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[infowar.de] Briefing zu U.S. Militärsatelliten
"He said the United States has a ground system that can read the
lettering on a basketball out about 25,000 miles."
Updated: 12 Mar 2003
American Forces Press Service
U.S. Dominance in Space Makes General 'Pity the Enemy'
By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 12, 2003 -- Anybody who goes against the massive
space capability of the U.S. military "is in for a tough go," Air
Force Maj. Gen. Franklin J. "Judd" Blaisdell told reporters during a
Pentagon press briefing today.
"Whether it's Iraq or any other enemy of the United States and its
allies, I would tell you that we're so dominant in space that I
pity a country that would come up against us," said Blaisdell, the
Force's director of space operations and integration. "The synergy
with air, land and sea forces and our ability to control the battle
space and seize the high ground is devastating.
Army Col. Steven Fox, director of the Army Space
Program Office, and project manager for the Tactical Exploitation
National Capabilities, told reporters during a Pentagon press
that the Army considers itself the largest user of space
"I don't believe that many of them understand how powerful we are,"
the general told reporters. "All countries respect the power of the
United States and they respect how dominant we are in this region."
Asked what would demonstrate how much more powerful the United
is now compared to the Gulf War, Blaisdell rattled off "speed,
lethality, persistence, information dominance, precision and the
battle space characterization, bombs on target, real-time battle
"That's what we're about, and that's what we're able to deliver
through space, air, land and sea and the capability of all of those
Space started playing a major role in warfare in the 1960s and early
1970s, Blaisdell noted, harkening back to the May 1960 shootdown of
Francis Gary Powers' U-2 plane over Russia. He said, today, in one
day, one satellite, the Corona, could photograph more Soviet
than 28 U-2 missions over four years.
"Space assets will save lives. It keeps folks from putting our
in harm's way," the general said. "It gives you that persistence,
perspective and penetration, because space assets can get over areas
that you wouldn't normally be able to get over with manned
You can stay there, loiter there, and for a warfighter, you have an
opportunity to know what's going on there -- real-time situational
awareness, real time battle management unimpeded."
Noting that space is a worldwide mission, Blaisdell said his
organization has more than 33,600 people spread out in 21 different
locations in the United States and 15 places around the world.
Pointing out that warfighters need good communication, Blaisdell
"Many people forget that we depend quite a bit on commercial
communications. You need good communications if you're going to get
the theater and be able to make a difference. Good communications is
needed to ensure that we have information superiority for the
Warfighters are also concerned about weather conditions, he noted.
"You would no more go into a battle in any region in the world
knowing the weather conditions," Blaisdell said. "For the Army,
want to know moisture and soil content. They don't want their tanks
bogged down. The Navy needs to know winds and sea state, iceberg
possibilities. The Air Force will not do refueling operations in
When it come to "space control," for space situation awareness, the
general said, "We need to know what's happening in our space
environment, not only for what we have, but what other countries may
have." He said the United States has a ground system that can read
lettering on a basketball out about 25,000 miles. But it's weather
Col. Steven Fox, director of the Army Space Program Office and the
project manager for the exploration of national capabilities, said
Army considers itself the largest user of space capabilities.
"And most recently, our Afghanistan involvement highlights how much
rely on space," Fox said. "Space enables everything we do, from
detection of missiles immediately upon launch so we can prepare to
intercept them or to deal with the effects. We collect data for
analysis and use space for dissemination of intelligence
We use GPS for other space-based systems to locate targets, to guide
our weapons and for navigation."
The colonel said space assets "allow us to disseminate missile data
warnings to soldiers very quickly so they can take the appropriate
action. But primarily, space ensured that we had an uneven playing
field in favor of the United States and our allies. Space is
fundamental to the way Americans are going to fight."
Space capabilities also help the Army keep track of supplies and
enhance logistics operations.
Fox said space capabilities also allow the Army to keep track of
soldiers who are far beyond line of sight of normal communications.
Some soldiers carry transmitters.
Asked why some soldiers buy commercial GPS receivers, Fox said,
sort of like your favorite brand of cell phone. So I believe some
soldiers are used to a commercial product and they use it."
He said a second aspect is, "when we build our military GPS
we build them to counter threats. In that process, the size
So, if you're a soldier, you're trying to keep as light as possible,
so often they grab their personal device." The colonel noted that
though that practice is discouraged, soldiers still do it.
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