Pentagon Aims to Boost Commercial Space Presence

April 3, 2024

**Headline:** Department of Defense Embraces Commercial Space Integration Strategy

**Key Points:**
– Department of Defense releases first-ever Commercial Space Integration Strategy
– Strategy emphasizes deeper integration of commercial space solutions
– Department prepared to protect commercial assets in conflict

**Introduction:**
The Department of Defense has unveiled its first-ever Commercial Space Integration Strategy, signaling a significant shift in how the Pentagon will approach space architectures. With a focus on incorporating commercial capabilities in a more integral way, the strategy aims to leverage the growing commercial space sector for national security purposes.

**Latest Developments:**
The strategy, formulated by assistant secretary of defense for space policy John F. Plumb, highlights the importance of deeper integration of commercial solutions across a range of mission areas. These include intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, space domain awareness, environmental monitoring, spacecraft operations, satellite communications, and cyberspace.

**Background:**
The Pentagon has long collaborated with commercial companies on various programs, but the new strategy marks a shift towards making commercial solutions a core component of national security space architectures. With the expansion of the commercial space sector, the Department of Defense sees significant value in partnering with commercial entities to enhance its capabilities in space.

**Implications:**
The inclusion of spacecraft operations in the strategy’s hybrid category suggests a potential shift towards relying on contractors to help fly military satellites. Additionally, the strategy prioritizes certain mission areas for collaboration with commercial partners, such as space access, mobility, and logistics. This opens up opportunities for commercial companies to contribute to national security space efforts in new ways.

**Expert Opinions:**
Retired Space Force Col. Charles Galbreath commended the strategy for incorporating commercial space solutions prior to conflict, emphasizing the importance of integrating commercial providers early on. The strategy also addresses the protection of commercial assets in conflict, with a willingness to use military force to defend these assets if necessary.

**Conclusion:**
The Department of Defense’s Commercial Space Integration Strategy represents a significant step towards leveraging commercial space capabilities for national security purposes. By prioritizing collaboration with commercial partners and emphasizing the protection of commercial assets, the strategy sets the stage for deeper integration of commercial solutions into military space architectures. This shift towards a more inclusive approach to space operations has the potential to enhance the Department’s capabilities and strengthen its partnerships with the commercial space sector.

Pentagon Wants to Make Commercial Space ‘Integral,’ Especially in These Areas

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