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Iran Press TV

Senior USAF commander: Space warfare vital to US military

Iran Press TV

Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:8PM

Washington should invest more in space operations as they become increasingly vital to military missions against "potential adversaries," says a senior US Air Force commander.

"Potential adversaries increasingly understand the level to which the armed forces depend on both space and cyberspace to operate on a global scale," said Maj. Gen. David Thompson, vice commander for US Air Force Space Command.

"Those same adversaries possess or are developing capabilities to disrupt and degrade joint force operations and attack America," he was quoted as saying by Defense News, an American military news website, on Sunday.

The military official said that the US "must continue to train, prepare and equip space and cyber forces to confront and defeat anyone who would attack us, and maintain our edge when threatened in these domains."

Thompson also noted that under General John Hyten, the Space Command is looking for new ways to change "the tactics, techniques and procedures we use to operate our systems to make them more difficult targets for any adversary; improving our threat detection and warning systems more broadly; and ultimately building and fielding space systems that are more resilient and less susceptible to direct attack."

The remarks are in line with Washington's accusations against other countries, mainly Russia and China, of plotting to take down the US assets beyond the Earth's atmosphere.

A former high-ranking official in the US Missile Defense Agency has recently framed Russia and China as "increasingly sophisticated threats," and accused Beijing of developing a missile program capable of destroying "nearly all of our space assets."

In 2007, the Chinese military successfully tested an anti-satellite missile that could target low, earth-orbiting objects, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Trey Obering said.

In July, China announced that the country is looking forward to strengthening ties with Russia in strategic fields such as space cooperation.

'We intend to advance the corresponding cooperation, especially in some strategic spheres..., including space and technologies,' said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

The US Navy has recently launched its fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite into space, to create a five-satellite communications system which is supposed "to significantly improve ground communications for US forces on the move,' according to its designers at Lockheed Martin.

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