Space Security Needs Integration, Not Fragmentation

Agencies must align 5 key mission components to reach resilience.

The United States rests on a history of strength in unity, and space security is no exception.

The military’s space capabilities comprise a complex ecosystem of multiple technologies, goals and stakeholders. To protect the system from vulnerability, the National Security Space Strategy (NSSS) of 2011 toted resilience as the federal government’s primary focus when it came to investing in new space technologies.

Space resilience is a logical and achievable goal, but the sheer quantity of decision-making forces at play has held government back from achieving that goal. To truly commit to resilience, the federal government must view its space efforts as a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts — in the words of Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work, as “a single constellation.”

And the demands of international conflict are increasingly calling government to think like this. Missions themselves have become more interdependent, lines are blurred between traditional agency and industry roles, rapid deployment is now a necessity, and development is more collaborative than ever.

But some agencies find this sense of collaboration within space security difficult to achieve. With a high volume of participants, no one emerges as an obvious decision maker when it comes to space, and the race to innovate stagnates.

Rather than investing in isolated solutions, agencies can transition from an individually focused perspective to an approach that considers the entire space security ecosystem using a framework that experts at Booz Allen Hamilton refer to as Mission Integration.

By integrating five key areas — policy, operations, people, engineering and management — agencies can make more holistic and informed decisions about space advancement.

Mission Integration builds on the foundation of resilience at the heart of the NSSS by constructing a coordinated pathway for agencies to fortify the military’s space capabilities.

From the first moments of independence, justice, progress and security have all arisen from the will of many withstanding adversity. Mission Integration will allow the military to hold its own not just against a variety of threats but also as a powerful and innovative force on the global stage.

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