NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — In his first major address as commander of U.S. Space Command, Air Force Gen. John Raymond said his goal is to keep space peaceful and deter aggression. But as rival powers develop new anti-satellite weapons, the United States needs to respond by deploying more survivable satellites and training military space operators to defend them.
“To deter we have to deter from a position of strength,” Raymond said on Tuesday at the Air Force Association’s Air Space & Cyber symposium.
“It’s no longer good enough just to have a satellite that can survive launch and can survive initial operations,” he said. “You have to have a satellite that is defendable. U.S. Space command will put a sharp focus on that.”
Raymond pushed back on criticism that having a U.S. Space Command — and in the future a U.S. Space Force as a new branch of the military — is about weaponizing space.
“The Outer Space Treaty says you can’t have nuclear weapons in space,” said Raymond. Other than that, there is no other treaty to govern nations’ conduct in space. “The rest is the wild, wild west,” he said. U.S. Space Command combined with a U.S. Space ...