Developing Space Professionals

By Hutto, Cal | Air & Space Power Journal, Summer 2004 | Go to article overview

Developing Space Professionals

Hutto, Cal, Air & Space Power Journal

Editor's Note: PIREP is aviation shorthand for pilot report. It's a means for one pilot to pass on current, potentially useful information to other pilots. In the same fashion, we intend to use this department to let readers know about air and space power items of interest.

We need space professionals in all services and agencies . . . to exploit space effectively in the interests of national secunty. Development of a space cadre is one of our top agenda items for national security space programs.

-Hon. Peter B. Teets

Undersecretary of the Air Force

ENGAGED IN A deadly firefight in central Iraq in March 2003, lead units of the 3rd Infantry Division mysteriously lost their primary communication link with the military strategic and tactical relay system (MILSTAR) satellite network. In an instant, critical targeting coordinates being transmitted to rear fire-support elements were completely cut off. Fortunately, an alert crew from the 4th Satellite Operations Squadron at Schriever AFB, Colorado, quickly determined that another user had inadvertently moved the satellite spot beam away from the combat zone. After initiating override procedures, personnel immediately repositioned the beam back to the fight, restoring the important link. The 3rd Infantry Division then resumed its coordinated attack and went on to win this key battle.1

This story represents just one of many recent examples of the critical wartime role played by military space assets and the dedicated space professionals who wield them. Make no mistake-the victorious outcome of this engagement, along with numerous other battles in Operation Iraqi Freedom, would have remained uncertain without dominant US military space power. Over the past 20 years, space systems and the people who develop and operate them have repeatedly demonstrated their indispensable contribution on the battlefield. We can rest assured that this decisive role for space will continue to expand in future conflicts.

But this is no time for complacency. The acquisition pipeline is filling up with increasingly complex space systems, such as space-based radar, that will provide unprecedented capabilities. These systems will integrate space with air, land, and sea battle arenas more than ever before. Battlefield integration and situational awareness will become vital to exploiting these new capabilities, and people are the key to that success. Specialized space expertise will play a critical role in the design and integration of these new systems. Similarly, space operators and support personnel will also require more in-depth knowledge of how these systems support military operations. This level of human interaction will dramatically enhance space effects as compared to today's space capabilities, which are much more static in nature.

As a result, the Air Force must redouble its efforts in recruiting and training talented people to design, acquire, operate, plan, integrate, and sustain a completely new generation of space weapon systems. In its final report, the Space Commission clearly spelled out this imperative: "The DoD is not yet on course to develop the space cadre the nation needs." Commission members further asserted that space operators and acquirers must "master highly complex technology . . . and operate some of the most complex systems ever built and deployed." This conclusion led the commission to call for initiatives to "create and sustain a cadre of Space Professionals . . . within which the space leaders for the future can be developed."2

Agreeing with the commission's findings, secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld tasked secretary of the Air Force James Roche to prepare a comprehensive space career-management plan.3 As a first step, Air Force Space Command built an Air Force space-professional strategy that lays out a sound approach for developing and sustaining space professionals. Approved by secretary Roche in july 2003, the strategy identifies the specialties and disciplines required to take space systems from concept to employment. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)


1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited article

Developing Space Professionals


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.