn State with a degree in communications where he played football as a linebacker. Penn State, as we all know, has a long tradition of great linebackers. He enlisted in the Air Force to serve his country and to continue his family's legacy. Fitness and athleticism continues to be a big part of who he is. Kyle and his brother were selected to appear on the NBC Titan gameshow hosted by The Rock. If you saw that show, you'd know, and I know, that you were impressed, as I was, with how well Kyle represented our Air Force and how well he represented his family. Kyle, please stand up. I would ask everybody in the audience to do me one favor. Kyle, turn around. This is a really special day. On three, say, "Happy Birthday Kyle." One, two, three…happy birthday, Kyle!


General Tom Moorman is an incredible advocate of space education and training throughout his career, so much so that in 2012, the Space Education and Training Center at Peterson was named in his honor. He served as the Commander of Air Force Space Command from 1990 to 1992 and as the Vice Chief from 1994 to 1997. To this day, he continues to have his hands involved in space and continues to advocate for the professional development of our space operators.

This year, we have taken another significant step forward in the development of our enlisted operators who represent over 50% of the space operations crew force. Air Force Space Command, in partnership with the Air Force Warfare Center, have established an Enlisted Space Warfighter Advanced Instructor course. This new course will be held at Nellis Air Force Base and will provide academic – advanced academic – and tactical training for enlisted space professionals and is a stepping stone for incorporating our enlisted operators into the existing Air Force Weapons School. The initial cadre members are Master Sergeant Mark Tomasetti, Tech Sergeant Jeff Clement, Tech Sergeant Lane Dorenbusch, Tech Sergeant Anthony Hallford, Tech Sergeant Aaron Hensley, and Staff Sergeant Roberto Hero. They all represent the finest enlisted operators that we have in the command across all of our mission areas. Every single one of these Airmen chose to come to space as their first choice when they enlisted in the Air Force. These six Airmen are trailblazers and we're glad you're on our team. Please, stand up.


Thank you. 

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson has been an amazing advocate of space for a long time. She was a member of one of the first Air Force Academy classes with females. Upon graduation, she became a Rhodes Scholar (as the Chief said).  She served on the National Security Council. She was a member of Congress and was a university president. 

Madam Secretary, I want to, as the Chief did, echo all of, on behalf of everybody in the Air Force Space Command, just say 'thank you' to you for your leadership, not just in the Air Force, but particularly taking a great interest in providing absolutely strong leadership for the National Security Space mission. We greatly appreciate it. 


However, Madam Secretary, as we look to the future, you can rest assured we're in good hands. I'd like to introduce you to Peyton Cooper who's 51 days away from graduating from the United States Air Force Academy – but who's counting? – and earning her commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force. I first met Peyton a couple of years ago at the Cyber Symposium that was held here, and she asked me a question that was very insightful, and afterwards I went up and I gave her my Commander's coin. She told me at that time, "Sir, I want to come into space." I said, "Great." Couple years later –  last year – earlier this year, we had CORONA up at the Air Force Academy, and every year when we do CORONAs up at the Air Force Academy, we get to spend a half a day hanging out with Airmen, getting an extra bounce in our step and learning about the great projects that they were doing. And Peyton gave me a presentation on a position, navigation and timing project that she was working on. Again, truly impressed. Peyton is a dual citizen of the U.S. and the U.K. Her father is a U.K. citizen and her mother was an American. Sadly, Peyton's mother passed away from stage IV cancer back in January 2015 – the same year Peyton entered the Academy. The Academy is tough enough as it is; I can't imagine going through that all in a single year. She's a model of resilience. Her family still lives in England, and her sister was just accepted into Oxford.

Couple months ago, I made contact with Peyton and said, "Hey, when are you coming to space?" and she said, "Sir, unfortunately the Air Force assignment process gave me an assignment and space didn't win the lottery; another career field did." And I was very disappointed and I said, "Well, what do you want to do?" She said "I want to come to space." And I said "Well, give me a second." And it's amazing how that works, but I am proud to announce that Peyton's coming to space.


And we couldn't be more proud. Peyton, could you please stand up? Thank you for being here.


We look forward to having you on our team here in 51 days, so stay in your room, lock the door, and don't screw it up between now and then.

Alright. We had a group out at undergraduate space training that just completed training and they, if you all have seen the Air Force PACE videos, they on their own developed a PACE-like video for space and it was – it's a science project. It was a homegrown project, and they brought the demo tape forward to the command and we hooked them up with our Public Affairs professionals and this is the result – if you can go ahead and play this video, please.


Alright. And one final Airman that I wanted to highlight. Buzz Aldrin, as has been announced – been discussed throughout this morning – this year marks the 50th anniversary of his spacewalk. He has been an inspiration to us all. 

There's one other Airman, and I know he couldn't be here today, and unfortunately I couldn't have him sitting in the second row. He's been deployed. And I told my team, "Bring him back. We can bring people back." And they said, "Sir, we can't. He's on the International Space Station." His name is Nick Hague. That's where he is. And if you don't mind, we're going to talk to him. Space … what could go wrong with this?


Space Station, this is General Raymond. Copy? Over.

HAGUE: General Raymond, sir, I've got you loud and clear. Welcome to the International Space Station. 


RAYMOND: Nick, you do not understand just how happy I am to hear your voice. We are here with the Secretary of the Air Force, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, about 5,000 or so space experts from around the world and we're just excited to have the opportunity to link into you live via the International Space Station. I know you've been on orbit just a couple weeks and I know you've already completed your second spacewalk. What I'd like to ask you is, how did you use the lifetime of training that you've had to prepare you for your time on the Space Station?  And then secondly, what's it like to step outside? Over.

HAGUE: Well, sir, you know, that lifelong preparation really just started just up the road from where you're at at the Air Force Academy in the Astro department there – and you know, that's where I got my hands dirty for the first time dealing with space, building spacecraft and really understanding what it was about. And I gotta tell you that started a long career that has prepared me to get to that point. But I gotta tell you, the view was amazing. To come out the hatch and to see – to be my own spacecraft essentially – you know, myself and my wingman out there, whether it was Anne or Christina – looking down at the Earth as it glides by, and you could see mountain ranges covered in snow and you could see deserts, and to be in such an austere environment – a hostile environment where we're just not supposed to be able to live and be able to work – and to go out there and accomplish that mission, it just was the culmination of a lot of preparation. But the thing I took away from it the most was a deep sense of the change in perspective. You look down at the Earth and you see so much in one view and it makes you instantly feel smaller, and that really hit home; the point – the lesson that I learned throughout my Air Force career – which is it's not about one individual, but it's about collective accomplishment, and we accomplish things together as a team. And it took thousands of people to make those spacewalks go well; it's taken thousands of people throughout my career to help me progress and become who I am. And so it's thanks to them, it's thanks to the team that we accomplish great things.

RAYMOND: Great, Nick. I know your wife Catie is an Air Force officer as well, and your family is back in Houston. How are they doing, and are you able to stay connected with them?

HAGUE: They're doing great, sir. We stay connected – we have the ability to do a video conference once a week. I can call them on the phone. I think she complains that I call her too much now that I'm up here because the time change works a little bit easier than all the time that I spent in Star City where she was usually sleeping when I was awake and I was awake when she was sleeping. So connectivity's been great – they're doing awesome.

RAYMOND: I know you've taken a couple spacewalks yourself. I know your team also did another spacewalk yesterday. We've been broadcasting that throughout our headquarters building. What work are you doing on the International Space Station?

HAGUE: Yes, sir. Specifically, these three spacewalks were designed to increase the capacity and kind of the life of the Space Station. The objective we were out there to do was to make it possible to change out some old batteries. The Station is essentially battery-powered, and we use solar arrays to charge up those batteries; and so it was time to change those out with some new technology. And this is a series of many spacewalks that are out there to change into these new lithium ion batteries so that we can keep the Station going for a lot longer into the future. It's a vital mission. This is the only place where we can play around with zero gravity and science at the same time for a long period of time, and so it's critical to keep this laboratory – this asset for the globe, if you will – to keep it operating as long as we can. 

RAYMOND: Well, Nick, on behalf of all of us, first of all, thanks for taking the time to come up today. Thank you for your service. Thank you for representing our Air Force so well. Please pass along our regards to your crew members and your partners. We're proud of each and every one of you. And I have the privilege of having another astronaut on my staff named ‘2Fish,’ and ‘2Fish’ says that you might be able to perform a little trick for us or something. So if you want to say any closing thoughts and then demonstrate a little what it's like without … living on the Space Station, that'd be great. Thanks.

HAGUE: Absolutely, sir. I think the thing I'd like to say in closing is just that, you know, for all those that call Space Station home, and for all the families for those that have called the Space Station home, or who will call Space Station home, thank you for what all of you do. Everyone sitting in the audience there to … what you do to support the Station, to make this mission possible, whether it's international collaboration or cooperation through our commercial partners, it's really that team effort that makes this, this miracle of a technological feat possible, and it's only with your support that we can continue to be successful like we are. 

So ‘2Fish’ has probably talked up to you, sir, a little too much about my abilities up here. I've only been up here a couple weeks, but we're gonna give this a shot. So I am going to demonstrate the amazing things that happen with fluids up here; but to do that, I've got to get a little bit closer to the camera. 

So up here, things you thought you knew – water that you've known since you can … your first memories – they do strange things. And so we can play with our food, and surface tension starts to build … be the dominant force rather than gravity, and so … it's not uncommon to find us around the dinner table playing with our food, moving water around and finding interesting ways to drink it. It's amazing up here, sir. 


Nick, thanks again. You know, Colorado Springs, is the home of the U.S. Olympic Committee and we just took a vote and you got about a 9.9 on that maneuver. Thanks! Great to see you. Take care of yourself, and we'll be watching. Thank you.


HAGUE: Thank you, sir.

RAYMOND: Thanks for the opportunity to be here. Thanks for the privilege, Madam Secretary, Chief, for commanding Air Force Space Command. If you all would, if the Airmen that I had the privilege of highlighting, if you would stand up and come up front, and if you have a chance to come by and shake these Airmen's hands, I would appreciate it. Thank you very much.